Thursday, November 26, 2020

Vintage Recipe: Grandma Ruth's Escalloped Corn

Well, Marjorie the Margin Gem's complete Thanksgiving meal count is now officially two.  Last year, I blogged about the first entire Thanksgiving meal that was cooked on her.  This year, because of Covid-19 gathering size restrictions, Nancy and I elected to celebrate Thanksgiving at home.  Nancy's parents had elected to do the same, and since we were going to cook a full dinner anyway, we called them when the meal was ready.  We plated enough for them and slid it all into the back of their van so they could take it home to eat.  Thus, we cooked Thanksgiving dinner for only four people so we didn't have to use the stovetop oven like last year.  Though you can't see all four dishes in the oven, here is a shot of the cookstove with all of the food ready:

The Margin Gem with all of the hot dishes for Thanksgiving Dinner ready.
From the top left, our 10 lb. turkey and the roaster bottom full of gravy. On
the stovetop is the kettle of mashed potatoes.  In the oven, the top rack holds
the dressing in the front with the sweet potato souffle' behind it.  The bottom
oven rack holds the green bean casserole, and behind that is the escalloped
corn.  (The Magnalite pan on the reservoir is empty.)

The recipe that I want to share today is for my great-grandma Ruth's escalloped corn.  This is a very simple and economical old-fashioned dish that has been a staple on my family's dinner tables since my grandfather was a boy.  I'm sure my great-grandmother originally made this in her woodburning cookstove, and it cooks beautifully in mine every time, too.  What's also nice is that it seems to bake equally well on the floor of the oven or up on the middle rack, making it particularly easy to cook with other things in the oven at the same time. 

For a single batch, start by beating two eggs. 

To the eggs, add 2 Tablespoons of sugar, a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a dash of pepper.

Then beat in 3/4 cup of saltine cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 cup cream.

Lastly, add one can of cream style corn.  Mix well and pour into a greased casserole dish.

Bake in a moderate oven for 30 - 45 minutes.  During the last ten minutes of baking, sprinkle buttered cracker crumbs over the top.

Hints and Remarks:
  • If you don't want to spring for the cream, you can omit it and increase the milk to 3/4 c.  The texture of the final product won't be quite so fluffy, but you won't notice any difference in the flavor.
  • The reason for the huge range in baking time is because how long this needs to bake is dependent on upon the depth of the corn in the dish you chose to use--the deeper the corn, the longer the baking time will need to be.
  • You can tell that this is done baking when the whole thing is slightly mounded in the center and it doesn't jiggle anymore when you shake the pan.
  • If you crush one sleeve of saltine crackers, you will have the perfect amount for the 3/4 c. in the corn as well as the buttered crumbs on the top.
  • If you want to reduce the carbs in this recipe, feel free to omit the crumbs on the top.  You will never miss them.  
  • This recipe serves about six.  If you double it, it fits well in a 9x13 dish.
And here is the recipe in a little more accessible form:

2 eggs
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper
3/4 c. saltine cracker crumbs
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. cream
1 15 oz. can cream style corn

Bake 30-45 minutes at 350ºF in greased casserole dish, sprinkling buttered
cracker crumbs on the top during the last ten minutes.

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!

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