Corn is one of those foods that my kids can’t get enough of. They especially love corn on the cob. Sadly corn on the cob is a very seasonal food that comes on in abundance. Instead of eating so much that we get sick of it, I like to preserve it so that we can enjoy it in the middle of January too.
What is blanching and why do it? Blanching is heating up a food to a point where it kills the microorganisms living on but doesn’t cook the food. You can do this with many vegetables to aid in preserving them for longer amounts of time.
Have you ever tried to just freeze your corn? In my experience, shucking the corn and just freezing it raw results in squishy corn that has lost it’s molecular integrity. It won’t hurt you and the flavor isn’t bad but the texture is all wrong. This breakdown comes from the bacteria that are still on the corn that cause food to rot. Blanching helps to kill off any germs and bacteria as well as preserve the flavor and texture of the corn.
So how do you blanch corn? Find your biggest pot and set it on the stove to boil. Have some corn already shucked and picked clean of silk ready to go. When the water reaches the boiling point, use tongs to set the corn into the pot. Leave the corn in for 2 minutes and then pull out promptly.
You do not want to cook the corn, only blanch it. To stop the cooking process you then put the corn into an ice bath to cool it back down. After the corn has reached a cool temperature it can be removed from the ice bath, patted dry and then can be put into ziplock bags to be frozen.
Blanched corn last well up to about a year in the freezer. Just take it out toss it in some boiling water and cook as though it was fresh out of the garden, because, hey, it was last summer!