Monday, October 19, 2009

Corn Cob Jelly

This old fashioned recipe recalls a time when people couldn't afford to be as wasteful as we often are today.

When I mention corn cob jelly people often wrinkle their nose as if I must be talking about something poisonous. Some of the finickiness that our society has developed is unfortunate because, quite frankly, corn cob jelly tastes good.

I always make it with the red cobs that come from dent corn (the type of corn that is fed to cattle and squirrels). As an Iowa girl, I have fields full of dent corn all around me. If you are not lucky enough to have a corn field outside your back door, you can get some corn that is sold for squirrels and shell it.

I have seen recipes that call for the cobs from sweet corn, but I have never tried it. I imagine that it would still have the hint of corn taste in it, but I am not sure what color it would be, since sweet corn has white cobs. Perhaps I should try it some time and see what it is like.

This is based on a recipe from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Cooking.

Corn Cob Jelly
(Yield is about 4 half-Pint Jars)
(Printable Recipe)

12 red corn cobs
6 cups water
3 cups sugar
1 package powdered pectin

Break cobs in half. Add water and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain in a damp Jelly Jelly Strainer. If necessary, add enough water to make 3 cups of liquid. Add sugar and bring to a rolling boil. Add pectin and return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute. Fill hot canning jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Add lids and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

High altitude instructions
1,001 - 3,000 feet : increase processing time by 5 minutes
3,001 - 6,000 feet : increase processing time by 10 minutes
6,001 - 8,000 feet : increase processing time by 15 minutes
8,001 - 10,000 feet : increase processing time by 20 minutes


  1. I almost want to say that my grandmother made this jelly, but I can't really say with certainty. If she knew about it, I am sure she would have because she was quite frugal, having endured the depression years.

    She used to make apple peel jelly. Every made it? It's very good!

  2. I am not quite sure how to describe it, but I would say it has a kind of honey like taste and also has a bit of a corn taste to it.

  3. I have never heard of this! I'd love to give it a try! :D The color is lovely as well.

  4. This was one of my Mother's fall rituals - making Corn Cob Jelly. ;)

  5. My grandmother talked about making this jelly! Once, I was telling her about and how they pretty much have recipes for anything a person would want to make. Well, she said "I bet they don't have a recipe for corn cob jelly!" Yep, she was right...LOL!

    ~Tammy B.

  6. I love the convenience of home canned stuff and chili is awesome.

    Work from home India

  7. I would say it has a kind of honey like taste and also has a bit of a corn taste to it. how to grow taller

  8. I made a similar recipe a few months ago and sadly it didn't gel. That rarely happens but is so frustrating when it does! It has a mild corn flavor but really tastes more like a mild honey than anything else. I made it in small jars to use as gifts with bread but will keep it to use a glaze for pork and such in the crockpot this winter.

  9. Just made a sweet corn version of has a translucent yellow color and a very mild flavor.

  10. hmm I never tasted this jelly before. What does it taste like?

  11. I have heard of this before, but it's been a long time. I've never tasted it, but I'm really curious.

  12. I made some corn cob jelly today and an totally surprised at the result. Its yummy! Sort of a raspberry tang, and maybe a hint of honey. Its a keeper!

  13. I've made this for my family in WA with sweet corn, added red food coloring and they loved it. It was in a cookbook sold by the local Chilerns Hospital. One of my son's wives took it and I've been lost without it!!
    I will make this for my family for Christmas this year. Thank you for publishing this OLD Depression Jelly!!!

  14. How safe would it be using the corn sold for squirrels? Would it have a lot of chemical on it? Just wondering, thanks for a answer. I do love the pretty red color on it.


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