Edna Lewis's Corn Pudding Recipe (2024)



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I have assembled it, refrigerated it overnight, and baked it the next day very successfully.


About making it a day ahead: should I finish it the day before and then just re-heat it, or should I just put everything together and then bake it the next day?

Rohn Jay Miller

In Minnesota we make a Corn Soufflé. 50% more corn in the form of creamed corn. Double the eggs, add 1 cup of panko bread crumbs, and 1 tbsp of ground pepper, preferably white pepper. Skip the nutmeg and milk. Pour mix into a casserole, sprinkle bread crumbs in a thin crust. Dot 5-6 pats of butter. Cook for 75 minutes. Check that the middle is done using a toothpick--it shouldn't wiggle. If it does, cook for another 20 minutes. It's lighter, and has more corn flavor.



Frozen corn works fine in my experience.

Cat M

I see that some folks have struggled with this recipe (sweetness & set-up) so I'll share tips from my mom's housekeeper. Like Ruby herself, this method is reliably wonderful.-Use canned milk (yep!)-A Tbls of sugar is all you need-No nutmeg- a tiny bit of summer savory instead-Use half canned creamed corn plus fresh-Separate the eggs, beat whites til stiff and fold in last.-No need for a water bath- sets up just fine with a bit of a chewiness around the edges (kid favorite)


To remove corn from the cob without it's going all over the place, place a small bowl upside down in a big bowl and rest the cob on top of the small bowl.


I have made this three times and had to bake it at 400 degrees for an hour or more to have it properly set.

Jilli Robertson

Fresh sweet corn doesn't need the added sugar if preparing in summer.


I made this at Thanksgiving and again at Christmas this year. Both times I used fresh corn, but sautéed it in the butter, salt and pepper the day before then refrigerated it overnight. When I combined the day of for cooking, I was able to strain out any extra liquid that might make it runny and prevent setting. Also, used 2% milk, cooked at 400.

A. Garber

Used the recipe as a starting point and I'm recording my notes because it was perfect:(1) Misread the recipe and just melted the 3 tablespoons of butter in the 2 qt. dish;(2) Used 2 cups silver queen frozen corn;(3) Scant tablespoon sugar;(4) Scant tsp. salt;(5) 3 large eggs;(6)1 cup whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream;(7) Tiny pinch of nutmeg--less than 1/4 tsp.Baked at 360 for 50 min. without opening oven.Lovely delicate custard. Perfect.


Can I make this with canned or frozen corn? It would be great as a side dishing the winter.


Another note: our use 2% milk instead of whole milk, and I cut the butter back to 1 1/2 tablespoons. It's still fantastic.


Made this tonight because it looked SO good. Followed the directions to the letter, reviewed over and over again, all according to recipe. My first dollop of skepticism was when it said to "spoon" the mixture into a baking dish when it was total liquid. Poured it in, because who could spoon liquid? Baked for 50 minutes solid at 350. Put in a knife to test. COMPLETELY liquid, no setting, not even slightly. I will DEFINITELY choose another recipe next time. Nope.


After reading all the reviews and concerns about being too liquidy, I made this with 3 ears of corn, cut sugar down quite a bit, used half and half in place of whole milk and added about 3/4 cup corn bread mix. Cooked 50 minutes. It set perfectly and was rich and delicious. Next time I will use even less sugar, as the corn and cornbread mix were both pretty sweet. Served with chili.


This was very creamy and really delicious. I made a couple of adjustments - used a combination of thawed, drained frozen corn and a can of creamed corm, and used half milk and half heavy cream, and used about 1/2 C cornbread mix to thicken. I had to bake it for a total of 60 minutes.


Needed a lot more baking time. Watery even after the custard set.


This is very similar to my southern family’s recipe. We use evaporated milk, a few tablespoons of flour, and twice the butter melted in the baking dish. Skip the water bath. Don’t be afraid to overcook to get the chewy caramelized edges that transport me back to childhood at my Nana’s table.


To my taste there is far too little corn for the amount of milk and eggs. It came out like a bland milk pudding with some corn in it, rather than corn held together with just enough pudding.


I'm glad you began with "to my taste." You might have also added "and expectations."


