Whether you want to call this pudding or a souffle, this recipe is sure to be a hit. While conceived to put those summer fresh ears of corn to good use, you can make this any time of year using frozen corn kernels. I do urge you to shred your own cheese for the best results; it will be free of additives and won't have that cakey texture.
- 3 medium-size ears sweet corn, shucked OR 2 cups (8 ounces) frozen corn kernels
- 8 large eggs
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 white portion of large leek or 1 medium-size white onion, finely chopped
- 1 small poblano chile or medium-size jalapeno, cored seeded, finely chopped
- 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 1/2 Cup skim or lowfat milk
- 3/4 Teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 Cup white cheddar cheese, about 5 ounces
- 1/4 Cup thinly sliced chives or green onions
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
Step 1: Using a sharp knife and working over a shallow bowl, cut corn kernels from 3 medium-sized cobs. You should have 2 generous cups. Puree the corn nearly smooth with an immersion blender or in the food processor.
Step 2: Carefully separate 8 eggs as follows: Crack one egg over a small bowl letting the whites run into the small bowl. Tip the yolk into a second small bowl. Then tip the egg white (which should be free of any yolk) into the large bowl of an electric mixer. Repeat to separate all the eggs in the same manner with the yolks in the small bowl and the whites in the large mixer bowl.
Step 3: Melt 5 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan. Add the chopped white portion of 1 leek and 1 finely chopped chile pepper; saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Stir in 6 tablespoons flour and 2 cloves crushed garlic; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Step 5: Whisk in 1 ½ cups milk until smooth. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and whisk constantly for 3 minutes. Stir in pureed corn and ¾ teaspoon salt. Remove from heat.
Step 6: Stir in 1 ½ cups white cheddar cheese, then egg yolks. Stir until the cheese is melted. Stir in ¼ cup thinly sliced chives.
7: Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and set aside for up to 30 minutes.
Step 8: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 3-quart baking dish that is at least 2 inches deep.
Step 9: Beat the egg whites on high until foamy. Beat in 1 tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form, but mixture is not dry.
Step 10: Use a rubber spatula to fold 1/3 of the whites into the corn and cheese mixture to lighten it. Then transfer the mixture to the remaining egg whites in the bowl. Fold gently until most of the streaks of egg white are incorporated. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Step 11: Bake until puffed and top is deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. You can leave the dish in the turned off oven with the door slightly ajar for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot when it’s at its puffiest, or at room temperature.