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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

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Right now we have about a month and a half left of the sweet corn season.
Right now we have about a month and a half left of the sweet corn season.

Hot summer, sweet corn

Summer is definitely here! And now I'm ready for fall. However, I can't help but to think of the hot summer afternoons growing up in the Midwest. A memory that has always stuck with me was visiting my grandparents' farm on every Saturday.

My father's family raised sweet corn, soy beans and even lamb. I am the oldest of three; my siblings are much younger than me, so often I would have to entertain myself.

When you're a kid old barns, combines and tractors seem pretty interesting. At the time I had no idea of the connection between pasture and plate. Or how difficult a farmer's life can be, I was just having fun exploring, pretend riding tractors and working the fields.

Meals are like chapters in my life; they are burned into memory and I never forget them. Not to say there aren't ones I'd like to forget ... but, around this time period Saturday supper was not very adventurous and as a kid that was OK, they usually consisted of roast beef, dark coffee-like au jus, mashed
potatoes, slow-cooked sweet corn and my grandmother's chocolate frosted angel food cake.

These experiences stay with you and can sometimes transport you back when you are reintroduced again to an ingredient or a dish. So when reminiscing about summer sweet corn I thought about this dish and have
included a recipe for sweet corn custard. It's not an heirloom recipe but one that has an intense corn flavor and takes me back to those hot Midwestern summers.

As consumers we are pretty fortunate to have access to amazing produce in Wisconsin and the Midwest. I love the pick your own food farms and the local markets. Right now we have about a month and a half left of the sweet corn season.

So, if you're not sure of where to find local markets I recommend the Locavore app, if you have an iPhone, iTouch or iPad it uses your GPS location to search for farms and farmers' markets near you. You can read about specific produce, see what is in season and even get recipe suggestions.

Sweet Corn Custard with Sour Cream

  • 4 ears of shucked corn
  • 1 tbsp roasted garlic puree
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 15 whole eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ quarts of heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Thyme sprig

Place in a medium saucepan corn, roasted garlic, thyme, saffron, and heavy cream to a boil and reduce flame to a simmer.

Once corn is cooked, puree in blender, and strain through a fine strainer (chinois).

Fold in egg mixture and season and taste.

Pour mixture into a shallow casserole dishes and bake at 300 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

To serve top sweet corn custard with a dollop of sour cream and a pinch of your favorite fresh herb, I fresh thyme leaves.

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