Better-Than-Granny’s Creamed Corn

Better-Than-Granny’s Creamed Corn


Ninety percent of Americans who eat creamed corn get it from a can. That makes me sadgry.* After all, corn (maize) is as American as food gets and creamed corn may be it’s finest culinary expression … after corn on the cob of course.

*An equal mixture of sad and angry that I get a lot.

Better-Than-Granny's Creamed Corn

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium (about 4 ounces onion, diced fine)
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 sprig rosemary (bruised (this is, crushed roughly between your hands)*)
  • 8 ears fresh corn (about 3 pounds total)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (to up the yellow a bit)
  • 2 tablespoons stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup heavy cream (it is called "creamed corn" ya know)
  • 1 pinch black pepper (freshly ground)
  1. Put the butter in a 3-quart saucier and melt over medium heat. Add the onion, salt and rosemary and sweat until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place a paper bowl upside down in the middle of a large mixing bowl.
  3. If you have an old-fashioned corn on the cob holder, insert one in the skinny end and place the ear vertically on the small bowl and using a chef’s knife, cut off the kernels. (See Post-it.)
  4. When all the kernels have been removed, turn the knife around and use the spine of the blade to carefully scrape out any remaining pulp.
  5. Add the corn, sugar and turmeric to the saucier and continue cooking over medium-high heat until the liquid from the corn thickens a bit, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the cornmeal onto the corn mixture and stir to combine. Add the cream, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the corn is very soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Fish out the rosemary, season with pepper and serve as a side to just about anything, or use to make cornbread (check the other posts).

*Rosemary is my favorite herb to pair with corn. The resinous, evergreen flavor (not to mention aroma) balances the sweet, grassiness of the corn.

Alton Brown's Corn on the Cob Removal Diagram 

47 Comments

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  1. 2
    King Richard

    I smoke my corn at first… then turn up the heat to roast the corn… I let it cool, and then shuck the corn… the extra smokeyness and roasted flavor makes a beautiful richness to the corn!

  2. 4
    DianeMargaret Miller

    I usually make creamed corn, while the corn is fresh & readily available, then I freeze it in 1 1/2 cup portions (my other recipes, usually use 2 cups of creamed corn…keep reading…). I tuck it in the freezer, right along side my frozen corn on the cob, and packages of kernel corn! I tend to make mine extra juicy, then add more kernel corn (about 1/2 cup…to make it two cups total), when I’m reheating it!

  3. 5
    John

    Interesting using turmeric and onion. Never used either in mine. I always use frozen corn since this is a Thanksgiving dish here. I add a bit of cayenne at the end. It balances the sweetness and gives a bit of warmth at the end. Not too much, just enough for a nice surprise after. Definitely use corn meal to thicken though!

  4. 6
    Erin

    For those of us having to use frozen corn, 8 ears of corn would yield approximately 6 cups of corn kernels (roughly 3/4 cup per ear). Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. 8
    Troy

    I would like to first say that since I grew up with a garden every summer, I am VERY picky when it comes to corn. However… I also think that when used in a recipe, the quality isn’t quite as important as just eating “corn on the cob.” I just made this, and it is PHENOMENAL. I don’t know if I could ever eat canned again. Thank you, Alton, for a fabulous recipe!!!

    • 11
      Kit

      @Erin said, “For those of us having to use frozen corn, 8 ears of corn would yield approximately 6 cups of corn kernels (roughly 3/4 cup per ear).”

  6. 15
    Anthony

    It’s pretty weird to think that people comment on a corn recipe. I would make fun of you all, but here I am doing it too. I guess I just love Alton Brown.

  7. 16
    LizWagner

    Lose the bowl rig! Use a bundt pan: the hole in the center holds the corn cob and the pan catches massive amounts of corn. If you place it in the sink while cutting, any strays get rinsed into the disposal. Easy peasy!

    • 22
      Meghan

      Your local megamart will have them, look next to the paper plates.

      I like to use a plastic container that was headed for the recycling bin. It serves the same purpose of protecting the knife blade (which a bundt pan will not do).

  8. 24
    Dale

    Using a Bundt pan works great for cutting the corn of the cob. The hole in the center of the pan holds the cob while you cut the corn off the cob

    • 33
      Kit

      @Erin said, “For those of us having to use frozen corn, 8 ears of corn would yield approximately 6 cups of corn kernels (roughly 3/4 cup per ear).”

    • 35
      Kit

      @Erin said, “For those of us having to use frozen corn, 8 ears of corn would yield approximately 6 cups of corn kernels (roughly 3/4 cup per ear).”

  9. 36
    Greg

    So, why post a recipe asking for fresh corn off the cob when it is November and good fresh corn was several months ago? Any recommended substitutions until corn is back in season?

  10. 39
    jennifer

    ok, so not a question about the recipe, because yum, but a question about the pic of the post it ; did you do something different? use a different camera? it’s so strangely crisp compared to most, that i’m wondering how ya did it? a certain setting?

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