Tomato and Corn Pie

7.16.10 § 11 Comments

It’s officially summer.  How can I tell?  The 100 degree heat with 70 percent humidity here in New York?  No, that’s not it.  It’s the arrival of tomatoes and corn at the greenmarket.  I may or may not have actually jumped for joy when I saw cartons of small pinkish-red tomatoes, just waiting to be taken home, sliced up with basil, mozzarella, and balsamic, and eaten while still warm from the sun.

And of course, when clicking my life away in the Smitten Kitchen recipe section (I know, I know, I need to get a grip), I actually squealed when I stumbled on a recipe for tomato and corn pie.  I couldn’t wait to bust this one out, especially when, only a few days later, I’d be cooking at a dinner party with some friends who enjoy food just as much as I do.

This dinner party was particularly fun.  I made tomato corn pie and a version of  this salad, using ingredients almost exclusively from the farmer’s market (including the cheese).  Yes, it was a splurge, but everything was so delicious that I think it was worth it.   Unfortunately, my pie didn’t turn out as pretty as the one over at Smitten Kitchen (surprise, surprise), but you’d have a hard time convincing me that it wasn’t equally delicious.

The rest of the dinner was amazing too.  My friend Marissa roasted a whole chicken for the first time (with a little guidance from yours truly).  It came out perfectly, we were both so proud.  Then for dessert, my friend Erica made s’mores cookies using homemade marshmallows.  I would feel dishonest if I didn’t admit that they were some of the best cookies I’ve ever eaten.  Ever.  Like in life.

Erica also did me a favor by lending her talents and taking some beautiful photos of my pie with her fancy schmancy camera.  I know, you were wondering about the high quality of the photos in this post.  Unfortunately, Erica has now gone back to Connecticut and my pictures will revert to their normal state.

I ignored the suggestion included with Deb’s recipe to seed and juice the tomatoes.  (Like her, I honestly can’t bear throwing out those tasty bits.)  But, just like she said would happen, the pie was a juicy mess when I cut into it.  So, if you don’t want to deal with mushy crust, take Deb’s advice.  Or, you could just eat the pie so quickly that the crust doesn’t have time to get mushy, which is pretty much what we did.

Ok, I’m out of things to say I guess, except for this: make the pie!  It’s one of my new summer favorites.  I can’t wait to make it again.  Hopefully it won’t fall apart next time.  Actually, as long as I get to eat it, I don’t really care what it looks like.

Tomato and Corn Pie
Barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen where it was adapted, barely, from Gourmet’s adaptation of Laurie Colwin’s and Jame’s Beard’s versions

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 3/4 tsp salt, divided
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons or 3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 2 teaspoons melted
3/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 pounds beefsteak tomatoes
1 1/2 cups corn (from about 3 ears), coarsely chopped by hand, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped basil, divided
3 tbsp finely chopped chives, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
7 ounces coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (1 3/4 cups), divided

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 3/4 tsp salt in a bowl, then blend in cold butter (3/4 stick) with your fingertips or a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal. Add milk, stirring until mixture just forms a dough, then gather into a ball.

Divide dough in half and roll out one piece on a well-floured counter into a 12-inch round (1/8 inch thick). Fold the round gently in quarters, lift it into a 9-inch pie plate and gently unfold and center it.  Pat the dough in with your fingers trim any overhang.

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. If your kitchen is excessively warm, go ahead and put the second half of the dough in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice.

Cut an X in bottom of each tomato and blanch in a large pot of boiling water 10 seconds. Immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to cool. Peel tomatoes, then slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick and, if desired, gently remove seeds and extra juices. Arrange half of tomatoes in crust, overlapping, and sprinkle with half of corn, half the basil, half the chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and one cup of grated cheese. Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes, corn, basil, chives, salt, and pepper. Pour lemon mayonnaise over filling and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Roll out remaining piece of dough into a 12-inch round in same manner, then fit over filling, folding overhang under edge of bottom crust and pinching edge to seal. Cut 4 steam vents in top crust and brush crust with melted butter (2 teaspoons). Bake pie until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes, then cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Do ahead: Pie can be baked 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat in a 350°F oven until warm, about 30 minutes.

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§ 11 Responses to Tomato and Corn Pie

  • simply beautiful. and delicious. got any leftovers? 😛

    can i say i’m totally impressed with your blog and am astounded that you don’t have a million comments on each post? you know how to cook, take fabulous pictures and write – everything a fantastic food blog needs. keep it up and i’ll keep reading, if that means anything. 😛

    • tyla says:

      I DID have leftovers, I ate them for breakfast the next two days in a row, haha. Also, THANK YOU! It’s so great to hear that, sometimes I feel like I’m writing to no one! But I’m so glad you’re reading (I read yours pretty religiously too, so keep writing! I got sad when you went so long without a post recently!)

  • Erica says:

    Yayyy!! Looks amazing 🙂 Almost as amazing as it tasted. Mmmm pie, s’more please??? God we’re hilarious…

  • mara says:

    those pics are mouth-watering…can we have another dinner party soon??? maybe followed by Catch phrase? (team1)

  • mindy says:

    oh man that looks so freaking good. and the dinner party sounds amazing. how exactly does one go about juicing and seeding the tomatoes? it sounds potentially worthwhile (albeit sad to dispense with the best parts, as you say). would you just squeeze them out over the sink/a container after they’ve been cut?

    • tyla says:

      I think the best way is to cut them in half and then scoop the insides out with a spoon. If they’re particularly juicy (mine were) you can also just squeeze them out a little like you said! You don’t have to get rid of absolutely all the juice, but it’ll definitely help to lose some of it.

  • Shaheen says:

    This looks like such a hearty pie. I absolutely love it! It’s breakfast time but I’d be happy to dig into a slice please!

  • Gabby says:

    Yum, Tyla! I know my family would love this-we go crazy for corn and tomatoes during Midwest summers.

    I’m playing catch-up on all of your fabulous posts because I was out of town and then studying for finals–SO happy to be back just to drool over your recipes, pictures and writing!

  • Erin says:

    I’m going to make this today, how necessary is it to peel the tomatoes?

    • tyla says:

      Hey Erin, it isn’t crucial to the dish, nothing will be ruined if you don’t peel them. However, it’s kind of nice not to have the tomato skins floating around in there, because they kind of separate from the rest of the tomato. I’d say, take the time to peel them, it only takes a few minutes and I think it’s worth the hassel! Hope it comes out well! I’m jealous you’ll be eating this soon…

  • Erin says:

    Thanks! I’ll let you know, I’m planning on eating some tonight and bringing the rest to work for lunch, we’ll see if that actually happens though!

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