Photos by Donna
I posted this photo last September and was going to repost the actual post shouting the joys of baked buttered corn, but deleted it by mistake! But I thought of it because after the sadness of finding a squash in my CSA, the changing of corn for tiny tender and sweet, to fat and starchy, is yet another sign of summer’s passing.
A way to bring some happiness to the end of summer is to take that corn and simply bake it with butter. It’s fabulous. The starchy corn juices create a virtual custard and the long high heat transforms the flavors in a way that a quick boiling of the corn can’t.
I use the Lee Wooden Corn Cutter, above. It goes against my advice to rid your kitchen of unitaskers—it’s quaint, goofy, and really works. I use it a few times a year, but I love it. If you don’t have one, I’m sure a box grated and a knife would work fine.
I use a mixture of cut corn and juices and whole corn cut from the cob at about a 3 or 4:1 ratio. (Don’t forget to use your cobs to make corn stock–it’s fabulous base for soups!)
Put the corn in a backing dish or Dutch oven (choose a vessel that will give you about a 3-inch depth), add some chunks of butter (the above dishes have about an ounce apiece, salt and pepper, and bake in a 400 degree oven until it’s bubbling hot and golden brown crust has begun to form, about 45 minutes (you can dry them out, so don’t over bake).
Really delicious, really easy, the best way to use corn has it heads out of season.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Corn is my favorite time of year.