Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Preserving the Harvest: Corn Canning Trial

    This year's corn crop was a bumper harvest despite the wicked winds and wet start. Hearty ears of plump kernels grace our kitchen, and our plates. In every plot of corn we grow, there are often some 'nibblers' that find their way into the harvest; those stunted ears that, while small, still hold tasty, sweet kernels. This year we decided to jump out of our comfort zone using those little nibblers for a canning trial.

     I have never canned corn here on my homestead; freezing is so quick and easy. With a freezer overflowing with meat from spring butchering, and a very successful corn crop, space is limited. The logical thing to do is can it. Let's take a look at what we did.

      Harvested corn was shucked and scrubbed before blanching in boiling water. Ice baths stopped the cooking process, keeping the kernels nice and juicy while releasing some of the starches. A sharp knife carefully applied to the side of each ear released the kernels, once they were cool enough to handle.

       Canning jars were packed, leaving proper head space, and filled with warm water. Since this was a trail run, we canned pints instead of quarts. Each jar was given a fourth teaspoon of salt, a run through with a knife to remove air, and gently sealed with a lid. Our pressure canner hissed and sputtered for fifty-five minutes.

         Let me just say, canning corn is not for the faint of heart or the weary worker. This was an all day task that kept me on my feet and at the sink. While the results are wonderful and quite rewarding, I still prefer freezing over canning, but that's just me. Also, I did not make 'cream-style' corn because we just don't eat it that way. The trail was successful, rewarding, and quite exhausting. How about you? Do you can or freeze your corn harvest? Do you do it differently?


Jen said...

We always freeze ours. My whole life I remember standing at the sink cutting corn from the cob (some was frozen on the cob too).

Dolly Sarrio said...

I've canned corn before and yes ma'am it is an all day affair. I know you will enjoy it but I declare freezing is quicker. The great thing about all of your beautiful canning is that you will have it for quite a while and if your freezer goes out like mine did this year, you'll still have your corn! It is pretty in the jars.