the life and times of J T Frey

Dried Toasted Sweet Corn

An ongoing Pennsylvania tradition in my family is the serving of Cope's dried corn. The recipe that's right on the box yields a delicious side dish: sweet, salty, buttery, with the flavor of toasted corn. Since I have a food dehyrator (orignally purchased primarily for fruit leather and jerky) a few years ago at the tail end of summer I bought about 16 ears of Lancaster county sweet corn, cut it off the cob, and dried it. The dehydrator gets just warm enough that as the sugar in the corn concentrates it begins to caramelize gently. Eight ears of corn yields around 7.5 oz of dried corn, which is the amount in a box of Cope's — and thus the amount in this recipe. I think this is very close to what Cope's recommends, but I'm recording it here in case Cope's were to disappear (like so many traditional/small-scale food products).


  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 7.5 oz dried toasted corn
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 cup half-and-half (or creme)
  1. Bring the water to a boil and add the dried corn. Remove from heat and allow to steep 1 hour.
  2. Add the sugar, butter, salt, and pepper and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
  3. Add the half-and-half and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.

Steps 2 and 3 can also be done in a crock pot.

Written by Jeff Frey on Sunday November 24, 2019
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