Sunday Supper Fresh, Sweet Corn Pudding Recipe – A Visit to the Beaumont Inn
I was born just south of the original Mason-Dixon line. Or at least, that’s what the historical marker along I-71 on the way to Columbus, Ohio says. Maybe that ‘s why I’m drawn to a style of cooking that I’ve tasted since I was very young based on fresh, local ingredients. Cooks from Southwestern Ohio, Southeastern Indiana, and Northern Kentucky had many of the same influences. It was, like all of the regions of our country, a melting pot. I’m proud to reflect those influences in what I cook.
My Aunt Mary was from Southeastern Indiana, but she taught me a style of cooking that you might think was more suited to the South. Lots of fresh veggies from her garden, paired with meat that she and Uncle Jack bought directly from the farmer and stored in their large chest freezers. All fresh, all local. Were they way ahead of their time, or just keeping with their roots?
Most of the time she slow simmered her veggies with smoked meat, for a deeply flavored dish that flash cooking can’t produce. The vegetables were not crisp, but didn’t need to be. They were laced with smoky, rich flavor. Or, she’d mix a fresh vegetable with dairy and slow bake till it reached a golden goodness. I’m thinking about her corn pudding. Straight from the garden to the oven with a run through the dairy barn.
She didn’t raise corn, but she’d instruct Uncle Jack to stop at the local farm stand where she would inspect every ear and pick 13 of the best for a “baker’s dozen.” I always smiled that the farmers were “bakers” as well. When I was young this fact was very confusing. I can still find farmers at my market that sell a “dozen” the same way today.
So, even though you might think that corn pudding is a Southern dish, it felt right at home in Aunt Mary’s kitchen. Which brings me to the Beaumont Inn.
The Beaumont Inn is located in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. It is one of my favorite places on Earth. Not because it’s set among the lush, rolling hills of Kentucky bluegrass, dotted with horse farms, antebellum mansions and famous bourbon distilleries. No, those are the perks that come with the trip. Why I really love it is because it takes me back to Aunt Mary’s table. Savory meat, vegetables fresh from the garden, topped off with the most decadent of desserts.
The Beaumont Inn got its start as Greenville Springs Spa in 1806. It became Beaumont College in 1895 and since 1917, five generations of the Dedman family have been gracious hosts to visitors. Beaumont Inn reaches out and shakes your hand and invites you in with Southern hospitality. It has been my retreat for a very long time. I walk through the heavy, tall door and feel the weight of Victorian opulence. The warm and inviting parlors, the “Cleopatra” clock, pictures of Civil War generals and pretty girls in period dresses.
I travel back in time when I’m there and as I walk into the dining room, I step right into my Aunt Mary’s kitchen. Although, even Aunt Mary didn’t make fried chicken this good! I’ve eaten a lot of fried chicken in my day, and theirs is the best, bar none. The crispy, golden skin is not heart healthy and it doesn’t make apologies for that. Since I only indulge about once a year, I don’t feel the least bit of guilt…well, maybe I feel a tiny bit guilty when I dive into in their Robert E. Lee cake with ice cream for dessert.
They are also famous for their corn pudding. Which reminded me of this heirloom recipe from my family. My version starts with lots of freshly creamed corn, not corn kernels, I’ve actually never had any corn pudding quite like this one. This is not custard with a few corn kernels poking through. It’s lush with fresh, sweet corn and therefore it really can only be made with fresh, not frozen corn. This recipe was handed down through my family and now on to you to share with you family and friends for your next Sunday Supper.
Besides the fresh corn, the “secret” to this recipe is using a hand grater like this to grate the kernels from the cob. Then take a knife and scrap all of the milky goodness into the bowl. This grater is the same one that my aunt used and has been passed down to me. If you don’t have this type of grater, a box grater could be used. but it won’t be as easy.
This recipe uses 10 ears of corn, that’s another of the secrets. You can’t get this type of rich corn flavor with a couple of ears of corn.
Fresh, Sweet Corn Pudding Recipe
Yield: 6 - 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
Freshly picked corn from the garden to the oven with a run through the dairy barn. Golden and delicious!
10 ears fresh corn (either Silver Queen or Bi-Color), grated - This will render 2 cups grated corn
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 2 quart glass or ceramic baking dish.
In a medium bowl, grate the corn. Be sure to scrape down the husks with a knife to release all liquid from husks.
In a large bowl, whisk the milk and eggs together then whisk in flour salt and sugar. Finally whisk in melted butter.
Stir the creamed corn into the milk/egg mixture until well blended.
Pour into buttered baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or till pudding is firm and golden brown on top (see picture).