There used to be this wonderful soul food/creole/southern food restaurant in Huntington, NY called the "Cooke's In" (the owner's name was Cooke). Just by way of reference, it was this place:
They used to make this wonderful corn pudding. As best as I can describe it, it was slightly sweet, right on the cusp where it works best as a side dish but could also be a dessert--keep in mind the perspective that I'm not really a sweets eater, so that means something a little more savory than most might describe in that way.
I can't say (from hazy recollection) if it had cornMEAL in it; all that I remember were corn kernels, but that doesn't mean it didn't have the former as well, as a thickener maybe.
It was served soft, somewhat firmer than a rice pudding--firm enough to sort of hold its shape, loose enough to more easily be served with a spoon than a fork.
The topper, so to speak: it had chunks of apple mixed in, cooked just a little soft.