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!
So I'll have to write it again. I thought of this post and this dish because, having endured the sadness of finding a squash in my CSA, I'm realizing the changing of corn from tiny, tender and sweet, to fat and starchy, is yet another bittersweet sign of summer's passing.
A way to bring some happiness to the end of summer is to take this 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 starchy 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, and I love it. If you don't have one, I'm sure a box grater and a knife would work fine, or just a knife for that matter.
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!). So four ears of corn grated, and the whole kernels from one ear.
Put the corn in a baking 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 a golden brown crust has begun to form, about 45 minutes (you can dry them out, so don't over bake). For variation, add cayenne and season at the end with lime juice.
Really delicious, really easy, the best way to use corn as it heads out of season.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Corn is my favorite time of year.