Easy Corn and Cheese Soufflé
This easy corn and cheese soufflé is a perfect meal for the transition from summer to fall. A soufflé is a treat unto itself, and very hard to find at a restaurant anymore. Many years ago, when we lived in Virginia, there was a little restaurant in Culpeper that served individual a cheese soufflé with a small salad every Sunday. We would make the trek every few weeks to enjoy this wonderful delicacy. We moved away, and we would reminisce about the café and that cheese soufflé. As luck would have it, I stumbled upon Jacques Pepin’s mother’s recipe for a large “no fuss” souffle. As it’s just my wife and I, some experimentation with that recipe allowed for this version. It’s foolproof and a very easy way to make a soufflé.
One can cook these immediately or set aside until ready to cook. If setting aside for a few hours, corn and cheese soufflé can remain, covered, on the counter at room temperature. If assembling a day ahead, refrigerate and bring back to room temperature before baking. I once served these at a Super Bowl party, where I used 4 ounce disposable tin ramekins to serve 18 guests.
- 42 grams (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus additional to butter two 266 or 296 ml (9 or 10 ounce) ramekins
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) finely grated parmesan cheese
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) corn meal
- 237 ml (1 cup) whole milk
- 1.3 ml (1/4 teaspoon) salt
- 1.3 ml (1/4 teaspoon) freshly ground black pepper
- 85 grams (3 ounces) grated Gruyère or other similar cheese
- 60 ml (¼ cup) fresh or frozen corn niblets, slightly chopped
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 22 ml (1 1/2 tablespoons) minced chives
- Heat the oven to 204°C (400°F)*. Butter each ramekin and sprinkle the bottom and sides with the parmesan, reserving any unused cheese. Set the ramekins in the fridge.
2. Melt 42 grams (3 tablespoons) butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the flour and corn meal and mix it well with a whisk, cooking for about 30 seconds until well blended.
3. Whisk the cold milk into the pan all at once, and continue whisking until the mixture thickens and comes to a strong, bubbly boil, 2 to 3 minutes. It should be thick and smooth with large bubbles coming up from the center; you do not want it to turn brown. Remove from the heat, stir in salt and pepper, and let cool for about 4 minutes. Add the Gruyère cheese and chopped corn, whisking until well incorporated with no lumps.
4. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat well to thoroughly mix the whites with the yolks. Whisk the eggs and chives into the corn mixture until well combined. This will take a good minute or two, as you want everything well-blended into one cohesive sauce.
5. Place the buttered ramekins on a baking sheet. Divide the mixture between the two ramekins, and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake until puffy and well browned on top, 25 to 30 minutes; start checking after 20 minutes, as oven temperatures can vary. This is best served immediately.
*One can cook these immediately or set aside until ready to cook. If setting aside for a few hours, the soufflé can remain, covered, on the counter at room temperature. If assembling a day ahead, refrigerate and bring back to room temperature before baking.