Fall Canning-Pickled Corn Relish

I visited the Columbia City Farmer's Market on Wednesday and everything looked fantastic! I got a little distracted by the pastries, bread, cheese, but I finally got around to the items on my list: corn, red bell peppers, and green bell peppers.

There is really nothing in the world like fresh sweet corn. In fact, America is one of the few countries in the world that eats(and enjoys) corn on the cob. Most of the rest of the world eats their corn after it is dried and processed. Here is a recipe that will conserve the crunch of sweet corn well into the winter months.

Pickled Sweet Corn Relish

3 ears of sweet corn, husked and cut from the cob (about 2 1/2 cups of kernels)
1 red bell pepper, diced (about 2/3 cup)
1 green tomato or green bell pepper, diced (about 2/3 cup)
4-5 ribs celery, diced(about 2/3 cup)
1 small onion, diced (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/4 cup 5% acidity vinegar (white or apple cider, your choice!)
1 1/2 teaspoons Pickling Salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 cup brown sugar, or to taste

Makes about 6 half-pints or 3 pints. Recipe may be doubled.

*  TIP: When you dice the peppers, tomato, celery and onion, try to match the size of your corn kernels. Otherwise, the largest pieces will work their way to the top of the jar!

Combine corn, pepper(s), tomato, celery, onions, vinegar, salt, and celery seed in a saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix mustard and turmeric in 1/2 cup of the simmered mixture. Add this mixture to the hot mixture. Simmer another 5 minutes. If desired, thicken mixture with flour paste (1/4 cup flour blended in 1/4 cup water) and stir frequently. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar and taste- add more sugar if desired. Fill hot jars with hot mixture, leaving 1/2- inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process. 15 minutes for pints or half pints.

Don't toss the waste out yet! There is one more project you may want to try...

Corn Cob Jelly

3 naked corn cobs
golden silk from the corn--discard the browned silk
Water to cover
2 tablespoons Ball Low/No Sugar Pectin 
2 cups sugar (white or brown)
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 drop yellow food coloring, if desired

Makes about 3 half-pints. Recipe may be doubled.

* TIP: In a sauce pan, measure 2 cups of water. Mark the level on the pan and  then proceed. This will show you when the juice is reduced enough.

Place your corn cobs and silk in a sauce pan and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for 1 hour. Remove the cobs and continue to simmer uncovered until the liquid is reduced to 2 cups. Strain the liquid and return to the sauce pan. Mix pectin and sugar together and add to the hot corn juice. Add lemon or lime juice and food coloring(optional).

Bring to a full rolling boil and test the set by dribbling a little jelly onto a cold dinner plate. Tip the plate sideways to see how well the jelly is set. Taste the jelly--you can add more sugar if desired.  When the gel and sweetness are perfect pour the jelly into sterile half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process. 5 minutes for half pints.