When my friend and neighbor Sandy Perrin asked me to redo her favorite corn pudding recipe, I was hesitant. She had been making the dish for years and loves it. But she wanted it slimmed down and not so sweet.
After a few tries, I came up with this version. Hers was an old-style savory pudding, full of corn flavor. The numbers: 350 calories, 15 grams of fat, 31 grams of sugar. Mine replaces half of the sugar with sautéed sweet onion, uses a mix of part-skim ricotta and 2 percent milk to sub for evaporated milk, and reduces the butter from 4 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon.
The finished dish looks as great as it tastes. The sweetness becomes a back note, and the corn shines.
Sweet Onion and Corn Pudding
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
½ medium sweet onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
2¾ cups fresh or frozen/defrosted corn kernels
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
¾ cup low-fat milk (2 percent)
⅓ cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Use a little butter to grease a 1½-to-2-quart shallow baking dish.
Melt the tablespoon of butter in a medium nonstick sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir to coat. Season with salt to taste, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat so the onion softens but does not brown. Transfer to a large bowl.
Combine the corn, eggs, cornstarch, ricotta, milk and sugar in a blender or food processor. Season with salt to taste. Puree until almost smooth. The mixture will have some texture from the finely chopped corn. Add the corn mixture and the chives to the onion in the bowl; stir to combine well. Carefully pour the mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until firm and lightly browned around the edges.
Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Per serving: 220 calories, 9 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 90 mg cholesterol, 130 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 14 g sugar