Deep-frying may seem like a pain, but these corn fritters make the whole process worth it. Fresh summer corn is cut off the cob and folded into a cayenne-spiced cornmeal batter along with finely chopped scallions. Heaping spoonfuls of the batter are fried until crisp and golden brown on the outside, tender and fluffy on the inside. Eat the fritters on their own, dunk them in some homemade Tartar Sauce, or serve alongside corn chowder soup.
Special equipment: You will need a deep-frying/candy thermometer for this recipe.
What to buy: Don’t use frozen or canned corn in this recipe. Both contain too much water, which causes dangerous oil spatter during the frying process.
- 4 ears white or yellow corn, shucked
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup medium-ground cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions (from about 5 medium scallions, white and light green parts only)
- 2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
- Tartar Sauce, for serving (see recipe intro)
- Heat the oven to 250°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Remove the corn kernels from the cobs: Place a large container on a damp towel. Fold a paper towel into fourths and place it inside the container. Stand one ear of corn on the paper towel, using the stem as a handle. Using a paring knife, slice downward, letting the kernels fall into the container. Rotate the cob and continue until all the kernels have been removed; set the cob aside. Repeat with the remaining corn (you will need 2 cups of kernels; save any extra for another use). Discard the paper towel. Using the back of the knife, scrape along the cobs to extract the milky liquid, adding it to the bowl with the kernels; discard the cobs. Set the kernels aside.
- Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and cayenne together in a large bowl until combined. Whisk the milk and egg together in a small bowl until combined, add them to the flour mixture, and stir until combined. Stir in the corn and scallions until evenly mixed; set aside.
- Pour the oil into a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot and heat over medium-high heat until the oil temperature registers 360°F on a deep-frying/candy thermometer. Meanwhile, fit a wire rack over a baking sheet; set aside.
- When the oil is ready, carefully drop 5 heaping tablespoons of the corn batter into it. Fry, turning occasionally, until dark golden brown all over, about 4 minutes. Be very careful, as some of the corn kernels may pop, causing hot oil to spatter. Using a slotted spoon or spider skimmer, transfer the fritters to the wire rack on the baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Use the slotted spoon or spider to skim and discard any bits of fritter remaining in the pot. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve immediately with the tartar sauce for dipping.