In a large cast-iron skillet, melt the butter on medium-low and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 30 seconds, then add the corn. While stirring, cook until the corn is fragrant and softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro, green onion, salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne, then taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Turn off the heat.
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the flour, baking powder, jalapeño pickles, jalapeño pickle juice, and the corn. Stir until everything is well combined. The batter will be sticky and thick.
Line a large plate with a paper towel. Wipe out the skillet and then add 1/2 inch of oil, enough to generously coat the bottom, but not so deep that the fritters will be submerged. Add the bacon grease if you're using, too. The bacon grease is to more add flavor but can easily be omitted.
Heat the oil on medium and when a thermometer reads 350°F or the oil bubbles around an inserted wooden spoon (it should take around 3-5 minutes to reach this point), working in batches, using a long-handled spoon, gently spoon the batter into the skillet, about 1 tablespoon in size, giving each spoonful space. You may want to stand back and wear an oven mitt over your hand, as the fritters could make the oil pop.
Fry the fritters for about 3 minutes, turning once when browned. Remove with a slotted spatula and place them on the plate to drain. Repeat until all have been fried.
While I like the tang of pickled jalapeños, you may use a fresh jalapeño if you prefer. If so, I'd substitute freshly squeezed lime juice for the pickle juice.
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