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.
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.