“When we were growing up, corn was always simple for us,” says Edouardo Jordan, the St. Petersburg, Florida–raised chef behind Seattle’s Salare and JuneBaby restaurants. “When we were making barbecue, we’d pull out the silk and throw the ears on the grate. For fish boils, we’d add them to the pot and let them pick up all the flavors while they cooked.” A few years ago, though, Jordan was forced to think creatively. Far from home, he had overordered sweet corn in a fit of nostalgia. “We had some things figured out on the savory side,” he says, “but I took some corn to our pastry team, too, to see what they could do with it.” Together, they came up with a corn custard that captured the flavors of Jordan’s childhood memories in a ramekin. “It’s a corn bomb,” he says. “Guests go crazy over it.” If you have a kitchen torch, you can sprinkle a teaspoon or two of sugar on top and make the dish into a corn crème brûlée. Either way, top it off with a spoonful of fresh berries.
Corn Pots de Crème
A sweet finish for any summer supper
photo: Peter Frank Edwards
1 qt. heavy cream
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 vanilla bean, split
3 ears of corn, kernels removed and cobs reserved
10 egg yolks
2 cups blueberries or blackberries
Preheat oven to 325ºF.
Place cream, 1 cup sugar, salt, vanilla bean, corn kernels, and cobs in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Scald the cream mixture until hot but not boiling (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and steep for 20 minutes.
Whisk egg yolks until well blended. Set aside. Place berries and 2 tbsp. sugar in a bowl, toss to coat, and set aside to macerate.
Remove vanilla bean and cobs (discard), and puree cream mixture using an immersion blender or by ladling mixture into a blender in batches. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, return to saucepan, and cook over low heat until simmering. Temper egg yolks—slowly whisk in 1 cup of the warm cream—then combine the two liquids, whisking to blend.
Place eight 6- to 8-oz. ramekins in a roasting pan and divide custard base evenly among them. Carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake for 30–40 minutes until custard is set but still jiggly in
Remove pan from oven, uncover, and let custards cool for 10–15 minutes. Remove from water and cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing plastic onto surface of each custard to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours). To serve, top each custard with a spoonful of berries.
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