Homemade Corn Relish Recipe
Corn relish is as tasty as it is beautiful! Unlike commercially purchased corn relish, this has no thickener, which means it stays light and refreshing! It captures the cheerful colors of summer and the crunch of fresh veggies in a wonderfully tangy, slightly salty vinegar and sugar syrup.
I love researching recipe origins, and it always makes me chuckle a little. How can corn relish be fundamental to Midwestern cuisine, Southern in origin, German, and created by the Pennsylvania Dutch all at the same time?
I think it’s because everyone wants bragging rights on something so yummy!
Corn Relish Is Perfect On A Hot Dog Or Served Alongside The Thanksgiving Dinner Table
Once you’ve made a batch of corn relish, what do you do with it? Great question! Corn relish can be down-home or uptown. It’s considered a condiment, not a side dish, and makes a wonderful accompaniment for any meat or poultry. It’s also terrific served with tortilla chips or soup and sandwiches, and it tastes amazing on crab cakes!
The United States was the first Western country to embrace the regular consumption of corn and has remained one of the world’s largest corn producers and consumers.
Throughout much of Europe, corn was traditionally considered peasant food and reserved for livestock feed. Americans, meanwhile, cleverly pioneered many corn-based dishes and recipes. Relish is one of them. Lucky us, right?
Let’s Get Busy Chopping And Shucking Up A Fresh Batch Of Corn Relish
Before you begin canning anything, make sure you have everything you need ready in your workspace; a long-handled spoon for stirring, ladle, jars, rings, canning funnel, a clean, damp cloth, and your jar lifter. I like to put a thick old towel on my countertop to catch drips and pad the surface. Remember to check the depth of the pots you will use to treat the relish with a boiling water bath.*
We’ll start making corn relish the same way we prepare corn for the freezer. When I was “putting up” corn last week, I saved back 10 cups of blanched kernels to make relish! In case you missed it, here’s how you prepare corn for the freezer.
Here’s what you do in brief. Once you have removed the husks and the silks from the corn, drop it briefly in boiling water a few ears at a time. Allow it to cook for three minutes. Then, remove the ears and place them in very cold water to stop the cooking process. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob and set the corn aside while you chop the other veggies.
Of course, you can blanch just enough corn for this recipe. It will take about 15-20 average ears of corn to yield 10 cups. If you blanch too much, you get to eat it! Yay! So sweet and crunchy! I like to saute extra or leftover corn in a little butter, then add kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and some finely chopped green onion. Yum!
Now chop up some peppers, the more colorful, the better! You’ll also dice some celery and onions (I used sweet onions.)
Before you go further, fill a canner or tall stockpot about half full of water. *Check to be sure the pot you use is tall enough that there is room for boiling water to cover the jar with the lid on by one inch for a proper seal. If your water is hard, add some vinegar to the water to prevent lime from forming on the jars.
For this batch, my daughter and I used two tall stockpots. Each held 5 pints snugly!
Now that everything has been shucked, blanched, seeded, and chopped, it’s time to bring it all together in a big, heavy pot! We used my big blue Le Crueset; it worked beautifully! The pot you use should hold six to eight quarts.
Begin by combining the vinegar, sugar, canning salt, celery seed, mustard, and turmeric. Slowly bring to a boil, occasionally stirring until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Add onion, peppers, and celery and heat on medium-high until the mixture is bubbling, then add the corn and simmer gently, uncovered, for five minutes.
Remove from the heat and ladle the relish into clean pint jars. Leave 1/2 inch headspace. Carefully wipe the rim of the jar with a clean damp dishcloth. Apply a canning flat and ring, screw into place and hand tighten the lids.
Use the canning jar lifter to lower the hot jars into the boiling water bath. Add boiling water if needed to cover the jars by one inch! Process for 20 minutes in the boiling water bath. Turn off the heat.
Use the jar lifter to remove the jars from the water bath onto a cooling rack or thick towel on the countertop. Leave an inch between the jars and let them cool completely before you touch them. As they seal, you will hear the satisfying “ping” of the lids as they form a tight vacuum seal.
If a jar doesn’t seal, you can remove the lid, wipe the rim, try a new lid, and reprocess. Or refrigerate the jar and use the relish within about two weeks!
- 10 cups of blanched corn kernels (15 to20 average ears of corn)
- 5 cups of finely diced bell peppers of any color. The more color, the better!
- 2 1/2 cups finely diced celery
- 1 1/2 cups finely diced onion
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 Tbsp canning salt
- 2 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 5 cups of apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp dry mustard
- 1 1/4 tsp turmeric
- Remove the husks and the silks from the corn.
- Drop briefly in boiling water a few ears at a time. Allow it to cook for three minutes.
- Remove the ears of corn and place them in very cold water to stop the cooking process.
- When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob.
- Set the corn aside while you chop the other veggies.
- Fill a tall stockpot or canner about halfway full of water. Set on heat and bring to a gentle boil. If your water is hard, add some vinegar to help prevent lime from forming on the jars.
- Chop celery, peppers, and onion.
- Combine the vinegar, sugar, canning salt, celery seed, mustard, and turmeric n a heavy 6 to 8-quart pot.
- Slowly bring to a boil, occasionally stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve completely.
- Add onion, peppers, and celery and heat on medium-high until the mixture is bubbling,
- Add the corn and simmer gently, uncovered, for five minutes.
- Remove from heat and ladle the relish into clean, sterile pint jars. Leave 1/2 inch headspace.
- Apply a lid and screw on the ring. Tighten by hand.
- Use a jat lifter to lower into a hot water bath.
- Boiling water must cover the jars by one inch. Add more boiling water if needed.
- Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Use a jar lifter to remove jars from the boiling water and set them on a cooling rack or countertop padded with a thick towel. Leave at least an inch between jars.
- Allow the jars to cool undisturbed for 12 hours.
- You will hear a ping sound as the jars seal.
- If jars do not seal, you can put on a new lid and reprocess or store the relish in the refrigerator and use it within two weeks.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 46Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 222mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g
Corn relish makes a wonderful gift. Kids love it because it’s not too spicy! Why not make an extra batch so you have plenty to share? Hint: include a bag of tortilla chips or a package of brats and buns for the hostess at your next “5th quarter” get-together!
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