This dandy corn pudding comes from Mildred “Brownie” Schrumpf’s compilation cookbook, “Memories from Brownie’s Kitchen.” Brownie Schrumpf was my food column predecessor at this paper from 1951 to 1994, and I always think of her and her work when I observe the anniversary of Taste Buds, which is now 16 years old. I like to honor her by finding in one of her cookbooks a recipe that I think you’ll enjoy .
Brownie, whom some of you Taste Buds readers knew personally or whose writing you recall, wrote a recipe column weekly for years and years. Four decades plus three years, in all! An amazing output. Comparatively Marjorie Standish at Portland’s Maine Sunday Telegram only wrote 25 years, still an incredibly impressive run. Both of them left in their wake recipes that Maine cooks, you and I, still use. I know this because you have sent me their recipes, attesting to their continued value.
It might be that this corn pudding appealed to your family; a scrap of yellowing newspaper tucked in a kitchen drawer might provide proof. Or maybe you make this, learned from your mother or grandmother, without knowing its source. If not, here it is again, because it is so tasty and so easy to make.
The first ingredient line called for “1 package of frozen corn, or 1 ½ to 2 cups canned.” That caught my eye because I have several frozen packages of corn grown in my garden and cut off the cob in my kitchen. And though a modern package of commercial corn might contain more or less than one and a half or two cups of corn, Brownie gives us an amount measured by the cup so we know how much we need. All the rest of the ingredients are pantry supplies. Just heave the whole bunch into a blender, hit the button, and when it looks like a lumpy batter, pour it into a casserole, add a little grated cheese, and bake it. That’s it.
I pretty much followed Brownie’s recipe. Well, except I halved the sugar, and would’ve used half-and-half cream if I’d had it, and used butter instead of margarine. Members of my household observed how intensely corny-flavored it was, even more so than plain cooked corn. You could embellish this with a little onion, red bell pepper, a little garlic if you like it, a sprinkle of cumin or chili powder for heat, or dill, chives and parsley, or even a splash of hot sauce. Just toss those into the blender, too. You could use a seasoned cheese, like pepper jack. I don’t think Brownie would mind a bit if you tinkered with her recipe.
Brownie Schrumpf’s Blender Corn Pudding
1 ½-2 cups frozen or canned corn
1 cup light cream or milk, or half-and-half
1 tablespoon to ¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup grated cheese
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a one quart casserole.
Blend the corn, eggs, milk or cream, salt, and butter in a blender or food processor until you see a lumpy batter.
Pour into the casserole and sprinkle the cheese over the top, allowing it to sink in.
Bake for an hour to an hour and a quarter, until it is puffed and golden and the center is set.
Serves four to six.