I wait. And I wait. For that moment, each year, that first day, when My Dad’s Sweet Corn announces the corn is ready. Their sweet corn is absolutely amazing. Sweet and juicy and perfect. On that day, the first day, when it is at its peak, I rush to the farmer’s market early in the morning and I load up. And I load up big. Sweet corn season 2016 has begun.
Having such fantastic sweet corn on hand in winter makes the winter seem a lot less harsh. It reminds me of summer and warm sunny days. That beats the heck out of shoveling snow, that’s for sure!
Quickly blanching the corn and shocking it in an ice bath keeps the corn tasty and sweet. I add a bit of sugar to the water to make up for the flavor that is lost with the first batch or two. After that the water is full of corn flavored goodness, so every batch comes out tasting great.
- Sweet corn-on-the-cob (I had 6 baker's dozen worth)
- A large pot (one with a pasta insert works best)
- An outdoor propane burner (you can use your stovetop, but it's going to be messy)
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 large bags of ice
- A large cooler
- Long tongs
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- A large bowl (or two)
- Vacuum-sealable baggies
- Vacuum sealer
- Shuck the corn just before beginning.
- Place the pot onto the lit burner or stovetop over high heat.
- Add the sugar and stir and let the water come to a brisk boil.
- Add the ice to the cooler and fill nearly to the top with cold water.
- Working in batches, add 8 ears of corn to the pot (you can add more if your pot is large, but do not crowd them or they won't cook evenly).
- Return the water to a boil and boil for exactly 4 minutes. No more.
- Remove the corn from the pot and immediately transfer to the ice bath.
- You can start the next batch of corn. As soon as it starts to boil, remove the corn from the ice bath (test to make sure it's nice and cold) and transfer to a cutting board.
- Cut the kernels from the ears. I stand the ears on the cut end at about a 75 degree angle then carefully run my knife from top to bottom, removing about 75% of the kernels. I think having the ear at a slight angle and using a very sharp knife reduces the amount of kernels that fly off all over the place. Don't cut all the way to the ear.
- Transfer cut kernels to a large bowl and continue cooking, cooling and cutting the ears until all done.
- If any kernels are stuck together use your hands to break them apart in the bowl.
- Transfer kernels to the bags. Two cups equals about a can of corn, but I usually add 3 cups to a 1 quart bag.
- Try to not get the inside of the bag opening wet when filling. This may cause the bags to not seal properly. If you do get them wet dry them off with a paper towel.
- Transfer the bags to the freezer for 4-6 hours or until the liquid is frozen.
- Seal the vacuum bags with your sealer and freeze until needed. I use the 'moist' and 'gentle' settings on my sealer to help ensure a good seal.