Wednesday, 8 June 2011

At Home: Grandmother's Creamy Fresh Corn

Corn bought in the Midwest or Southern States is the best to be had: fresh from the sun-drenched fields, and tooth-achingly sweet. It bears no resemblance to its poor relations flown across the world to languish in plastic, stripped of their protective husks, on our supermarket shelves.

My American grandmother was a home economist and food writer, and a meticulous and impressive home cook. She kept records of her favourite family and entertaining recipes, pasting clippings neatly onto cards, or noting them down in elegant script. Serendipity intervened as I was helping clear out the family home in Ohio after the death of my grandfather, and I came across her collection. Corn features widely, and this is a true American classic.

I've adapted the recipe, providing UK measures. Use the freshest corn cobs you can find, preferably with their husks intact. I've omitted the flour, as I don't think it is necessary. Serve with plain roast chicken, or as part of a Sunday brunch fry up.

7-8 ears of corn
85g unsalted butter
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp sea salt
120ml whole milk
120ml double cream
pepper and nutmeg, to taste

Cut the corn from the cob by holding it on a board vertically and slashing down through kernels with a small sharp knife, then scrape the cob with back of the knife to extract all the milk from the cob.

Melt butter in frying pan, stir in corn. Add sugar, salt and milk. Cover, and cook slowly for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cream, and simmer for a further couple of minutes. Sprinkle generously with coarsely ground pepper and nutmeg.


  1. It is so nice using family recipes. This looks just the thing to cheer upnthis miserable wet Sunday.

  2. Helena Wickens13 June 2011 at 13:11

    That's lovely Laura - please make it for me x

  3. How wonderful to find your grandma's old recipes. What a lovely find. I recently made a creamed sweetcorn tart and used canned creamed corn - it was delicious, but next time I shall make it properly - using your grandma's recipe. (

  4. Hi, MissCakeBaker. I've only just started cooking from my grandmother's archive. It does make cooking more special, knowing the recipe has been passed through the family. It's most certainly comfort food. I don't feel like cooking light summer dishes just yet!

    Hi, Beadbag. I must check out your post - a tart of creamed corn sounds delightful. It doesn't take long to make it from scratch, but it just depends on getting your hands on decent fresh cobs.

  5. A taste of childhood, lived less than a mile from those very MidWestern cornfields.
    Picked, shucked and in the pot within half an hour.

    with love
    (daughter of the homemaker, Mildred Chapin - and over to Laura)