September 6, 2010

How to Can Corn

There are two things I love canned - corn and green beans. I could eat green beans right out of the can with a fork. Today we are canning corn. It's amazing that we even have corn this year considering I had to re-plant 3 times and the this has been the coolest summer in the past 17 years (according to our local meteorological experts). The ears are small, but the kernels matured. We did have to supplement with additional corn from the Farmer's Market to make the effort worth it.

For those not familiar with the fun process of canning corn (or who want to try it) here is a blow-by-blow:
First, this is a two person job. Start by reading the instructions to your pressure cooker and making sure the rubber seal is intact. My pressure cooker is older than I am.

Husking the corn can be messy when you are working with a lot of ears - we did roughly 30. To reduce the mess, we husked right into the compost bin. Then wash the corn to remove dirt and/or bugs.

To remove the corn from the cob, cut the tip off one end or break in half if you are working with large ears. Stand it upright on a cutting board that is laid across a large bowl (see picture). Use a serrated knife to cut down removing the kernels. Cut close the cob but don't scrap the cob because you don't want the extra starch.

Place 14-16 pint jars and lids in a large pot of water. Bring to boil. In another large pot, bring water to boil. Set up pressure cooker on a third burner and pour 8 cups of water in; bring to boil then turn off the heat.

When the water boils in the two pots you are ready to set up the assembly line. Have one person use an ice cream scoop to fill hot jars (which you have removed from the water with tongs) - leaving 1 inch head space. Jeremy did this job. Have the second person, me, add 1/2 tsp of salt to each jar and ladle in boiling water until it just covers the corn. There should still be close to 1-inch head space. Remove bubbles by running a rubber spatula around the inside of the jar. Fit hot lids on tightly. Place jars in pressure cooker making sure the jars don't touch. Depending on the size of your cooker, you should be able to process 5 - 7 jars at a time. (Leave the remaining jars and lids in hot water, for the second round.)

When the pressure cooker is full of prepped jars, secure the lid in place. Bring the pressure cooker to a boil on high. When the steam has escaped the cooker for a couple minutes, add the weight. When the pressure reaches nearly 10 lbs, reduce heat to low and maintain 10 lbs pressure for 55 minutes. Watch the pressure as you go, adjusting the temperature to maintain 10 lbs. (Note: Your cooker may had different pounds and times, so go with your cooker's manual.)

After the required amount of time, turn off the heat and let the cooker return to zero lbs slowly. No matter how much of a hurry you are in or if it's already 10:30pm, don't rush the cooling. Then remove the lid, picking it up away from your face so the steam doesn't burn you. Carefully remove jars and set on a towel to cool to room temperature. The lids should pop down. If one or two don't, put those in the fridge and eat within a week.

Start the assembly line over with the second set of jars. When you're done, label each jar with the date and store in the pantry for up to one year. The other recommendation I have, is to harvest, husk and process all in one day. If you let the corn sit over night, you will loose much of the sweetness.

Here is one of my favorite canned corn recipes.

Scalloped Corn
Servings = 6
Time = 1.25 hrs

1/4 c butter
2 pints corn (roughly 4 cups)
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c milk
1/2 c sour cream
30 crushed Saltines
3 T sugar
1 T finely chopped onion
1 T finely chopped green pepper
1/2 c cheddar cheese, grated
1 t each salt and pepper

Melt butter in a square glass baking dish. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except 1/4 c of the crushed crackers and cheese. Pour corn mixture into buttered dish. Sprinkle with remaining crackers and cheese. Bake, uncovered at 325 for 1 hour. Cool 10 minute before serving.


Amber said...

Add 1/2 tsp of what to each jar? Salt?

Mindy said...

That would be salt - good catch!