These fritters, though made entirely of corn, resemble fried oysters—hence their name. They are traditional summer fare, made with fresh-shucked corn straight from the field. When corn is plentiful at the market, get as much as you can and enjoy it every which way.
1. Holding the base of an ear of corn in a medium bowl, slice downward, cutting halfway through the kernels. Using the back of the knife or a small spoon, scrape downward along the cob to extract the milk, letting it fall into the bowl with the cut kernels. Cut again along the cob, this time cutting close enough to remove the remaining half of the kernels. Repeat with the remaining ears.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale and
slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Then add the yolks to the corn. Stir in the heavy cream and jalapeño.
3. Stir the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne, and sugar together in a bowl. Then stir the flour mixture into the corn mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
4. Beat the egg whites until medium to stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the corn mixture until thoroughly combined.
5. Fill a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or a deep iron skillet halfway with vegetable oil (so it is 2 to 4 inches deep). Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F.
6. When the oil is hot, carefully add 2-tablespoon scoops of the corn mixture, working in batches and being careful not to overcrowd the pan. (While they are cooking, the fritters may spatter hot oil, so be careful; a splatter screen may come in handy.) Fry the fritters for 6 minutes, or until they are golden and cooked through, turning them as needed for even color. Remove, and drain on a paper towel–lined plate. Season with the Essence, and serve immediately.
Yield: 24 fritters, 4 to 6 servings