Many people asked me to make corn cob jelly after seeing GoingZeroWaste’s recipe on TikTok and Instagram.
The recipe sounded familiar, so I scoured some of my old cookbooks, and found it in one called The Pioneer Cookbook: The Ozark Mountaineer (Amzn affiliate link).
According to the cookbook, corn cob jelly was used in place of corn syrup when that was scarce or unaffordable. Since the taste was indistinguishable from corn syrup, it made sense to make it in the summer when corn was plentiful.
It was also used as a honey substitute. In this recipe, we are gong to be condensing the juice from our corn cobs into a jelly or honey-like substance that we can smear on toast.
Now I’ve made a couple of other old-fashioned recipes for honey substitutes including bee-less honey made from clover which I harvested in my field. I also made a mesquite jelly, or poor man’s honey from mesquite beans sent to me by lovely Shelly from Nevada.
So, just like those, the corn cob jelly recipe definitely comes out of this tradition of hard times recipes — times when money was tight and you didn’t want anything to go to waste.
So don’t throw out those corn cobs just yet. You’ll need those, some sugar, corn starch, and turmeric (for color) to make your corn cob jelly.
Corn Cob Jelly Honey
- 2 corn cobs
- 2 C. water
- 1/4 C. granulated sugar
- 1½ tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1/8 tsp. turmeric
- Add the corn cobs to a sauce pan along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain. Return the corn cob broth to the saucepan and add sugar and turmeric. Cook on medium heat 3-5 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved.
- In a small bowl combine the corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, add the cornstarch and water mixture. Stir to incorporate and bring to a full boil to thicken.
- Remove from heat and cool to room temperature to fully thicken.
- Serve on buttered toast.
How Does Corn Cob Jelly Taste?
First of all, it’s sweet! About as sweet as honey, though the consistency is a little bit thinner. And in addition to being sweet, it has, of course, a light corn-on-the-cob flavor.
For me, it’s kind of like the corn-on-the-cob version of Frosted Flakes.
The turmeric doesn’t give it any additional flavor, but it does bump up the visual intensity.
How Does it Compare to Honey?
Does anything really compare to unadulterated honey? Honey just has this complexity that changes from season to season and from year to year that you really can’t match.
Having my own bee hives, every year I’m just tickled by the changes because I don’t know what color or flavor the harvest will be — it all depends on what the bees forage.
It can be fruity or with a wide range in complexity and intensity. By way of contrast, corn cob honey is very sweet and clear, with a distinct flavor of cooked corn, but it doesn’t have any complexity.
Corn cob honey does go well with buttered toast. So I would certainly recommend it if you wanted to try something novel or it you wanted to save money.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried and what you think!
Toodaloo! Take care! Byeee!!!