Can be tricky to pour hot water around dish without getting water in dish. Finally found a quick trick. I use a small Dutch oven inside a large Dutch oven. Once ingredients are in small Dutch oven, put lid on and pour hot water right over the lid to fill sides. Then remove the lid to bake. I use Trader Joe’s frozen sweet corn. This dish is always a Family favorite.


Anyone have trouble with it setting up? I followed the recipe and instructions - even with the hot water bath, and it was not set up after 2 1/2 hrs. We were able to eat the top of it, but the rest was still liquid. Maybe it needs another egg and less milk. I put it back in the oven without the water bath while we ate dinner, and it was finally set.


Phenomenal. Followed advice below; sauteed fresh sweet corn in butter to get rid of liquid the night before, day of used 3 large eggs and 1.5 C whole milk at room temp. Baked at 400 ('cuz multitasking w/ oven). Set perfectly. I used no sugar but generous sprinkle of nutmeg. Cut corn as described in recipe, this is important so not whole kernels but some crushed. Very easy prep/low stress dish. The *best* dish I served at veg friendsgiving, people went back for seconds.


Oh, I have to add to my notes, I also totally skipped the bain marie. It was fine even at 400 degrees.

Patrick Conner

I half-and-half instead of milk. It makes it more creamy. Don’t shirk on scraping the cob after you cut the tops of the corn kernels off. That’s where the cream of the corn comes from Which is where all the real flavor is. Ears are smaller in most stores now than they were in counrty kitchens a few years ago. Four years should guarantee you the full amount you need for a recipe. Make sure you put your casserole or custard cups if you choose to use them in a second pan with water in it.


Good point re changes in corn - I used 6 ears of sweet corn (they were small to medium size) and no sugar. I think the corn today has more sugar and less starch. Anyway I think the sweet is more a regional taste in the mid-South; it's a matter of preference. In Texas we never ate sweet sides except sweet potatoes with marshmallows. I had never had this dish before so I don't know how it's supposed to taste, but I enjoyed it without sugar.


Excellent taste and texture. Also sprinkled after baking a few toasted breadcrumbs with parm. Yum.


I attempted to make this for Thanksgiving, and after baking for the amount of time in the instructions, the corn had thrown off so much water that it couldn’t be served. I let it sit and it continued to throw off water and had to be thrown out. Would love some suggestions about how best to avoid this.


We had this issue as well; I extended the baking time (almost 2 hours...) and while it tasted fine, it was very watery. If we were to try it again, I think I'd add cornmeal/flour/breadcrumbs or something to try to thicken it up? But im also interested in hearing what actually worked for people


I sauteed the corn in butter first to reduce the natural liquid in fresh corn (as suggested below). Then cooled overnight and next day mixed with milk/eggs and cooked. For six small ears of corn I used 3 eggs and 1.5 C milk.


5 ears corn4 eggs1 TBS sugar1/4 whole milk1 C panko bread crumbsbeat and fold in egg whitestop w/ 1/4 C panko bread crumbs and dot w/ butter350 deg 40 minutes

terre p

Rohn's suggestion of skipping the milk and sugar, doubling the eggs, and adding a cup of creamed corn + 1 c panko - JUST PERFECT. Added serrano and a dash of cayenne.


Made this tonight and after reading the notes and concerns about it setting up I used an extra egg, between 2 1/2-3 cups frozen corn, thawed and dried. And I threw in a tablespoon of cornmeal. It was delicious and set up perfectly after 50 or 60 minutes in a 350 oven. Will make again.


Needed to use up 3 eggs cracked in carton on way home. Used partially thawed frozen corn and only 1/4 cup chancaca unrefined sugar. At 45 mins was still liquid, needed 85 mins total, last 15 at 400. Served with goat cheese crumbles and smoked paprika. Delicious!

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Edna Lewis's Corn Pudding Recipe (2024)


What is the difference between creamed corn and corn pudding? ›

The main difference between the two is texture. Corn pudding has a gelatinous consistency similar to dessert pudding; the casserole is thicker and can hold its shape. Despite the textural difference between corn casserole and pudding, the ingredients are similar.

