Cutting Corn Off the Cob and Freezing It
After getting a little carried away at a produce auction this week, I came home with ten DOZEN ears of corn. Even with six people in the family, we won't eat that much corn before it goes bad. I gave a dozen to my sister and bartered a dozen for a peck of blackberries, but that still leaves a bunch. I decided to take four dozen ears and put corn in the freezer for the winter. Freezing the ears whole takes up a lot of space, so I decided to cut the corn off the cob for freezing. The end result was eight quarts of yummy, fresh corn now frozen for a taste of summer in January. Here is how I did it.
Before you freeze corn (or most vegetables) you need to blanch it first. Blanching stops the enzymes from continuing to ripen your foods while in the freezer. Trust me on this, last year I skipped this step and my corn was mushy and tasteless. For corn, after you shuck it and get rid of all the strings, drop the ears into boiling water. Cover and boil for three minutes. While the corn is boiling, fill your sink with water and ice. When the three minutes are up, plunge the corn cobs into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Let cool for three minutes and move over to the dry part of your sink to drain.
Once all your corn has drained, set up a station for cutting the kernels off. This should include a cutting board, sharp knife, quart freezer bags and a pen for labeling. I have a flexible cutting board that I like to use because I can fold it up and pour the kernels into bags easily. Stand each ear of corn up on the wide end and hold the point of the cob. Slide your knife down from the top, cutting off two to three rows of kernels at a time. There is a bit of trial and error in cutting the kernels off. If you cut too shallow, you don't get whole kernels. If you cut too deep you will get the tough end of the kernel. It takes a little getting used to, but after an ear or two you should have it down.
You can freeze the corn in whatever proportions you need, but I just filled my quart bags. I put my kids to work shucking the corn and for my part I was able to preserve four dozen ears of corn in less than two hours. Much faster than processing the eight pecks of tomatoes I won, so I was pretty happy. Enjoy your fresh corn all winter!
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