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Nantucket Corn Pudding

Nantucket Corn Pudding is a dish that was commonly served in colonial New England, and yet you still see it around Thanksgiving tables today. While it has changed a bit throughout the years – in the 17th century it was more of a porridge made with ground corn and usually referred to as Hasty Pudding – it’s still a classic and comforting side dish that’s totally delicious.

This version of corn pudding is milky and sweet with a buttered oyster cracker topping that’s hard to resist. There’s just enough cheesiness to contrast the corn and it’s all at once crunchy and soft and comforting. And it just so happens it’s incredibly easy to make!

You just mix together some drained canned corn (or fresh, if you wish!), eggs, and half-and-half with a bit of cheddar and pour it into a baking dish.

It gets topped with a mixture of crushed oyster crackers and melted butter, and a little more cheddar cheese. Why I haven’t been topping baked dishes with oyster cracker crumbs long before this, I don’t know. They make for a seriously excellent crunchy topping.

It bakes for about forty-five minutes and it sets up into something that holds together but is still a little jiggly and utterly creamy and sweet and savory.

It often seems that the dishes we love most have a long history behind them, and this corn pudding proves that point. It’s a classic that has carried on in our food tradition for more than two hundred years. That’s pretty amazing, but with a dish this sweet, creamy, and delicious, it’s easy to see how it persevered.

Nantucket Corn Pudding

1 hour to prepare serves 6

Ingredients

  • 5 cups canned corn, drained
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup oyster crackers, crushed and divided
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated and divided

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, half-and-half, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the corn and 1 cup of the cheddar. Transfer to baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the crushed crackers with the melted butter.
  4. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top of the corn, then sprinkle with cracker crumb mixture.
  5. Bake until top is golden brown and center is slightly jiggly, 45-50 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from A Family Feast.

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