As a child, I remember husking hundreds of ears of corn every summer. As I got older, I graduated to cutting the corn kernels off the cob into a huge stock pot. My mom would cook the corn in a little water and butter. Then we would spoon it into freezer bags, and stash it in the deep freezer.
In the late fall, winter, and spring months we enjoyed our frozen corn in casseroles, chicken noodle and veggie soups, or paired as a side with mashed potatoes.
Freezing your own corn is time consuming, but well worth it. Home frozen corn far exceeds commercially frozen corn in texture and taste. I repeat - far exceeds. Try it yourself. It’s a good project to share with family or a friend. My family still freezes several dozen ears of corn every year.
Corn can be frozen several different ways. From July to October look for local corn that has smooth green husks, silk that is still moist, and plump, milky kernels. Husk and silk the corn. Then follow these steps for freezing.
On the cob: Separate the corn by size into the following groups and blanch accordingly. Then cool, wrap individually with saran wrap, and place in freezer bags. Label and freeze.
• 1 ½ inches in diameter, blanch 6 minutes
• 2 inches in diameter, blanch 8 minutes
• Larger than 2 inches, blanch 10 minutes
Whole-kernel: There are 2 different methods for freezing whole-kernel.
• Blanch: Blanch cobs 5-6 minutes. Cool. Cut off the kernels. Spoon into freezer bags. Label and freeze.
• Precooked: Cut the kernels off the cob, and place in large stock pots. Add a small amount of water, and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, constantly stirring. Fill sink with ice water, and set pot in to cool. When corn is cool, spoon into freezer bags. Label and freeze. Note: this corn is fully cooked. So to serve, simply reheat.
Creamed: Blanch cobs 5-6 minutes. Cool. Cut kernels leaving tips of kernel on the cob. Scrape the cob to get the milk and pulp. Spoon into freezer bags. Label and freeze.
My all-time favorite corn recipe comes from my Grandma. It is on our table every holiday, and a few more times each month.
Grandma’s Baked Corn
5 cups thawed corn
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
3 Tb flour
5 Tb melted butter
2 cups milk
Combine ingredients and pour into 3 quart or 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350° for 35 - 40 minutes until set.
If you used the precooked method of freezing corn, you can use the leftover raw cobs to make corn stock. For about 10 pints of stock, place about a dozen raw cobs in the pot you used to cook the corn kernels (no need to wash it). Cover with filtered water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer covered for about an hour. When finished the broth will taste like corn. Remove the cobs, strain and freeze. Use this broth in chicken noodle soup, or any recipe that calls for broth. You can also freeze the raw cobs and use them to make stock whenever needed.
I hope freezing your own corn becomes a priority for your family each summer. Now is the time to buy corn at the farmer’s market or road-side stands. The 3-4 hours of work you put into freezing corn today, will be paid off with delicious corn throughout the rest of the year.