Start a new beloved family tradition with this Corn Pudding recipe for holidays, gatherings and potlucks! It’s one of the EASIEST, make-ahead friendly, side dishes with zero stove-time. This perfectly textured custard-like corn pudding casserole is rich, creamy, buttery, with sweet pops of fresh and cream-style corn boasting adept seasoning and customizable sweetness. Prepare to fall in love!
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The main difference between cornbread and corn pudding is their texture and flavor. Cornbread is a baked quick bread with a firmer, crumbly texture and a mildly sweet, savory taste, often served in slices or squares as a side dish.
Corn pudding, on the other hand, is a baked custard casserole with a creamy, custard-like texture, featuring corn kernels, eggs, and heavy cream. Corn pudding can be sweet or savory, making it suitable as a side dish or a dessert, depending on the recipe.
Yes, corn pudding is intended to have a slight jiggle when properly baked because it means it’s perfectly set with a rich, creamy, custard texture, and is not overbaked. If the corn pudding is baked until it’s completely firm, it can become dry and lose its custard-like creaminess.
Corn pudding should be covered tightly and refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Corn pudding’s origin can be traced back to the 17th century in the United States when settlers encountered corn. Corn pudding is thought to have evolved from the British hasty pudding, traditionally made with wheat flour, milk, and sugar. The early version, known as Indian pudding, was a hearty dish that could serve as both a side dish or a meal on its own. Over time, it transitioned into the sweet pudding we now recognize today. Its enduring popularity and adaptations in the South are rooted in its compatibility with Southern comfort food and the region’s rich culinary traditions.
Corn pudding should be cooked at 350°F (175°C) for even and consistent heat distribution, ensuring that the pudding bakes uniformly. This temperature allows the custard-like texture to develop, with the interior setting perfectly without becoming overcooked or underdone. Additionally, 350°F strikes a balance between gentle browning on the top and preventing excessive crisping.
Corn pudding is creamy, smooth, and custard-like. It boasts a soft and velvety consistency, with a slight firmness to hold its shape but still maintaining a creamy interior. Above all, it features the natural sweet corn flavor, with a pleasant textural contrast, enhanced by sugar, complemented by the creaminess of cream, the richness of butter, and the depth of flavor from eggs.
Corn pudding is called “pudding” because of its custard-like texture. In culinary terms, “pudding” often refers to dishes that have a soft, creamy, or custardy consistency. Corn pudding fits this description, as it has a smooth, velvety texture due to the combination of corn kernels, eggs, milk or cream, and other ingredients. While many people associate the term “pudding” with sweet desserts, it can also refer to savory dishes like corn pudding (which can be sweet or savory), which share the common element of a soft and creamy interior texture.
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- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 4 ears fresh corn, husked or 2 (15.25 oz.) cans whole kernel corn, drained
- 2 14.75 oz cans cream-style corn
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish/3 qt. casserole dish with softened butter; set aside.
- Bake, uncovered, for 45-60 minutes, until the internal temperature registers 175-180 degrees F on an instant read thermometer (don't overbake or it won't be as creamy). The center should be set but still jiggle when the pan is gently shaken, similar to custard (see video). (Corn pudding should have a soft, custard-like texture and not dry or firm like cornbread.)
- Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Best served warm.
- Make ahead: Add all the ingredients to the buttered baking dish, cover, and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. When ready to bake, let it rest on the counter for 60 minutes, then proceed to bake according to recipe directions.
- Storage: Allow the corn pudding to cool to room temperature before covering tightly or transferring to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, cover with foil, and reheat in the oven at 325 degrees F for 20-30 minutes, until warmed through, or use a microwave for smaller servings.
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