Dated July 1, 1955.
Comparing two early recipes shows two varieties of corn oyster: one like the recipe above, which is an oval-ish corn fritter, and one that’s more of a johnnycake sort of composition without leavening.
The earliest recipe I’ve found so far is from the September 2, 1866 edition of the Burlington (Iowa) Daily Hawk-Eye:
Corn Oysters. — Grate the corn; to every pint take three well beaten eggs, sufficient flour to make the corn hold together in the shape of fried oysters. Season with pepper and salt, and brown on a riddle. Serve with butter. They must be made quite flat or they will not cook through thoroughly.
A slightly more detailed version was included in 1870’s Jennie June’s American Cookery Book by Jane Cunningham Croly:
Take six ears of boiled corn, three eggs, one and a half table-spoonsful of flour. Beat the yolks very thick; cut the corn off the cob, season it with pepper and salt; mix it with the yolks, and add the flour. Whisk the whites to a stiff froth, stir them in with the corn and yolks; put a dessert-spoonful at a time in a pan of hot butter, and fry to a light brown on both sides.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon double acting baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 2 cups freshly scraped corn pulp
- 2 well beaten egg yolks
- 1 cup milk
Fold in stiffly beaten whites of 2 eggs.
Drop batter by spoonfuls onto 1/2 inch hot fat in shallow frying pan. Fry until golden on both sides, cooking only a few at a time so they will not stick together. Drain on absorbent paper.