Corn is in season, so along with your lobster - whether steamed, grilled, baked or tossed in mayo, and placed in a buttered and grilled bun - you're likely shucking many ears of corn to steam, then slather with butter and sprinkle it with salt. Done.
While fresh corn has many uses in savory dishes, it's also perfect for desserts. One great thing about using sweet corn in desserts is that savory elements can add some spark to the dish and these corn fritters offer many ways to use corn with savory elements. Bacon, black pepper and chili peppers can go into sauces, batter or toppings.
Basic sweet corn fritters with black pepper cream
These fritters have a little corn surprise inside a soft cornbread. You can use canned creamed corn, but use this creamed corn recipe instead to make the most of the corn of the season. Pop them in your mouth as is or dip into the black pepper syrup.
For the creamed corn:
• 4 cups corn kernels drained if canned
• 1 small onion diced
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 3/4 cup heavy cream
• 1 1/4 cup milk
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme
For the black pepper syrup:
• 1 cup water
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup coarsely cracked black peppercorns
For the fritters:
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2/3 cup granulated sugar
• 2 eggs, whisked
• ¾ cups milk
• 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
• 2 cups creamed corn
• 6 cups canola oil
Combine onion and butter and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add flour, salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes while stirring. Add corn and mix well. Add in milk, cream, sugar and thyme. Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Allow to boil 1 minute while stirring. Remove 1 cup of the corn mixture and blend with a hand mixer until smooth. Stir back into the creamed corn.
Make the black pepper syrup:
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add sugar and stir over moderately high heat until dissolved. Add black peppercorns and let stand off the heat for 20 minutes. Strain the syrup into a jar, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Make the fritters:
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in the wet ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Add the oil to a deep fryer and heat until it reaches 375 degrees F. Scoop up balls of the dough with a small cookie scoop and drop in the oil, five at a time. Fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until they reach a golden brown.
Carefully remove the fritters with tongs or a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Repeat until all of the batter is gone.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with black pepper syrup.
Sweet corn fritters with fruit and jalapeno whipped cream
You can make this dessert using tequila in the brown sugar syrup but I also use rum on occasion. If you'd like to leave out the spirits, swap with 1/2 cup pineapple juice.
For the jalapeno whipped cream:
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 2 jalapenos, 1 seeded, 1 not, cut in half
• 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
For the tequila syrup:
• 3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup tequila
• 1/4 cup water
For the fritters:
• 2/3 cup chopped strawberries
• 2/3 cup chopped pineapple
• 1 1/4 cups sweet yellow corn
• 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 5-7 ounces canned coconut milk
• Oil for frying
A few hours before you want to serve this dessert, place the jalapenos and powdered sugar in the heavy cream in a bowl, mash the jalapeno with a fork, and let sit. Strain the cream to remove the jalapeno and then whip with an electric mixer until the cream is whipped. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
For the brown sugar tequila syrup, combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the liquid is syrupy.
Combine strawberries and pineapple in a bowl and let sit at room temperature until ready to serve.
Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup corn to a food processor. Pulse until blended, then place mixture in a large bowl. Stir in remaining corn and coconut milk, mixing until a batter the consistency of a pancake batter forms.
Add oil to a medium-sized saucepan until it is 4 inches deep. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F, then spoon 2-3 fritters worth of batter, about an ice cream scoop's worth, into the oil. Fry for 2 minutes, flip and fry until light brown. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Continue until all the batter is gone. Serve by topping with whipped cream, strawberries and pineapple, and a ribbon of syrup.
Corn and goat cheese fritters with cherry and tomato salsa
It's not just corn that's in season, but cherries and tomatoes, too. These savory fritters are great to bring to a summer barbeque or pack for a picnic.
• 2 corn cob kernels
• 1 jalapeno diced (optional)
• 1 small bell pepper seeded and diced
• 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
• 3 green onions chopped
• 1 egg
• 3 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
• 4 tablespoons goat cheese crumbled
• Olive oil for frying
• 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
• 1 cup fresh pitted cherries halved
• 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
• Juice from one lime
• Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the corn kernels, diced jalapeno, bell pepper, cilantro and green onion.
In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together the egg, garbanzo bean flour, milk, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt and pepper. Whisk until fully combined. Add the goat cheese and corn mixture and stir to combine.
In a large skillet, heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the batter to the skillet and fry until just brown and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Don't crowd the pan so start with about 3-4 spoonfuls at a time.
Transfer each batch of cooked fritters to paper towels and allow them to drain, then transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
In a large bowl, toss the halved tomatoes and cherries with fresh lime juice, chopped chives, salt and pepper. Serve fritters with a large scoop of prepared cherry and tomato salsa.
Rachel Forrest is a former restaurant owner who lives in Austin, Texas. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.