I met Liz Wade my first semester of my freshman year at NYU. It was Prose Composition, a class all freshman in our program were required to take, and Liz and I ended up in the same section. I don’t remember how we started talking, but Liz became my first official friend at NYU, a friendship I am a grateful has continued to this day. Days, weeks, even months can go by without us seeing or talking to one another, but when we inevitably do get together, we always pick up right where we left off. My mother always told me this was a sign of true friendship. I wholeheartedly agree.
When Liz and I do hang out, it almost always involves food. In fact, I’ve had some of my best dining experiences with her. She’s also really good about sharing recipes she’s discovered and thinks I might like. (I made Mark Bittman’s asparagus pesto over the summer after she forwarded me the recipe). We had met for lunch or dinner around this time last year, no doubt at some hidden gem one of us had uncovered, when we started talking about what we were making for Thanksgiving. That’s when Liz told me about a recipe for corn pudding she had gotten from her boyfriend’s aunt. She debuted the pudding at a party and was astounded at how quickly it was gobbled up. It was that good. I trust Liz’s opinion so I decided to make corn pudding as a side to my Thanksgiving dinner last year and it did not disappoint. Butter and sour cream rarely do.
As I pondered my Thanksgiving menu for this year, I knew I wanted to include corn pudding. But when I took a look at the recipe, I realized I had some tinkering to do. First, it calls for creamed corn, which always grosses me out when it emerges as a gelatinous blob from its can. I decided that if Whole Foods carried an organic version, I would buy it, though I wasn’t surprised when I couldn’t find it on their shelves. Their website, however, had a recipe for creamed corn which was rather simple, so I decided to try that.
The other ingredient that gave me pause was Jiffy Muffin Mix. I try not to eat pre-made mixes (especially ones that contain hydrogenated lard in them) so I needed to figure out a substitute. Luckily, someone out there had already done this for me, and I was able to find an all-natural recipe on Chow.com for a muffin mix that would mimic the taste of Jiffy. It was time to make the corn pudding.
The top browned a little too quickly, probably because I made it in my toaster oven, which I use for smaller items because it has a much more accurate temperature than my oven. When the “pudding” emerges it will look like cornbread. However, once you scoop it out, the inside should be moist, almost like bread pudding.
This is a fantastic side for Thanksgiving. Making the creamed corn and muffin mix from scratch does not take long at all and it makes the flavor so much better. Also, I used mainly organic ingredients, so try to do the same wherever possible. I halved the original recipe because I didn’t want a vat of this highly addictive pudding in my refrigerator all week, but if you’re making it for Turkey Day and have a big crowd, double the recipe below and bake it in a 13×9 inch pan.
First, I made the creamed corn:
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow corn meal (I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Corn Meal)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used canola)
Combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Add oil and mix until the dry mixture is smooth and all lumps are gone.
With both the creamed corn and muffin mixture made, I was ready to proceed with the rest of the recipe. Thanks Lizzie!
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
Creamed corn mixture, which is equivalent to one 15 ounce can of creamed corn
Corn muffin mixture, which is equivalent to one 8.5 ounce box of Jiffy Muffin Mix
1 1/2 cups light sour cream
1 stick of butter, melted
Combine all ingredients in an 8×8 glass baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. If you are doubling the batch you may need to bake for 55-60 minutes. The top should be lightly brown and set, like cornbread.