Corn Souffle Bids Farewell to Summer

Corn Souffle

Written and photographed by Melissa Roberts

September is a month with an identity crisis. What can we depend on weather wise? Each day is a new surprise. A crisp snap of autumn one moment, the next, temps climb into the 90s. And when a holiday comes around (Sukkot, so soon?), how do we plan accordingly? Luckily, mid September continues to bring late summer’s harvest of tomatoes, corn, and fresh herbs. A menu to equal the weather’s dual nature is just the thing. Combine ingredients that carry a whiff of summer in a dish that is warming and comforting. This corn and basil souffle is just the ticket. Its flavors are fresh and summery, with a light and delicate texture that masks a substantial dish.


Corn and Basil Souffle

4-6 (main)

Corn and Basil Souffle

Don’t be intimidated by a souffle. Yes, they can be a fickle thing, but this one has a milk-flour base that gives it structure, making it almost foolproof. Almost. Remember to have ingredients at room temperature as noted, which allow efficient aeration and a better rise. And no sneaky peaks. Leave that oven door alone!

Equipment: a 1 ½ quart (6 cup) capacity souffle baking dish


  • 4 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, divided plus more for greasing dish
  • 3 ears corn, shucked
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed through (in a saucepan or microwave)
  • 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 1 cup coarsely grated extra sharp cheddar, preferably white
  • Pinch cayenne (mingy or generous, as you like)
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature 30 minutes


  1. Preheat oven to 400F with rack in middle.
  2. Generously grease dish with some butter.
  3. Shave kernels from corn with a large knife. Remove any silk.
  4. Melt 1 ½ tablespoons butter in a 10 to 12 inch heavy skillet over medium high heat until foam subsides.
  5. Add scallion and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add corn, ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and saute 2 minutes more.
  7. Remove from heat and add basil.
  8. In a 2 to 3 quart saucepan, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Once foam subsides add flour and cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes (this is enough time to remove a floury taste from finished dish).
  9. Slowly add milk, whisking, then continue to cook until mixture is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add yolks, one at a time, until combined.
  10. Whisk in cheese, cayenne, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. It’s okay if mixture isn’t completely smooth.
  11. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Cool to room temperature. **At this point, the base can be made, left covered at room temperature, for 2 hours.
  12. Using a standing mixer, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt on medium high speed until firm peaks form.
  13. Fold 1/3 of whites into cheese base to lighten. Then fold in remaining whites (thoroughly, so no white streaks are present). Fold in corn mixture until just combined.
  14. Place baking dish on a 4 sided baking pan.
  15. Transfer souffle mixture to dish and place in oven. Bake until puffed and browned in spots (it should still jiggle slightly when moved), 30 to 35 minutes.
  16. Remove from heat and let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.


Recipe by Melissa Roberts.


  1. Yum!!! Looks so comforting….taking in a virtual wiff. Going to give this one a try with gluten free all purpose flour. Will let you know how it goes.

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