Things You’ll Need
Large stock pot
Slotted spoon or tongs
Aromatics (e.g., herb sprigs, garlic cloves, hot peppers, whole peppercorns)
Heavy plate or other clean, narrow weighted object to fit crock
Dishcloth or plastic wrap
Chop corn ears crosswise for an easier fit in the pickling crock.Tei_Sinthipsomboon/iStock/Getty Images
Pickled corn serves as a sweet and sour side dish at picnics and summer barbecues. Short, squat crocks that hold at least 4 quarts are sturdier than jars, and they block out heat and sunlight during the fermentation process. Crocks also provide increased width over standard jars, allowing for alternating layers of chopped corn ears with other flavoring ingredients during the pickling process. Use jalapenos and garlic for a pungent punch, or coriander seeds and dill for a tart touch.
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Fill the stock pot with water and set it over high heat. While the water comes to a boil, husk the ears and remove their silks. Cut the corn ears, crosswise, into disks about 1.5 inches long.
Boil the sliced ears for 5 minutes, then remove the pieces and plunge them into a bowl of ice water. Immediately remove the corn pieces and drain them.
Drain the corn in a colander and pat the corn dry with paper towels.
Prepare the other flavoring ingredients. Depending on the aromatics you use, preparation might include peeling and chopping garlic cloves, chopping jalapeno sections, and separating clean herb bunches into individual sprigs.
Set the first layer of corn pieces in the crock. Alternate corn pieces with the prepared aromatics, until all of the corn is in the crock. A 4-quart — 1 gallon — crock will hold about six chopped corn ears.
Make a brine in a large bowl by stirring together about 6 tablespoons kosher salt for every 2 quarts of room-temperature water. Stir vigorously until the salt is completely dissolved.
Add the brine to the crock until the corn is submerged. Use a heavy plate or other clean, heavy object to weigh down the corn and keep it under the brine.
Cover the crock with a clean dishcloth or loose plastic wrap and set it in a dark room with a temperature that's about 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Test the corn after about a week. When it is at the tartness and texture you prefer, cover the crock with its lid, or seal it with tight wrap. Put it in the refrigerator for up to three months. If the crock is too large for your refrigerator, divide the pickled corn, with its aromatic brine, into individual jars or airtight containers.
If you have a true corn bounty, use a larger pickling crock and double or triple the amount of brine and aromatics you'd normally use.
If you are buying new crocks, look for those that come with their own weights, which are constructed to fit perfectly into the crocks.
Take care that your crock, recipe ingredients and kitchen equipment are clean and dry to help prevent food spoilage.
If your home's tap water is hard, the final product may be affected. Use either distilled water in your brine, or boil hard tap water for 15 minutes. Let it stand for 24 hours; then strain the water.