Happy Saturday. File this one away under “slightly laborious but totally worth it side”. On second thought, don’t file it away at all—make this asap while sweet fresh corn is still in abundance. Like maybe this weekend, which is why I’m sneaking this post in on a Saturday morning.
Because, let’s face it, unless you miraculously have nothing to do on say, a Thursday afternoon, the likelihood of there being time to whip up a corn soufflé midweek is pretty slim but fast forward a few days and the idea of adding it to a Sunday dinner as a special showstopper, seems not only feasible but downright doable. And exciting.
‘Cause when you pull this baby out of the oven, your heart will soar, just as much as the soufflé and I promise you’ll get cheers! It’s a magical experience!
Don’t let the thought of making a soufflé intimidate you either. I promise you this is not hard. Yes, there are a bunch of steps but nothing you can’t manage. I promise! Here’s how—
Basically, you start by making a big corn mush which includes both sautéed sweet corn and cornmeal, milk, a bit of sugar, salt and a dash of cayenne pepper.
After the mixture cools down to room temp (which takes about 30 minutes, see what I mean about how it’s lengthy but easy?) you simply whisk in some golden yellow egg yolks.
And then fold in some stiffly beaten egg whites, before pouring it into your soufflé dish.
Now the whole thing bakes for about 45 minutes which leaves you time to get the rest of your meal together which you kinda have to do because the one persnickety thing about all of this is that you must serve the soufflé as soon as it comes out of the oven in order to enjoy maximum rising time ‘cause after a few minutes, it’s a sinker, albeit a delicious one!
And speaking of delicious, now is probably the time to tell you how every fluffy bite is loaded with true corn flavor—think soufléed cornbread. You’re going to especially love how the outside is sort of crunchy and perfectly balances out the soft, eggy interior.
Okey-dokey, enough talk, enjoy your weekend—hopefully it includes something yummy like this corn soufflé. Sorry, don’t mean to be pushy—it’s just sort of my job! See you next week with some great new September food and fun!!
Corn Soufflé Spoonbread
Makes at least 6 servings
You will need a blender for this.
Prep Time: About 1 hour but much of this is hands-free; Bake Time: About 45 minutes
1 cup cornmeal
2 3/4 cups whole milk, separated
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing the dish
2 ears or corn, kernels cut off
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 shakes cayenne pepper
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Butter a 1 1/2 quart soufflé dish or 8-inch baking dish and set aside.
2. Place the cornmeal in a small bowl and whisk together with 3/4 cup of the milk. Set aside.
3. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large deep skillet or pot. Add the corn and cook for about 5-7 minutes until it begins to brown a little. Stir in the sugar, salt, cayenne and remaining 2 cups milk and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and take it off the burner. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
4. Carefully pour the corn mixture into a blender and process until smooth. Pour it back into the same pot you just cooked it in and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to low and whisk in the cornmeal mixture. Cook for a a couple of minutes, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened. Scrape into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature for about 20 minutes, stirring often to help it cool.
5. While the mixture is cooling, make sure your oven rack is centered and place the top rack in the uppermost position so that there will be enough room for the soufflé to rise. Preheat to 400ºF.
6. When the mixture has cooled, whisk in the egg yolks.
7. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or use regular beaters with a handheld mixer. Add the cream of tartar and beat for about 1 minute on medium-low speed until it looks frothy. Turn the speed to medium-high and whip for a few minutes, until the whites form stiff peaks. Whisk about 1/3 of the egg whites into the corn mixture to lighten it and then use a rubber spatula to fold the rest of the egg whites in. Scrape the mixture into the prepared dish, smooth the top and place it in the oven. Immediately turn the oven down to 350ºF and bake for about 45 minutes, until the soufflé has risen well over the rim of the dish and is golden brown. Serve right away, as it will begin to sink pretty soon after you remove it from the oven.
8. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for several days. This reheats really well in the microwave.
Note: Recipe adapted from Vegetables Illustrated by America’s Test Kitchen. My sources tell me that I already have a recipe for Fresh Corn Spoon Bread here on the site (who can keep track of it all?)—that one’s yummy too. Maybe I should make both and do a taste test!!