Around the time of the Civil War, corn fritters were commonly called corn oysters because the fritters resembled fried oysters.
Callie, my female protagonist in my Civil War romance A Musket in My Hands, made corn fritters several times while masquerading as a soldier in the Confederate Army of Tennessee. When I found this recipe shared by Mrs. H.B.S. in Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, I looked forward to trying it.
I cut the corn off two ears of corn. It yielded 1 ½ cups of corn so I modified the recipe in the book for this amount of the vegetable.
Stir ¾ cup milk into 1 ½ cups of fresh corn. Add ¼ cup flour, 1 teaspoon butter, and 1 beaten egg. Salt and pepper to taste—I added ¼ teaspoon of each.
A cast iron skillet or griddle works well for frying the fritters. Heat the skillet over medium high heat and then lower to medium while cooking. Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter in the skillet.
Use a tablespoon to drop batter into the skillet. The batter is very runny and it flattens out like a small pancake. Watch carefully as it browns quickly. Then flip it over. This seems to be an acquired art as I tore several fritters while turning them.
But boy, are they tasty! I loved the fresh corn and lightly fried flavor.
This is a quick, easy recipe. The longest part of the preparation is slicing corn off the cob—and that does not take long. I will make them again.
I’d love to hear if you try it.
-Sandra Merville Hart
Compiled from Original Recipes. Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, Applewood Books, 1877.