What is the difference between cornbread and corn pudding? ›

While cornbread has an almost cake-like texture, corn pudding is much lighter and has more of a soufflé texture. They both taste delicious, but you may find that corn pudding is even richer.

Why is my corn pudding watery? ›

If your corn pudding is runny, try adding a little extra cornstarch. If you don't have any cornstarch on hand, you can substitute it with flour or arrowroot powder. You'll need some type of thickening agent otherwise, your corn pudding will wind up watery.

How do you know when corn pudding is done? ›

Corn pudding should have a soft, soufflé-like texture. It should not be dry and firm like cornbread. When finished baking, it should be golden brown around the edges and slightly jiggly in the center. Test for doneness by inserting a knife into the center of the pudding—it should come out clean.

Which is better corn casserole or corn pudding? ›

Corn casserole and corn pudding are essentially the same thing. However, as the name suggests, corn pudding has a slightly looser texture than corn casserole. Corn casserole is like a moist and creamy version of cornbread, but it's still sturdy enough to hold its shape.

What do you eat with corn pudding? ›

There should be a perfect savory-sweet balance, with a buttery aftertaste. Good corn pudding is a brilliant complement to roast turkey, baked ham, and even roast beef! From Sommer Collier of A Spicy Perspective.

Why do Southerners not put sugar in cornbread? ›

The most common theory is a change in cornmeal itself. Until early in the 20th century, Southern cornmeal was made with sweeter white corn and it was water-ground. When industrial milling came along, that changed. The steel-roller mills used yellow corn that was harvested before it was ripe, so it had less sugar.

Why is corn pudding called pudding? ›

When English settlers started to embellish on the basic Indian recipe for corn pudding, they added eggs, milk, cream and butter. The dish began to resemble the more classic European notion of a custard, which the British call pudding. (The British call almost any dish that is baked or steamed a pudding.)

What is the difference between Yankee cornbread and Southern cornbread? ›

The thing that distinguishes Southern cornbread from, say Yankee cornbread, or any other cornbread one is likely to eat outside of the southern states, is that it is savory, not sweet, and it is made mostly with cornmeal.

Why won't my pudding get thick? ›

If you want to try to fix it, you can try dissolving a little bit of cornstarch in water and adding that in. Then try using a handheld or stand mixer to whip the pudding up until is starts to thicken. It will probably never set up completely, though, but it may help a little.

Does corn pudding reheat well? ›

It will jiggle slightly, but should not look soupy. Does corn pudding reheat well? Yes! I suggest reheating it in an oven set to about 250 degrees F for the best results.

Why is my pudding mushy? ›

Pudding is usually runny because it has been stored in the refrigerator for too long or in an open space. Another cause could be due to improper cooking methods. Well, for Elmer Lovers who are worried that the pudding will be runny, you should refer to the information on the tips below.

Can you overcook pudding? ›

Here's how to avoid one of the worst kitchen mishaps: overcooking. Egg-based puddings and custards can curdle if cooked beyond 185 degrees.

Can you leave corn pudding out overnight? ›

The simple answer is no. I don't recommend leaving your corn casserole out overnight. Room temperature is the stage where bacterial growth can occur, leading to food poisoning. To ensure the safety and quality of your corn casserole, proper storage is key.

What is a substitute for cream style corn? ›


Put all the corn + 1/3 of the liquid in the can + 1 tbsp flour into a bowl. Then blitz with hand blender (or use blender) until you can't see whole corn kernels anymore but there are still corn chunks (don't to puree). Use all of it in place of canned creamed corn in this recipe.

What is corn pudding made of? ›

Corn pudding is a creamy side made with stewed corn, butter, and milk. It often features a thickening agent, such as cornstarch, to make the dish extra decadent. Corn pudding originated in the American South and can be served all year long, but it's frequently associated with Thanksgiving.

What is the meaning of corn pudding? ›

Definitions of corn pudding. pudding made of corn and cream and egg. type of: pudding. any of various soft thick unsweetened baked dishes.

Why is it called corn pudding? ›

Corn pudding was most likely a simple Native American dish, created from a mixture of fresh sweet corn that was grated off of the cob, water, and the milky liquid that ran from the kernels as they were grated. As the ingredients baked, the starches from the corn thickened the mixture into a custard-like pudding.


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