Maple Brown Butter Sweet Corn

Course: DinnerCuisine: DEPRESSION ERADifficulty: Easy


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This is another recipe that comes to me via the Depression Era collection of North America. Corn was readily available and proved to be a staple for many people across the country. It was cheap and cheerful and open to many flavour treatments. Here we have the application of maple syrup which made its way into this recipe in eastern part of North America. Corn and maple syrup have long been a part of Indigenous people’s diets, with corn being a traded commodity 1000s of years ago.


  • 2 cups of fresh sweet corn cut from cob (frozen or canned sweet corn will also work well)

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 1 tbsp maple sugar or maple syrup

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Chopped fresh basil or parsley

  • Dash of vinegar


  • Husk and wash 2 large cobs of sweet corn.
  • Pat dry.
  • Carefully slice away kernels from cobs with large sharp knife. Try to cut corn close to cob but do not cut into cob.
  • Heat a saucepan on the stove and melt butter. continue to sauté better on low heat until it begins to brown (about 8 mins).
  • Once butter begins to brown add corn and sugar/syrup and continue to sauté until butter and sugar begin to caramelize.
  • Turn heat off and set aside for about 10 to 15 minutes. This allows the corn to finish cooking through and release its own starch and sugar. You want kernels to still have some crunch to them.
  • Before serving garnish with freshly chopped basil or parsley, a dash of vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.


  • Earlier versions of “fried” corn would have been cooked in bear fat, goose grease or lard. Butter was added to the recipe in the late 1800s.

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