One of my favorite summahtime memories was in college. I got a job on a film set in Maryland for a few days and instead of flying, which they offered, I took it as an opportunity to go on a solo road-trip through the south.
It wasn’t too far, actually, maybe six or seven hours. And instead of opting for highway only, I went for the route that took me on a lot of one lane roads, running straight through a bunch of small towns in North Carolina and Virginia.
I packed a large sweet tea, made a super long mix-CD and filled up my Jetta.
Nothing crazy happened. I stopped off at a diner, had hoecakes and ate Western North Carolina BBQ. At dusk, fireflies helped light up the roads. I listened to music my parents did. But mostly I remember thinking that everyone seemed so happy and normal and maybe this whole idea of moving to Los Angeles to work in the film industry, which is inherently sort of abnormal, was maybe flawed. Maybe they had it right and I had it all wrong.
I love sweet corn ice cream. Have you had it before? It’s sweet…and corn-y tasting. I’m at a bit of loss for descriptor words, forgive me. But you know what I mean! Almost like sweet creamed corn but with the texture of ice cream.
This is very similar, except that the texture is like a really good creme brûlée. When I worked my first restaurant job, we had a really bad creme brûlée on the menu; I didn’t care because my job was to dust the tops with sugar and burn the sugar with a blow torch. I was totally content with my small little job! I found it fun and satisfying.
If you make this recipe, try and find the most beautiful corn you can find. I found this super fragrant and sweet bi-colored corn at the market and was impressed with how flavorful it was. It’s necessary for the step of infusing the cream with corn and the chopped up chunks of cob.
The cream and corn hang out together for 30 minutes or so. I recommend giving it a taste and letting it steep some more if you think it needs it.
And then it’s pretty much just like normal creme brûlée. Cream is heated and tempered with egg yolks so no scrambled eggs occur. There’s a division of the custard and then it’s all baked in a water bath for 30 minutes or so.
In another world, I’m a southern grandmother who’d love nothing more than to invite you into my rambling old house, offering sweet tea and using the persuasion of pie as a way to force you into listening to the stories of my youth. I’m probably dressed in a mumu, a floral mumu, and my house shoes are actually cute. And let’s be honest, I probably don’t have a corgi, but instead some sort of mangy, one-eyed lapdog. He’s cute.
If I did a good job and talked you into staying for dinner, there’d be some sort of salad with buttermilk ranch dressing and my absolute favorite…spoon bread. I love traditional-straight-up-no-twist spoon bread. It’s fluffy and custardy and if you make it at the right season (read: late summer), it’s sweet and rich. I love the addition of cheddar cheese and charred corn. But my absolute favorite is the sweet corn-spiked milk that is the base of this recipe. It makes it delicious. I mean, it’s practically drinkable.
If I did my job, you’ll want to make this dish in a mumu with rollers in your hair. I support this. Here’s the link on PBS Food.