Blissful Corn Torte
Is this a bread? A pudding? A soufflé? Falling somewhere between corn soufflé and corn bread, this torte is made with a buttery batter of rice flour studded with the crunch of roughly pureed corn kernels. It’s too good to be simply a side dish. I sometimes serve it topped with Creamy Poblano Rajas as is usual in Mexico. I always secretly hope for leftovers, so I can enjoy a square with confectioners’ sugar and fresh berries for breakfast. It’s no surprise that it’s great before services or after the fast, too.
- ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the baking dish
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 8 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- ¾ cup rice flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
- Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling (optional)
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-x-13-inch baking dish.
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl on high speed until creamy. Add the granulated sugar and beat until thoroughly mixed and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg yolks one by one, beating until they are well incorporated.
- In a small bowl, combine the rice flour and baking powder. Add a bit of the dry ingredients and then a bit of the heavy cream alternately to the butter mixture, continuing until you’ve added them all, beating until well mixed.
- In a blender or food processor, pulse the corn kernels with the milk until roughly pureed. Add to the butter mixture and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. If using a stand mixer, pour the butter-corn mixture into a large bowl.
- In another large bowl beat the egg whites and salt with clean beaters until stiff peaks form. Gently fold one fifth of the beaten egg whites into the butter-corn mixture until blended. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites, taking care not to deflate them. It’s OK if the batter looks streaky.
- Pour the batter into the baking dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the torte is springy to the touch and lightly browned. Cool slightly.
- The torte can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. Serve cut into squares. Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on top if you like (I always do).
- Reprinted with permission from Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Cooking by Pati Jinich (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2013). Photo by Penny de los Santos.