Yes, summer is slowly on its way out and before too long it will be squashes and root vegetables that you’ll see piled high at the farmers’ market. Luckily the fresh corn hangs on almost until Thanksgiving here in southern California and hopefully you still have access to it in your area.
I was thumbing through a book I found at the bottom of a rather large pile of cookbooks in my hallway when I came upon this recipe. Olives & Oranges by Sara Jenkins (daughter of noted cookbook author Nancy Harmon Jenkins) offers a great mix of Mediterranean inspired dishes. I was immediately taken in by the word brioche in the title and as soon as I read the list of ingredients I was in. I dare say that this is more of an American inspired dish and think it would be the perfect side dish to a roasted chicken or pork loin.
I did not have time to whip up a loaf of brioche and couldn’t find any locally so I substituted challah (a bread also made with eggs) and it worked well. What I love about a bread pudding, be it sweet or savory like this one, is that you can make it ahead of time, pop it into the fridge and bake it off later. Just make sure you take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before baking it off.
Roasted Corn & Brioche Pudding
4 ounces brioche, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2-3 ears of corn)
1 cup heavy cream
Fine sea salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh summer savory or thyme
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Coarsely ground black pepper
Place brioche in a large bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup corn kernels, cream and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree cream mixture in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool. In another medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, egg yolks, and savory.
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter has melted. Add remaining 1 cup corn kernels and a pinch of salt, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until kernels are golden and tender (they will pop a bit), 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add to cream mixture. Let cool.
Add cooled cream mixture to egg mixture, whisking to combine. Pour mixture over bread and toss to combine. Let bread sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Fold cheese and pepper to taste into bread mixture, and pour into a 2-quart baking dish. Bake until set, about 30 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
***Getting back to my love for Italy and all things Italian don’t forget to check out my upcoming trip:
Spring In Tuscany-Cook, Eat, Shop & Laugh With Panini Girl in Lucca