My husband brought home corn last weekend from the market that was so sweet it just begged to be made into a dessert. But, that was not quite what he had in mind for this batch so we grilled it, peeled it, a small squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of salt. The lime brings out the sweetness even more. The following day I was back at the market and got more of the sweet corn and some early season plums that I suspected would be a bit tart. I figured the tart plums and the milky, honey like corn would be great companions.
Right away I knew that the corn would be turned to ice cream, with just a touch of vanilla and nothing more to distract from the delicate flavor. I baked the plums in a pound cake recipe that includes a touch of cornmeal. Not too much or it would be dense, but enough to give a hint of corn flavor and a nice texture. I left the skins on the plums because they were too gorgeous to remove and once they baked the skins were perfectly soft. We are weeks, if not months away from having these grow locally, but our neighbors to the south are kind enough to ship us their crops until then!
Sweet-Corn Ice Cream by Claudia Fleming’s book The Last Course:
4 ears fresh, sweet corn, shucked
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean
3/4 cup sugar
9 egg yolks
Cornmeal Pound Cake from The Last Course:
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup coarse cornmeal
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 small plums, cut in half and pit removed
sugar for sprinkling top of the cupcakes
preheat oven to 350 degrees
prepare 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners
Cream together butter and sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and incorporate each well before adding the next. Add the milk and vanilla.
In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add half to the butter mixture and beat to combine. Add second batch of flour and combine well.
Scoop into muffin tins so that it comes half way up the cupcake liner. Place half plum skin side down into the batter. Make sure that it is pushed into the batter, but not submerged completely.
Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the edges of the cupcakes are golden brown.
To make ice cream, should be made a day ahead:
With a sharp knife slice the kernels off the corncobs. Cut the cobs in thirds.
Place the kernels, cobs, cream, milk, vanilla and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a sauce pan. Cook on a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat, remove cobs and vanilla,
then use an immersion Blender to puree the corn. allow to sit for about an hour.
Once the corn mixture has infused reheat it to a gentle simmer. Whisk the yolks and remaining sugar in a small bowl. Add a small portion of the hot corn/cream to the egg yolks and whisk. Keep adding the hot cream until the yolks are warm to the touch.
Add the yolk mixture back into the saucepan and stir with a spoon or spatula until it is thickened slightly and
Coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and strain the custard through a strainer into an ice bath. Allow the ice cream custard to cool completely over the ice. Transfer the custard to a container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Then freeze in an Ice Cream Maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Read my tips on getting a smooth silky texture from my post on coffee ice cream.
Allow the ice cream to temper (soften) for several moments and then serve with the plum pound cake cupcakes.
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