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Nantucket Corn Pudding

Nantucket Corn Pudding - A creamy corn casserole topped with a buttery, cheesy cracker crust. Perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

Nantucket Corn Pudding is a traditional recipe that was popular with the original colonial inhabitants of New England – and today, it’s a classic side dish still served at many Thanksgiving dinners around the United States.

There are so many different recipes for corn pudding – and most modern day versions (like today’s Nantucket Corn Pudding) use whole corn kernels, rather than a porridge made with ground corn or corn meal. Back in the 17th century, the savory corn meal porridge was called ‘Hasty Pudding, and the sweet corn meal porridge was called ‘Indian Pudding.’

Nantucket Corn Pudding - A creamy corn casserole topped with a buttery, cheesy cracker crust. Perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

We found this Nantucket Corn Pudding recipe in this cookbook – and my husband Jack and I absolutely loved the golden and savory, buttery cracker and cheddar topping that was piled high on the creamy, flavorful corn pudding.

Nantucket Corn Pudding - A creamy corn casserole topped with a buttery, cheesy cracker crust. Perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

If you can find it, this Nantucket Corn Pudding is best with fresh whole corn kernels cut off the cob. But fresh corn isn’t often readily available during the Fall season, so a good quality drained canned sweet corn is a good alternative. (Frozen corn kernels may also be used, but we’ve found that the texture of frozen corn tends to be a little rubbery, so we’d high ly recommend using canned as the best alternative to fresh corn.)

Nantucket Corn Pudding
 
Serves: 6-8 servings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Note: The original Nantucket Corn Pudding recipe calls for 'pilot crackers', 'hard tack' or oyster crackers. We're fairly certain pilot crackers and hard tack (a simple flour and water biscuit) aren’t available at the supermarket, so oyster crackers are what we used. (They worked great in this recipe!)
Ingredients
  • 8-10 ears fresh corn on the cob, or 5 cups canned corn, drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
  • Few grinds fresh nutmeg
  • ¾ cup crushed oyster crackers, divided (crush the crackers, then measure). Also see note above
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Paprika
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut corn from cob if using fresh corn and scrape right down to the cob saving the liquid that scrapes off with the corn kernels. You should have about 5 cups. Set aside. (Alternately, drain 5 cups of canned corn.)
  3. Butter a 9” round or square 9 X 2 ½“ deep casserole dish.
  4. In a large bowl beat eggs, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  5. Add corn, ½ cup of the cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle all of the cheese over the top.
  8. Mix the remaining cracker crumbs with the remaining butter and sprinkle over the top.
  9. Dust with a little paprika.
  10. Bake 45-50 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. The edges will be crispy and the center a bit loose.
  11. Serve immediately.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Nantucket Corn Pudding - A creamy corn casserole topped with a buttery, cheesy cracker crust. Perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

 

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  1. Just to be clear, I measure out 3/4 cup oyster crackers and then I crush those crackers. I’ll add 1/2 of that (roughly 1/4 cup of the post-crushed crackers into the dish and add the roughly 1/4 cup on top. Is that correct or was the 3/4 cup what they measured out to after they were crushed? Thanks

    • Hi Anne – Great question! We went back to our notes and it is 3/4 cup crushed (so you’ll probably start out with about 1 cup uncrushed) – I will update the wording in the recipe right now to clarify. Thank you for asking! We hope you enjoy the recipe.

  2. Could panko breadcrumbs be subbed for the oyster crackers? (Trying to use what’s already in the pantry).

  3. Would the dish still be good if made in advance then reheated the day of?

    • Emmi,this is Jack. I just replied to Beverly with my recommendation on this. See below.
      “I would say you could prepare all of the wet ingredients ahead in a bowl and refrigerate. Also prepare the topping ahead and refrigerate as well as shredding the cheese ahead and refrigerating. The the day of, butter the casserole dish, add the crushed crackers to the egg mixture and pour it in the casserole dish, sprinkle on the cheese and cover with the topping and bake. Good luck.”

  4. Do you think I could assemble this the day before, then bake it the next day?

    • Beverly, this is Jack. I would say you could prepare all of the wet ingredients ahead in a bowl and refrigerate. Also prepare the topping ahead and refrigerate as well as shredding the cheese ahead and refrigerating. The the day of, butter the casserole dish, add the crushed crackers to the egg mixture and pour it in the casserole dish, sprinkle on the cheese and cover with the topping and bake. Good luck.

  5. I know you said making ahead is not a good idea. However, we are traveling to NYC from NJ (1-1.5 hours). My parents house is a shhh show and bringing anything that needs to be cooked is guaranteed to not be served! Could I make it the day of and put in a hot/cold bag and drive that hour or so? It is make ahead but not by much as we have no plans to arrive early so my husband doesn’t have to deal with me getting angry at everyone.

    • Hi Angela! Sure – you can make it (a little) ahead and transport it. The crackers will probably absorb some of the liquid but it will still be delicious. I hope you have a nice holiday! 🙂

  6. Hi – Looking to see about making this for a crowd. Would you just double everything or any adjustments? Looks great! Thanks!

    • Hi Lauren – Sorry for the delay in responding. Sure – you can double the recipe. The baking time might be a little longer for a larger dish but otherwise, just double everything. Enjoy!

  7. This was a crowd pleaser for Thanksgiving 2016!! We have no leftovers!

  8. Hard tack is a thick cracker about the size of a graham cracker. You can find it in your store sold by Wasa.