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Thursday, August 23, 2012


I have a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with a chronic condition that introduced a number of dietary restrictions, which excluded, among other things, dairy, soy and gluten. And my experience is that people newly enforced in a dairy free regimen miss the creamy mouthfeel that comes from using dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese - so much so that there's a plethora of products outright imitating these items.

I came up with a simple recipe that leverages the beautiful creamy mouthfeel of hydrated corn starch; truth be told, this can be served as either dessert or side dish. I made these in individual cups as the former. 

Creamy corn and coconut pudding 
As sweet corn is in season, I roasted up a couple of ears of corn. This is done by simply putting the corn, husks and all, into a hot oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool a bit, and remove the husk and silk. Cut the kernels off the cob, and "milk" the remainder of the cob. Put these in a blender with a can of coconut milk (use the good stuff from Thailand - I've had some bad luck with cheap brands), and process until liquified. Pass through a strainer into a pot. You'll need to work on this a bit, but it'll be worth it. 

Simmer in low heat until it thickens up. The natural corn starch should do it, but just in case, you can add a little bit of corn starch slurry to firm up the texture. It'll come out thicker than creme anglaise. Adjust the sweetness (I like using palm sugar), and a bit of salt. Pour into individual cups, and refrigerate overnight. Sprinkle on a few leaves of thyme before service. 

Hypothetically, one could leverage frozen sweet corn for this purpose, or spice it up a bit with tarragon or star anise. I've read that nutmeg would be a good complement; experiments for the future. 

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