Plum Cupcakes with Sweet-Corn Ice Cream!

Plum cupcakes recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

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, and added 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 for a plum cupcake recipe.

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.

Plum cupcakes in baking pan | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

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:

Removing corn kernels from cob with knife | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

With a sharp knife slice the kernels off the corncobs. Cut the cobs in thirds.

Simmering corn kernels and cobs in milk mixture | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

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,

Pureeing corn for ice cream recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

then use an immersion Blender to puree the corn. allow to sit for about an hour.

Whisking egg yolks into sweet corn ice cream base | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

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.

Whisking egg yolks into sweet corn ice cream base | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add the yolk mixture back into the saucepan and stir with a spoon or spatula until it is thickened slightly and

Sweet corn ice cream base Whisking egg yolks into sweet corn ice cream base | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Coats the back of a spoon.

Straining sweet corn custard for ice cream Whisking egg yolks into sweet corn ice cream base | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

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.

Plum cupcake with sweet corn ice cream | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Allow the ice cream to temper (soften) for several moments and then serve with the plum pound cake cupcakes.

I just did a post on our newly designed announcing our new cookbook Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients.

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31 thoughts to “Plum Cupcakes with Sweet-Corn Ice Cream!”

  1. Hi zoe
    im so glad that you posted a recipe for tart plums
    My tree is bursting with tart plums
    I canned a bunch of plum pie filling and made some plum jam and didnt know what else to do with them


  2. Wow, with those heart-shaped plums, you really seem to be cooking up love in your kitchen. Beautiful.

  3. Hi Karen,

    Yes, they aren’t local here either, but they are so very tasty! Here in MN we are used to having to have much of our fruits from neighboring lands! 🙂


  4. Wow do those plum cakes look fabulous! We haven’t had good plums yet, but I’ll be saving and trying this recipe.

    And corn ice cream? Truly curious and interesting!

  5. What a tasty combination! The corn has been incredibly sweet and good up here in Maine so far and I definitely want to make a dessert or two from it.

  6. Guess great minds think alike-I have a post about plums this week too. Mine uses Jasmine ice cream on the side.
    Am not familiar with corn ice cream but certainly am willing to give it a try! Yummy photos!

  7. Very creative ice cream. I can almost picture it. Will have to try this sometime to experience it for myself.

    The cupcakes look wonderful as well, they almost look like little hearts.

  8. I found your website while browsing food blogs and bought your book last week. Just posted some photos of a couple of breads that I have made already. Wonderful. I love your blog and this new recipe looks amazing. Here in California, plums are starting to come into season and this is a fabulous looking dessert for this time of year. Thank you!!

  9. This is a flavor combination I’d never have considered but it looks wonderful! I love the way the plums look almost like little round hearts on the cupcakes… corn ice cream sounds amazing and I’ll have to try it.

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