Before I get to the best tasting Corn Pudding you'll ever eat, I need to share the boy's big news with you...The boy needed a pie...his church group was having a pie night and he asked me to make him a really, really good pie - bragging rights were at stake! The boy only likes chocolate pie so I figured that's what he would want but when he told me HE was supposed to make the pie and it was going to be judged, well, there is only one pie that can stand up to that kind of pressure!
For his efforts, the boy came home with the certificate for the Best Tasting pie...and the remnants of what pie tasters do to a pie! I was not a bit surprised as I/He made Dixon's Famous Lemon Cream Cheese Pie and it's famous because it's dang good!! 5 dang's on the Dang Meter, my friends, FIVE! Don't wait until you need a pie for a pie contest to make this pie - this should be added to your Thanksgiving Dessert Menu - it's that good!
Now, speaking of that T-day menu, this should be on the list, too! I came across this recipe several years ago, and if I could just have a moment of silence, I'll tell you where I got it...take a few deep breaths...okay, here goes: Ina Garten. I think her name should be typed/spoken with reverence. I've never had one of her recipes fail - ever. Can't say that about Martha or Emeril (God bless him) or Giada or even (heartbeat) Tyler Florence and Anthony Bourdain...Ina's recipes are perfect every time. So when I came across her recipe for Corn Pudding, I knew I would love it and so will you.
Aside from loving Ina's recipes, I adore her and her kitchen! (House Beautiful's 2009 Kitchen of the Year no less!) In my next life I plan to be Ina, with all her perfect recipes in my head! Now, having said that, I have to confess that I altered her recipe just a bit. Instead of using fresh corn, I used frozen corn and it worked/tasted the same...plus it saved me about $15 as fresh corn is dang expensive this time of year! This has a heady mixture of half-and-half, corn, cheese and fresh basil...creamy and rich enough to make you sigh with every bite. Make it and see...I would not lead you astray when talking about a possible Thanksgiving day side dish!
Sagaponack Corn Pudding - Adapted from Ian Garten
1 stick butter
5 cups frozen corn
1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
4 extra-large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter the inside of an 8 to 10-cup baking dish. Melt butter in a very large saute pan and saute the onion over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the corn and continue to saute for an additional 5 minutes. Cool slightly.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, and half-and-half. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal and then the ricotta. Add the basil, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the cooked and slightly cooled corn mixture. Stir in 1 cup of the grated cheddar cheese. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese evenly on top.
Place the baking dish in a larger pan and fill the pan 1/2 way up the sides of the dish with hot tap water. Bake the pudding 45 to 50 minutes until the top begins to brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Serves 8.