6 ears fresh summer corn, husks and silk removed
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 small leek, chopped
1/2 rib celery, chopped
7 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
3 bay leaves, divided
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, sliced, plus more to brush foil ramekins
1½ cups minced sweet onion
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
8 (6-oz.) foil ramekins
Corn relish (recipe follows)
For the corn relish:
4 medium-size ears of fresh summer corn, husks and silk removed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing on vegetables
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices, keeping the slices intact
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
3 Tbs. champagne vinegar
About 1 cup mixed herbs: basil, dill, chives, parsley, and tarragon
Cut kernels off the cobs—you’ll need 6½ cups. Use the back of a knife to scrape the cobs, which will produce the liquid known as “corn milk.” Combine the kernels and milk in a bowl, cover, and set aside.
Break the cobs in half. Combine them with the chopped onion, leek, celery, two of the sprigs of thyme, and one of the bay leaves in a medium pot and barely cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low. Once the corn stock has reduced to a simmer, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain.
Put the sliced butter in a heavy Dutch oven or large saucepan and heat it over low-medium heat until melted. Add the corn kernels, corn milk, minced sweet onion, five remaining sprigs of thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn kernels are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add 1½ cups of corn stock and the two remaining bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. You don’t want to reduce the liquid. Stir in the cream. Working in small batches, carefully puree mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Place eggs and flour in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Slowly pour about half of the corn mixture into the egg mixture, whisking the whole time. Whisk in the rest of the corn mixture. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if desired. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush eight foil ramekins with melted butter. Divide the chilled corn mixture between them, using about six ounces for each. Place the ramekins in a baking pan, place the pan in the oven, and pour in enough hot water to fill halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Lay a piece of foil or a baking sheet on top to cover.
Bake the corn pudding for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan back to front and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove the cover and check for doneness. The puddings should wiggle but be set. If not set, continue baking, covered, in five-minute increments until set. Carefully unmold and serve with corn relish.
Prepare a grill or broiler at medium-high heat. Brush a tiny amount of olive oil onto the corn and the onion slices. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Cook them until lightly charred and tender. The time will be dependent on the heat so keep a close eye on them. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes per side. Allow to cool.
Mince the onion. Cut the corn off of the cob. Combine the corn, onion, tomatoes, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and the vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if desired.
Right before serving, roughly tear or snip the herbs and stir them into the relish.
PRO TIP: “Using foil ramekins (similar to foil pie tins) makes it possible to unmold the puddings. If you want to use ceramic ramekins, you should serve the puddings in the ramekins as they would be difficult to turn out. Alternatively, you could make one large corn pudding that you would not unmold. Use a two-quart baking dish and fill it three quarters of the way full. Bake in a water bath as instructed. The baking time would increase by five to 10 minutes.”
4 Cannon St.