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Freezing Corn

Freezing Corn
Julie wanted to know about freezing corn. I hope this information is hopeful. Our family does not like frozen corn on the cob. They are in the group that feels it has a funny taste and is mushy, but I know others who do not feel that way. There are great videos on the Internet, if you want a step by step visual instruction on what to do.
Robbie IN

Freezing fresh corn is done one of two ways: on the cob or off. Freezing corn on the cob follows the same steps as freezing the kernels, except you’ll be freezing whole cobs of corn. Cobs occupy far more freezer space, so keep that in mind. Corn frozen on the cob sometimes develops a cobby flavor or becomes mushy. Cooling the corn quickly and thoroughly after blanching will help prevent that.

To freeze corn off the cob, you need to remove kernels from cobs. You can buy special gadgets for this task, but you probably have two items that make the job simple and snappy: a bundt pan and an electric knife. Use the bundt pan to support ears as you remove kernels by slipping the small end of the cob into the hole in the pan. Cut kernels collect neatly in the pan. Many people also de-kernel cobs on a cookie sheet.

An electric knife de-kernels cobs in record time and offers an easy-to-use option for arthritic hands. Simply grab the cob by the small end and slowly rotate it as you run the electric knife down its length. For whole kernel corn, cut kernels to about two-thirds their depth. For cream-style corn, cut kernels to about one-half their depth and scrape the cobs using the back of a knife. This motion removes the heart and juice from each kernel.

Whether you’re freezing corn on the cob or off, you’ll get the best flavor if you use corn within two to six hours of picking. Choose a traditional variety of corm for freezing, rather than a supersweet, which may discolor once frozen. If you have the option, cut the corn early in the morning for best flavor, especially if the weather is hot. Also make sure the corn is at its peak maturity for best flavor and texture.

One bushel of corn on the cob yields 12 to 22 pints of whole-kernel or cream- style frozen corn. If you’re freezing in quart-size containers, you’ll get roughly half that amount.

Some people freeze corn on the cob in the husk, but that has no impact on flavor or keeping quality. For freezing whole kernel or cream-style corn, remove husks, silks, and any worms or blemished spots. Blanching is the secret to preserving the freshest, sweetest, longest-lasting frozen corn.

Freezing corn on the cob without blanching is possible, and it’s not harmful to eat that corn. Skip blanching if you know you’ll eat frozen corn within two or three months. For longer storage, blanch.

To blanch the corn, use a large pot — about 12 to 15 quarts — and use one gallon of water for each 2 to 3 ears. Bring the water to a rolling boil, plink the corn in the water, cover the pot, and begin timing immediately. Small ears (between 1-1/4 and 1-1/2 inches in diameter) should be blanched for 8 minutes and cooled in ice water for 16 minutes. Medium to large ears should be blanched for 11 minutes and cooled in ice water for 22 minutes. If you don't blanch the corn long enough, you are likely to have off-flavors when you get around to eating it.

You can use the same blanching water two or three times. Replace water that has boiled off, and change the water if it becomes cloudy. Once cool, drain the corn thoroughly; extra water will form ice crystals in the frozen corn, causing damage to the kernels.
By blanching corn and cooking it again when you are ready to eat it, you are essentially cooking it twice, which may cause the skin to be tough and the insides of the kernel to be mushy. If you cool the corn immediately in ice water after blanching, it should not become mushy.
Robbie IN

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