Eatwell Recipe 33: Tomato Corn Pie With Butter-Brushed Biscuit Crust ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Eatwell Recipe 33: Tomato Corn Pie With Butter-Brushed Biscuit Crust

A month or two back, the NY Times' Bitten blog did a post asking readers to share their favorite food blogs (thanks again to those of you who recommended this one!) The list of blogs it generated was long and wonderful. One of the blogs that came up over and over again was Smitten Kitchen, a great food blog with gorgeous pix. The blogger, Deb, recently posted this recipe for tomato corn pie. It's lightly adapted from a version of the recipe by Laurie Colwin and James Beard that was printed in Gourmet a while back.

Tomato Corn Pie With Butter-Brushed Biscuit Crust by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

This is definitely the time of year to make a tomato pie! Eatwell keeps including a mix of different, delicious tomatoes in each produce box. And the corn ain't half bad nowadays, neither.

Tomatoes, dry farmed

I wrestled with the crust but I think that was just because I ran out of white flour partway into the process and had to use some whole wheat flour to make up the difference (and the two are not the same at all, whole wheat has less gluten than white flour). Despite all my worrying, it turned out tasty in the end and I loved the decadence of brushing the crust with butter before baking.

Tomato Corn Pie With Butter-Brushed Biscuit Crust by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

Two suggestions for you if you try this -- don't skimp on the herbs as they give it a nice little jolt of flavor, and use a sweet, mellow cheddar (like Kerry Gold or some other Irish cheddar) instead of something really sharp.

Tomato Corn Pie With Butter-Brushed Biscuit Crust by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

I was short on time so I did not remove the tomato skins or seeds. The main downside is that the pie will be a bit wetter if you leave all the seeds but you can spoon off the excess juices to avoid it getting soggy.

Tomato Corn Pie With Butter-Brushed Biscuit Crust
Serves 4-6

* 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 or lightly puréed in a food processor, divided
* 2 Tbsp finely chopped basil, divided
* 1 Tbsp finely chopped chives, divided
* 1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
* 7 oz coarsely grated cheddar cheese (1 3/4 cups), divided
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. 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.
2. Divide dough in half and roll out one piece on a well-floured counter (my choice) or between two sheets of plastic wrap (the recipe’s suggestion, but I imagined it would annoyingly stick to the plastic) 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 or, if you’re using the plastic warp method, remove top sheet of plastic wrap, then lift dough using bottom sheet of plastic wrap and invert into pie plate. Pat the dough in with your fingers trim any overhang.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. If your kitchen is too 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.
4. 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 (see Notes above recipe), 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, basil, chives, salt, and pepper. Pour lemon mayonnaise over filling and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
5. 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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