Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Corn and Tomato Pie.

We are now rapidly approaching the end of the summer season. Tomatoes and sweet corn are becoming far too rare at our farmer's market. Even though I bought a few (delicious) ears today, I know corn is definitely past its peak.

But you must find time to try this pie. It was quite the buzz worthy blog post at the end of the summer--after missing out on the shrimp and broccoli for so long, I decided not to wait. I'm glad I didn't. This dish really showcases the freshness of the tomatoes and corn, thanks to the lemon and chives. I forgot there was cheese and mayonnaise in this dish. Just be sure to season liberally--the salt and pepper really make the flavors pop.

Two notes on tomatoes: First, don't skip peeling them. Deb didn't think it was necessary, and later wished she had. I had a good time doing it--it's almost magical! Secondly, you can de-seed and juice them a little if you want, as the tomatoes do cause some puddles, as is apparent in the second photo, but I didn't have a problem with the crust being soggy. I feel like it would have helped to make bigger/better steam vents.

This kept pretty well in the fridge for the two days it took us to finish it. I'd be willing to place bets that it won't last that long in your house, though.
Corn and Tomato Pie
adapted from SmittenKitchen, who adapted it from Gourmet

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons 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 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 pounds beefsteak tomatoes
1 1/2 cups corn (from about 3 ears), coarsely chopped by hand, divided
1 tablespoon 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). Either 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, as ours is, 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, one tablespoon basil, 1/2 tablespoon chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and one cup of grated cheese. Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes, corn, 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.

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