Grace Schillinger shares this easy method for drying sweet corn, along with a great recipe for cooking it.
Drying sweet corn is easy to do and does not take a long time.
PHOTO: FOTOLIA/MARIANNE MAVER
I don't say this method of drying sweet corn goes back to the pioneers of this country but it's the recipe that both my grandmothers used. The process is easy and doesn't take forever nor a lot of fancy equipment. If you try it you'll have the satisfaction of reviving a long-ago way of preserving sweet corn for winter use and your friends will probably begin to think of you as a gourmet cook.
8 pints of raw sweet corn, cut off the cobs. DO NOT blanch the corn.
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons coarse canning salt
1/2 cup sweet cream
Does that one-half cup of sweet cream throw you? It needn't. You can still buy real cream at a dairy store and some of you fortunate folks will have honest-to-goodness cow's or goat's cream on hand. For heaven's sake don't try to use imitation dairy whip!
Boil the ingredients in a heavy pan for 20 minutes, stirring constantly so the mixture doesn't stick. Take from heat and spread the cooked corn in shallow pans in an oven turned to its lowest possible temperature. Stir often.
When the corn is dry and rather crispy, put it into clean brown paper sacks. Grandma's directions said to hang the sacks behind the stove until the grain is thoroughly dry and, if your stove stands out from the wall, you can do as she suggested. Otherwise, make sure the sacks are closed tightly enough so no insects can get inside and hang the bags in the driest room in your house. When the corn's finished drying, it'll rattle inside the sacks. The grain then can be stored in glass jars with tight lids.
This corn doesn't need to be soaked when you use it, and it's especially delicious cooked in milk instead of water.
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