When Caesar Guinto and Sam Holwell entertain at their rural Ontario farmhouse, it’s never a formal affair. As the chef and co-owner of Creemore Kitchen in Simcoe County, Guinto works hard enough. Originally from Manila, Guinto likes to cook a big pot of something flavourful and serve it family-style. But the pastry chef’s favourite part of any meal is dessert, such as this corn ice cream with blueberry compote and corn-nut praline. “I love to make it for a party and serve it at a station,” he says. “The toppings are all ready to go and I make sundaes to order.” The corn and blueberries showcase Ontario’s summer bounty, but the corn nuts are pure Philippines.
8 ears of corn, kernels cut off and cobs cut in half
4 1/4 cups whole milk
2 1/4 cups whipping cream
12 egg yolks
5 1/2 cups sugar, divided
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup water, divided
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup unsalted toasted corn nuts
Place corn kernels, cobs, milk and cream in a large saucepan and heat to just below a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together yolks and 3 1/4 cups sugar in large mixing bowl until light. Remove cobs from cream mixture and discard. Pour the mixture into yolks in a thin stream, whisking constantly to prevent yolks from cooking. Transfer corn custard mixture into a clean stainless steel saucepan large enough for the whole batch. Heat over medium-low, stirring constantly to prevent bottom from burning, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and purée carefully with an immersion or stand blender. Cool in refrigerator.
To make blueberry compote, combine 1 1/2 cups blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Simmer and stir over medium heat until berries burst (about 10 minutes). Add remaining berries and cook, stirring, until compote coats the back of a spoon (about 8 minutes longer). Chill in refrigerator. To make corn-nut praline, combine remaining sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook to 300 F or hard-crack stage. (To test, drop a little syrup in cold water. If it hardens and cracks easily, it’s ready.) Stir in corn nuts and quickly spread mixture onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Cool and break into pieces or pulverize in a food processor.
Churn corn base in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze overnight. To serve, scoop into glass bowls and garnish with blueberry compote and a sprinkling of praline.