Creamed Corn Casserole with Cornbread Crust
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Two 16-ounce bags frozen corn, thawed
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Special equipment: a 2-quart baking dish, preferably oval
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart oval baking dish; set aside.
For the creamed corn: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and cream, stir together and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces in volume and bubbles rapidly, about 15 minutes. Transfer 2 cups of the corn mixture to a food processor, puree it until smooth, then stir it back into the skillet. Transfer the creamed corn to the prepared baking dish; set aside. Clean the food processor bowl.
For the cornbread topping: Put the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a food processor, and pulse to combine. Add the cold butter, and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Add 3/4 cup of the heavy cream, and pulse until the batter just comes together.
To assemble: Sprinkle the cornmeal batter over the creamed corn. (Don't worry if the corn isn't completely covered; the batter will puff and spread as it bakes.) Brush the batter with the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream, and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake until the corn is bubbling and the crust is puffed and a deep golden brown, about 35 minutes.
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