Creamed Corn. Minus the Can.

Gluten-Free, Meatless, Sides, Southern / Sunday, November 1st, 2009


Last summer, when my sister was great with child, Mom decided it was finally time to teach us how to make Creamed Corn.

What’s sitting in a can on the grocery shelf is fine for casseroles and thickening chili, but you don’t want to invite that salty, runny mess to Sunday lunch. It’d be like seating Courtney Love next to your grandmother.

Real creamed corn –a skillet full of kernels and milk freshly scraped straight off the cob, butter and cream, salt and pepper – requires a little time and patience, like most worthwhile things.

It’s so ubiquitous as a Southern side dish that if I called Mom and asked what she made for supper tonight, she probably wouldn’t even mention it. But if it were missing from the table, it would be missed.

So, what took her so long to teach us how to make it? I like to think she was waiting for a milestone, torch-passing, may-the-circle-be-unbroken moment. But I’m pretty sure she waited until she could trust us alone with knives.


Creamed Corn

Adapted from Matt and Ted Lee’s “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook”

Serves 6

  • 8 ears fresh corn
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter*
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or half-and-half, whole milk or skim milk)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (when corn is out of season)
  1. Cut the corn from the cobs with a sharp knife, and scrape the cobs with the edge of a spoon to extract as much leftover kernel and “milk” as possible.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat until it’s frothy. Add corn and stir constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Pour in the cream. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring until the liquid has thickened, about 12 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let steam for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

*Gluten-Free Tip: Check the label on your butter to make sure it’s gluten-free.

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22 thoughts on “Creamed Corn. Minus the Can.

  1. You actually wrote out a whole blog post? *cough OVERACHIEVER cough* Mine was a "I have no idea why I signed up for this shiz b/c I got nothing" post. HA! 1 day down. 29 more to go…

  2. I taught you to make corn… but it was still scarry with both girls AND knives in the kitchen. Cut once, scrape twice is the key to getting all the corn off the cob. I don't put milk in the corn, just water. Cook until it smells.. I know, strange, but it works. If the corn is too thin, sprinkle corn meal on top, just a spoonful and mix in the corn. Cook a bunch and warm in the microwave the next day.

  3. Cream corn is THAT easy? You must be pulling my leg. Seriously? Oh my goodness. I'm definately saving this recipe and trying it out soon! Thanks for posting it.

  4. That's it? No secret? It's so easy! I bet my babygirl would like corn a lot better if I made it this way instead of out of the can!

  5. I have always wanted to make creamed corn but never have! I dont know why, it looks so delicious, savory and easy. This recipe is a keeper for sure.

  6. I've never had homemade creamed corn and I also wouldn't have guessed that making it was so easy. I don't much care for it from a can, and I really liked your funny explanation and comparison. I want to give this a try really soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe. (Your picture of it is wonderful — I like the soft turquoise of the bowl against the yellow of the corn.)

  7. So, being with child is a time when your mother trusts you with knives. Damn, no wonder mine still won't let me chop vegetables. And I don't plan on having a child for another 10 years! Sigh. Anyway, I love creamed corn and will be making this ASAP!

  8. My favorite! Very much like the "Fried Corn" I ate at my granmother's house growing up. I am working on corn pudding for my site – the absolute must for our Thanksgiving table.

  9. Now, stop that! When you write lines like, "when my sister was great with child," WITHOUT WARNING, you cause me to spew whatever beverage I'm drinking all over the keyboard!

  10. This looks awesome! Will definitely need to give it a try once fresh corn is available again. (Do you know how much frozen corn you'd need, and would that even be a good idea?) Happy to be on the 30-day journey with you :)

  11. […] Creamed Corn Summer time or winter time is a good time for creamed corn. When I was craving this dish, the market did not have a good selection of corn so I used half fresh corn and half canned corn, it still worked out very well. This is from Ezra Pound Cake: […]

  12. I love love LOVE real creamed corn! Unfortunately my husband will have nothing to do with it. Seriously, I'm beginning to question why I ever married him. ;)

  13. There is no comparison between the canned slime and homemade creamed corn. I absolutely love the homemade version, but can't stand the can. I often add in some extra milk on top of the cream when I want some saucy corn, but it is not necessary.

    Keep up the good work!

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