Scalloped corn is pure Americana. Enjoyed as old-fashioned comfort food throughout the United States, it’s often attributed to New England, where any number of other ingredients are scalloped, like potatoes, oysters, clams and tomatoes. Cooks differ over whether to use heavy cream, condensed milk or white sauce, but nearly all agree buttered cracker crumbs or bread crumbs are essential for the topping. If you like, scalloped corn can be prepared several hours ahead of serving and reheated.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk or half-and-half
- Salt and pepper
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
- Kernels from 6 ears fresh corn (about 3 cups)
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup crushed oyster crackers or soda crackers
- Heat oven to 375 degrees and position a rack in the middle. Use 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 9-inch square or round baking dish.
- Make the white sauce: Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook mixture for about 1 minute, until sizzling but not browned. Add milk 1/2 cup at a time, whisking well to keep sauce lump-free as it thickens. Raise heat and bring sauce to a simmer, then turn heat to low and cook, whisking occasionally, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Taste and adjust seasoning and set aside.
- Put 2 tablespoons butter in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add corn kernels, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes more, until corn is heated through. Turn off heat.
- Add white sauce to corn mixture and combine well, using a spatula or wooden spoon. Add beaten egg and stir well. Transfer skillet’s contents to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top.
- Sprinkle with cracker crumbs and dot surface with 2 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces. Bake on middle rack for 30 minutes or until bubbling and nicely browned. Serve piping hot.
Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)
304 calories; 25 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 7 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 14 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 5 grams sugars; 4 grams protein; 97 milligrams cholesterol; 361 milligrams sodium