Corn!

Forty-eight cobs of corn!

That’s a lot to eat at one sitting. Looking for ways to preserve this wonderful sweet corn for when it’s out of season? Freezing it, on and off the cob, is an easy way to save the harvest.

Corn, and most fruits and vegetables, has enzymes that destroy the nutritional value and change the flavor of the kernels in your freezer. If you plan on eating your frozen corn within two months this is not too much of a problem, but I find that unblanched corn tends to get mushy when cooked. Blanching, which is simply plunging your corn into boiling water for a bit, is an easy way to destroy the enzymes that may turn your sweet corn into starchy corn.

What you will need:

  • Lots of corn
  • Your biggest pot, ¾ full of water
  • A timer, or watch the clock
  • Tongs to pull the cobs out of the water
  • a bag of ice, or a tray of icecubes per ear of corn
  • A large tub full of water, or your kitchen sink
  • A place to drain your corn on the cob, this could be a towel-lined countertop or several colanders
  • Freezer bags

If you are planning to freeze your corn off the cob:

  • A sharp knife
  • A bundt pan, if you have one (more on this trick later) or a deep, large bowl
  • A large spoon

Fill your sink with water and add a generous amount of ice to it. You want to immediately cool your corn before you take it off the cob or freeze it on the cob for later. Keep adding ice to the water as the hot corn melts it.

Fill your biggest pot 2/3 to ¾ full with water and set it to boil. Shuck your corn, remove as much of the silk as you can, and plunk five or six of them into the boiling water. Set your timer and begin timing your blanching as soon as the last cob hits the water. Small cobs that are 1 ¼ inches in diameter should blanch for 7 minutes, cobs that are 1 ¼ inches to 1 ½ inches in diameter go 9 minutes, and those super-fat ears that are more than 1 ½ inches in diameter should cook for 11 minutes. Replenish your water as it boils off, and replace your water completely if it becomes cloudy. Return the water to a boil in between batches of five or six cobs at a time. If you are quick and have everything in place, you can do your blanching assembly-line fashion and get it all done quickly.

As soon as your timer goes off, pull the cobs out and plunge them into the ice water. Let them sit in the ice water for as long as you have boiled them, then drain them thoroughly. Now you are ready to either put your corn on the cob into freezer bags, press out the excess air and freeze, or cut the niblets off the cob for freezer storage.

If you plan to freeze your corn as kernels off the cob, take your bundt pan and put one end of the corn cob into the hole in the center of the pan. The hole in the center of the bundt pan holds the corn securely so you can work. Cut the niblets off with your sharp knife and watch as the corn falls neatly into the pan! As you get a bowl full of niblets, spoon them into your freezer bag, gently press out any excess air and pop them into your freezer. When you want corn for dinner, it’s easy to break up the kernels and pour out what you need. Add a little butter, some salt, and a ride in the microwave or a brief reheating on the stove and you’ve got a good, sweet side dish for your family.

Enjoy the taste of summer anytime!

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