My dear grandma. Always is on my thoughts when is time to cook. Her passion for cooking is a great inspiration for me, she always was looking for new flavors and new ways to make her food.
Every summer she used to have her personal “everything corn” season and it was always amazing: “humitas” (Chilean “tamales”), “Pastel de choclo” (Chilean corn pie), “porotos granados” (fresh beans with fresh corn stew) and many more summer dishes that are easily transformed to a vegan version, if not they already are vegan. Corn season in Chile is very similar to the pumpkin season here in United States, the only difference is that our season last 3 months.
And one of my favorite treats my grandma used to make for me was this sweet bread from fresh corn and basil. Her version was vegetarian, since it had eggs, which was suitable for me at that time. She explained to me how to make it, but I never achieved that amazing texture and incredible flavor.
After I came here I’ve tried to make some Chilean recipes with corn but it has been difficult since my area don’t produce the same corns that I used in Chile. Those corns are larger, not so sweet and their kernels are very rich in starch, which make a very thick paste. After many attempts using local corns, this month finally I have one successful recipe to share: My grandma’s sweet corn bread made from fresh corn kernels and basil. I did a “vegan Remake” of her bread using flax eggs and fine corn meal to make the local sweet corn less runny and using maple syrup as sweetener, which goes great along with basil.
Maple, Basil and fresh Corn Bread
2 fresh corn or 2 cups frozen corn
1 1/4 cups fine corn meal
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 to 5 Tbsp of maple syrup (depending on your taste)
1 Tbsp vegan butter
1 flax egg ( 1 tbsp flax meal into 3 Tbsp water)
1 Tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp basil (can be dry leaves)
1 Tsp brown sugar to sprinkle on top.
- Preheat the oven at 375 f.
- Prepare your Flax egg and combine the milk with the vinegar, and set both aside.
- In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt and basil leaves.
- In a food processor mix your corn kernels with vegan butter and maple syrup. Process until smooth.
- Add your flax egg and milk to the food processor and mix together until you get a nice and even mixture.
- Pour your liquid into the dry ingredients and mix everything. You will have a thick batter ready to bake.
- Pour into a lined loaf pan (9×5 inch), top it with some brown sugar and bake it for 45 minutes at 375 F.
- After those 45 minutes your bread should be a little bit cracked on top and have a golden crust. You can verify if it cooked using “the wood stick” method: pinch it with a wood stick and if it comes clean the bread is cooked. Remove from the oven and let it cool down completely or at least for half hour.
Warning this corn bread is dangerous! You easily can eat the whole loaf in one seat. Is not super sweet, basil and maple makes a super delicious couple, along with that rich and moist texture. It is not so crumbly once is cold, that’s why I recommend not to cut it while is still warm.
I’m very happy with the results of my experiments, for me is an improved recipe with many plus, for example: I don’t use to make gluten free meals, but sometimes they pop up accidentally in my menu. And this recipe is one of them. I’ll definitely try to make some versions of my recipes gluten free and test them to in a future share them here with you.