Bread puddings—such as whiskey, chocolate, and berry—warmed and topped with whipped cream, are one of my favorite desserts. Lately, I've started to explore all the wonderful varieties of savory bread puddings flavored with sharp cheeses, eggs, onions, and vegetables. Today's Cook the Book recipe, excerpted from Olives & Oranges, is for a rustic, robust Roasted Corn and Brioche Pudding.
Chef and author Sara Jenkins prepares the corn in two ways to deepen the flavors and add complexity to the final dish. Half is pureed with cream; the rest is fried to a toasty crisp in olive oil. The pudding makes a lovely appetizer on its own, but you could also pair it with a bitter green salad for lunch, or a hearty pork chop for dinner.
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- 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; 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.