Bacon and Sweetcorn Pudding

New Casserole Treasury was written by Lousene Rousseau Brunner and published in 1970 by the Cookery Book Club by arrangement with Harper & Row. I bought it for £1.50 in a church charity shop in Dalston last May and have decided to try and make something which actually sounds as though it was conceived in another era, rather than my usual cop-out.

The first owners of my copy were a newly-wed couple in 1971, apparent by the dedication at the front of the book and the author has left space throughout the book for note-taking, some of which has been put to good use. At the end of the ‘Meat’ section:  11/10.71. Tried pork chops in cider. (NO.)

Bacon and Sweetcorn Pudding

2 6oz packets frozen sweetcorn, cooked or 2 medium tins whole-kernel corn
3 eggs, well-beaten
3 tablespoons thin cream
1 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
2 tablespoons minced onions
¼ teaspoon baking powder
Thinly sliced cheddar
3 slices bacon cut in 1-inch squares

Mix the sweetcorn, eggs, cream, seasonings, onions, and baking powder. Pour into a greased medium casserole. Cover with cheese, cut to fit, and then with bacon squares. Bake for 40-45 minutes in a moderate oven, 350 degrees, or until firm. Serves  6.

I made a smaller portion as per – probably about a third.

This didn’t smell particularly appetising when it was baking but actually turned out rather well. This was mostly because half of the onion had been used a few days before and the remainder (used in this dish) had been stored in the fridge with the resultant mellowing of flavour, particularly the acid notes. I left it in the oven a little longer than the recipe suggested so that the bacon crisped up – I hate flabby bacon. My only criticism of the flavour was that with bacon and cheese, it was rather salty. If made differently – with a deeper dish and subsequently a smaller top surface area, this wouldn’t happen.

It isn’t what springs to mind at the word casserole (which I only learnt was a type of vessel, not a type of stew, about a year ago). My mini-version, in particular was so thin, it was more like a pancake. I ate half for supper and the second two quarters for breakfast over the next two days, reheated in a dry frying pan and stuffed into half a wholemeal pitta bread. Although I found it very enjoyable, I’m not convinced it has any advantages over a frittata – they are, in my experience faster and contain less fat. (If I’m going to eat something that would make a dietician fret, I want it to taste like it.)

Pudding’d by Elly


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