A sformato (the singular of sformati) is a little Italian soufflé or custard. It is less airy, more substantial and easier to make than a soufflé. The word sformato means “unmolded” which is how they are served. Most sformati are made with a béchamel base, but this is an even easier version. It all gets mixed together in the food processor! They can be served as an appetizer or starter course, side dish or a light vegetarian entrée with a salad. I love serving them when I am having guests for dinner because they can be made ahead of time and reheated just before serving. When local corn arrives at the Farmer’s Market, this is one of the first things I think about making.
Corn and Parmigiano Sformati
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels, divided 1½ and 2½
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 cup half and half or whole milk
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 teaspoon flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs
- Fresh basil, cut chiffonade, for garnish
- Spray 6 (6-ounce) ramekins with non-stick cooking spray. Place the ramekins in a 13×9 inch baking pan. Preheat oven to 300° convection.
- Microwave 1½ cups corn with 1 tablespoon of butter for 2-3 minutes or until corn is tender. Add corn to food processor work bowl and pulse 5 times until coarsely chopped. Add half and half or milk, cheese, flour, salt, pepper, and eggs and process until combined.
- Divide the corn mixture into each prepared ramekin – a scant ½ cup in each. Add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the center barely moves and a thin knife inserted in the middle tests clean. Remove ramekins from pan onto a cooling rack and cool 8 minutes before inverting onto a plate.
- Saute remaining 2½ cups corn in 2 tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, garnish the Sformati with corn and fresh basil.
- The Sformati can be made ahead and re-heated before serving. Cover and warm in a 300° convection oven just until warm, about 15 minutes. Garnish after Sformati have been warmed.