Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Freezing Corn



August is just a fancy word for corn on the cob month!  If only there were some way we could capture the taste and experience of the first cob of corn of summer.  Sadly, it can't be done.  But, at least we can freeze some of those tasty niblets to enjoy all year long.

Yes, some people blanch and freeze whole cobs.  A valiant effort, but for me, it's just not the same.  And, it takes up limited freezer space.  

We prefer to strip our cobs and freeze just the niblets.  The process is quite simple.

1.  Gather your corn.
2.  Shuck the corn. 
3.  Gently remove any leftover silk with a soft vegetable scrub brush.  Be careful not to bruise the corn.
4.  Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to boil. We use our big canning pot.
5.  Once the water is boiling add 6 to 8 corn cobs.  
6.  Bring the water back to a boil.
7.  Boil or blanch the cobs for 4-8 minutes (the sweeter the variety, the less time is required).
8.  Stop the boiling process by immediately immersing cobs in an ice cube bath.
9.  Let cobs cool in bath for 4-8 minutes (however long you boiled them).
10. Cut corn niblets off the cob with a sharp knife or fancy corn cutter tool.  (I don't have a fancy corn cutter, but I do use my angel food cake pan as a stand and niblet catcher.)
11. Place in freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and freeze.

Blanching Note: Avoid crowding the pot with too many cobs all at once. Too many cobs in the pot will slow down the boiling process and cause the cobs to be in the water too long.  Boiling the cobs will stop the enzymes that cause ripening.  If veggies aren't boiled long enough, the enzyme may continue to grow  (even in the freezer) and cause them to become tough, off-colour and off-flavour. 

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