In years past, we’d persistently had a difficult time getting our corn to produce like we’d hoped it would. We would get enough of a harvest, but not as much as we desired.
This year made up for those years of frustration. We ended up with enough corn to feed our immediate family, extended family, and still have plenty left over.
Which led me to require creative recipes because I had too much corn! Fortunately, I came across another wonderful recipe in my go-to canning book, Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.
The recipe was for corn relish. It’s a great way to utilize a fresh corn harvest, leftover corn when you’ve cooked too much, or when you’re trying to clean out your canned goods from the previous year to make room for more.
Here’s how you can make delicious corn relish:
- 2 quarts of cooked corn cut from the cob (approximately 18 ears of corn)
- 1 small head of cabbage, chopped
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 2 small chopped sweet green peppers
- 2 small chopped sweet red peppers
- 1-2 cups of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of turmeric
- 1 quart of vinegar
- 1 cup of water
This recipe should make approximately six pints of corn relish.
1. Prep Veggies
When canning season rolls around, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Especially when you have a booming garden to keep up with.
Therefore, I love this recipe. When I was overrun with corn this summer, this recipe was a quick option to put a portion of my harvest to work without a ton of fuss.
If you’re looking for a delicious, low fuss recipe, let’s start the process by prepping the veggies. The first vegetable to prep is the corn.
As mentioned above, if you’re trying to clear your pantry out, you may only need to open a couple of quarts of corn and move forward.
But if you’re working with fresh corn, shuck approximately 18 ears of corn and remove the silks. From there, cut the corn from the cob, and cook the corn in boiling water until done.
Once the corn is under your belt, it’s time to chop the cabbage finely. You can do this by hand or use a food processor. I prefer a food processor because it cuts the cabbage as fine as I like and with much more ease.
From there, it’ll be time to cut the tops from the peppers, remove the seeds, and either dice them by hand or in a food processor.
Again, I prefer a food processor because it takes a great deal of the prep work out of it for the cook.
Finally, you chop the onion the same as you did the other vegetables. Be sure to wash your vegetables before prepping them for food safety reasons. When all your veggies are cleaned and chopped, it’s time to move forward with the process.
2. Combine and Simmer
This recipe is straightforward. It’s a one pot dish which helps to preserve some of your summer harvests by creating a delicious relish recipe you’re going to love.
Staying with the theme of simplicity, take all your chopped veggies and toss them into a large pot. When all of the vegetables are in place, add each of your spices, vinegar, water, and the desired amount of sugar to the pot as well.
The recipe states you can add one or two cups of sugar, but it will depend upon your taste. I use less sugar because I’m not a sweets fan, and my corn is usually sweet enough for my liking.
But if you enjoy a sweeter relish, go ahead and add two cups. Once you make the recipe, you’ll know how to adjust it the next time.
When everything is in the pot, bring the entire mixture to a boil. Be sure to stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon to keep them from sticking to the bottom of your pot. The wooden spoon is to keep from scratching the pot in the process.
After the recipe has reached its boiling point, turn the heat down and simmer the mixture for approximately 20 minutes.
3. Prep Jars
Before packing your jars, it’s important to make sure you clean and sanitize them. You can do this by washing them by hand with warm water and dish detergent.
When the jars are clean, you can bake them in the oven to sanitize them.
If you have a dishwasher, you can allow the dishwasher to wash them. From there, put them in the oven to sanitize.
However, my dishwasher has a sanitize option. It will clean, sanitize, and dry the jars for me. If you have a dishwasher with this setting, it should be enough to clean and sanitize your jars fully.
Also, be sure you place your new lids and rings in a pan with boiling water for a few minutes to sanitize them as well.
When everything is sanitized, you’re ready to move forward with the preserving process.
4. Fill the Jars
With you jars sanitized, it’s time to place hot relish inside the hot jars. You can use a ladle or large serving spoon.
You’ll also need a funnel to ensure the relish goes into the jars and not all over your workspace. You won’t need to add anymore canning salt since you added it in the recipe.
Be sure to slide a butter knife down the inside of the jar to release any air bubbles. When the bubbles are gone, place the sanitized rings and lids onto each jar.
5. Process the Relish
When the jars are ready to go, it’s time to process them. We will use a water canner instead of a pressure canner, which is better for someone new to the world of food preservation.
Sometimes, when people are starting out, they prefer to work with a boiling water canner because it’s easier to handle and less intimidating.
In this case, you’ll place the jars into the water canner and fill it with water until the tops of the jars are covered.
Allow the canner to reach the point to where the water is boiling. When the water boils, set the timer for processing. The jars should process for 15 minutes.
When the 15 minutes is up, turn off the stove, and move on to the next step in the process.
6. Wait and Store
After the jars have finished processing, use jar grabbers to remove the jars from the boiling water safely. Place the hot jars on a surface which won’t scorch or on a surface which has been padded with multiple layers of towels.
Wait 24 hours before you check the jars to see if they’ve sealed successfully. During the 24 hours, it’ll be common to hear a ‘ping’ sound coming from the jars. This is the sound of the lids sealing properly.
However, at the end of 24 hours, check the lids by running your finger over the top. If the top is smooth, the lids have sealed properly.
But if you run your finger over the top and feel a button sticking up in the center of the lid, know the lid didn’t seal. Or if you run your finger over the lid and accidentally push the button down in the process, know that the jar didn’t seal properly.
In such a case, you should place the jar in the refrigerator to be used immediately. Otherwise, place a fresh lid on the jar and reprocess it.
For the jars which have sealed, label them with the date and contents, and store them in a cool, dry location for use throughout the year.
Now you know how to put your corn harvest to use and make a simple recipe which turns your corn into a delicious condiment.
Also, you know how to preserve the corn relish for a fresh taste of corn during the colder winter months. It’s our hope this recipe will help you to enjoy and store your corn in a whole new way.