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Putting Up Corn Relish


Making corn relish and canning it in a water bath canner is an easy and delicious way to preserve end-of-the-season corn. Open these colorful jars for a taste of summer in the middle of winter.

Getting Started

This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens’ America’s All-Time Favorite Canning & Preserving Recipes. I like to use half-pint jars to arrange in holiday gift baskets with homemade pickle relish, mustard and ketchup. I also have had fine results making a half-recipe, adjusting all the quantities by half. (But most experts shudder at modifying canning recipes. Follow recipes in trusted canning guides to ensure safety.)

Yield about 5 pints.


• 12-16 ears of corn
• 2 cups water (for boiling corn)
• 3 cups celery, chopped
• 3 cups chopped red sweet pepper (or mixed red and green sweet peppers)
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 2-1/2 cups vinegar
• 1-3/4 cups sugar
• 4 tsp dry mustard
• 2 tsp pickling salt
• 2 tsp celery seed
• 1 tsp ground turmeric
• 3 tbsp cornstarch
• 2 tbsp water

Prepping the Jars

As always, wash the jars, lids and bands in hot soapy water. Or wash jars and bands in the dishwasher and lids by hand so the rubber seal doesn’t overheat. Fill your water-bath canner with water and bring to boil. You want the water to cover the filled jars by at least two inches.

When the water comes to a boil, lower the clean empty jars into the canner to sterilize while you mix up the corn relish. Pour boiling water over lids and bands in a heatproof dish.

Making the Relish

1. Cut corn off the cobs to measure 8 cups.

2. Combine corn and water in a Dutch oven, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, about five minutes or until corn is nearly tender. Drain. End-of-season corn is just as sweet as early summer’s, but can be a little tougher so making relish is a great way to use it.

3. Return the corn to the pot; add celery, pepper and onion.

4. Stir in vinegar, sugar, mustard, pickling salt, celery seed and turmeric. Bring to boiling. Boil uncovered for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. In a separate cup, mix the cornstarch and water, then add to corn relish.

6. Continue to cook mixture until slightly thick and bubbly and time for one additional minute.

7. Remove sterilized jars from the canner and place on a towel by the pot of relish.

8. Ladle relish into the canning jars leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Use a sterilized stainless knife to coax out any air bubbles, wipe jar rims and adjust lids and bands.

9. Process in your water-bath canner for 15 minutes in boiling water, adding minutes depending on your particular altitude. You can find accurate timing information online or in most canning books. After processing, lift jars unto a clean towel and wait for the faithful “ping” of each seal.

You can read more at Dede's website, or in her blog post archive on MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

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