Fresh Corn Spoon Bread Puff
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter eight 6-ounce ramekins or a 2-quart baking dish and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Slice the kernels off the cobs into a large bowl, and then scrape the cobs again using the other side of the knife to release the milk into the bowl. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. Pour in the corn, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and cook until the corn is tender, 4 minutes. Add the milk and heavy cream and heat until very warm over medium heat, about 170 degrees, almost a simmer.
Whisk together the cornmeal, sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the baking powder and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk the hot corn and milk mixture into the cornmeal until well combined and thick. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl, and then ladle 1 1/2 cups of the hot corn mixture into the yolks, 1/2 cup at a time, while whisking. Pour the egg mixture into the corn mixture.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft, glossy peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the corn mixture in three additions, and then spoon into the ramekins. Bake until golden and puffed, 30 minutes for the ramekins or 40 minutes for the baking dish. Serve immediately.
Cook's Note: Mixing a small amount of hot liquid into the eggs is called tempering. It keeps the yolks from curdling.