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Flour Girl: It's Corny, But it's Good

Corn Cake With Fruit Salsa. (Bill Webster, The Washington Post)

Avocados and tomatoes in cupcakes! Has the world gone mad? What next? Well, I'm glad you asked. Corn, of course.

Recipe Included

The August-September issue of Fine Cooking has a sweet corn cake that's served with a lavender syrup and blueberry-corn "compote" (though I'm unsure why it's called that when it is fresh, not cooked). I know lavender is all the rage, but I associate it with bathroom sachets. I'm not a fan of it in my food. In place of the intended accompaniment I mixed together corn, fresh strawberries and some mint. You could, of course, add whatever fruit you have on hand; the version below uses peaches. The cake has a sweet earthiness that pairs with any number of flavors.

-- Leigh Lambert

Sweet Corn Cake With Peach-Corn Salsa

Makes 1 9-inch cake

Adapted from Fine Cooking (August-September 2009)

For the cake:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup sifted stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 1 large ear), cooked or raw
½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten

For the salsa:
2 peaches, pitted and diced
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 2 large cooked ears)
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

For the cake:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk in the cornmeal.

Place the corn kernels in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine sieve, pressing with a rubber spatula to extract the liquid; scrape any puree off the bottom of the sieve into the liquid and discard the remaining solids. Measure ¼ cup of the strained corn liquid and transfer to a small bowl. Stir in the sour cream.

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat at medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, slowly pour in the beaten eggs, mixing until incorporated and stopping midway to scrape down the sides. (The mixture will be loose and curdled-looking.)

Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Add one-third of the sour cream-corn mixture and mix just until incorporated. Alternate adding the remaining flour and sour cream mixtures in two additions each. Do not overmix.

Scrape the batter into the cake pan and spread it evenly with a spatula. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed in the center. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, then gently invert the cake onto the rack, removing the pan. Place a second rack over the cake, pick up the cake and both racks together and flip, turning the cake right side up on the second rack. Let it cool completely.

For the salsa:

Combine the peaches, corn and mint in a bowl. Mix to combine.

Serve slices of the cake accompanied by the salsa.

By Leigh Lambert  |  August 27, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Flour Girl , Recipes  | Tags: Leigh Lambert, cake, corn  
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