Cornbread Pudding + Peaches + Blackberry Caramel + Buttermilk

Kelly Fields' Cornbread Pudding + Peaches + Blackberry Caramel + Buttermilk. Photo by Randy Schmidt.

Kelly Fields, Top Ten Pastry Chef of 2016, presents her Cornbread Pudding + Peaches + Blackberry Caramel + Buttermilk.


Yield: about 15 servings

Kelly Fields, Executive Pastry Chef, Besh Restaurant Group, New Orleans, LA.



1. Preheat oven to 300°F.  Line a half sheet tray with parchment and coat with butter.

2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, then whisk in cornmeal.  

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk.  Add the liquid to the dry ingredients in stages, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in melted butter and corn kernels. Bake until set. 

4. Remove from oven and allow to stale overnight. Tear into crumbles before adding to  pudding base.

Bread Pudding Base (1 hotel pan or 30 portions):

1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepot, combine the milk, vanilla bean and orange zest with half of the sugar and scald.  

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs with remaining sugar.  Temper hot dairy into the eggs, a little at a time, whisking well. Once the two are fully incorporated, strain the mixture.  Add crumbled cornbread and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes (and up to 24 hours).  Pour into a parchment-lined 2” hotel pan and bake in a still oven at 350°F until springy and golden.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Store in refrigerator overnight before portioning.

Cornmeal Streusel:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

2. Sift together flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, raw sugar and salt.  Cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly and butter is the size of chickpeas. Spread onto a Silpat-lined sheet tray and bake at 325°F, stirring every 2-3 minutes, until evenly golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before pulsing in the food processor. Store in an airtight container.

Blackberry Caramel:

Cook sugar over high heat until it caramelizes and is the color of dark hay. Carefully stop the sugar cooking with the blackberry puree; careful of steam and bubbling. Remove from heat and season with lemon juice and salt when cool.


1. Pit and slice peaches into 6 wedges. Place in a vacuum bag in a single layer with a bit of bourbon and simple syrup and seal. Sous vide for 15 minutes at 167°F.  Remove the bags from heat and immediately store in ice water. Once peaches are cool, remove from bags and peel off skin.

2. Store in liquid from the bags until ready to serve.

Buttermilk Sherbet:

1. Make a slurry with cornstarch and a portion of the milk in a small bowl and set aside.  

2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepot, heat the remaining milk, cream, vanilla bean and glucose syrup to a simmer. Once the dairy mixture is simmering, whisk in the slurry mixture and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Allow the mixture to cook, bubbling, for 2-3 minutes to cook out the cornstarch. Remove from heat, strain and cool quickly in an ice bath. Once cool, stir in buttermilk and cider vinegar. Season to taste, let mature overnight before spinning according to batch freezer instructions.


1. Remove the cornbread pudding from the refrigerator and portion into desired sizes/shapes. Allow peaches to come to room temperature. Blackberry Caramel and cornbread pudding are best served hot.

2. In the well of a bowl, place a portion of heated cornbread pudding slightly off of center. Spoon warm Blackberry Caramel over the pudding, with just enough to coat the bottom of the bowl evenly. Place three peach slices on or around the pudding, along with a few fresh blackberries, if desired.  Sprinkle cornmeal streusel around the peaches and pudding, including a spot to anchor your quenelle of sherbet. Place quenelle of buttermilk sherbet on streusel, then garnish the dish as desired with micro herbs.