Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tomato Corn Pie

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on $10/day.

Do you see this beautiful food?

 I kind of managed to ugly it up. (Apparently, I do this with pies.)

Additionally,  it has a name that isn't going to win me any awesomeness contests either.

But before your eyes shift to the ugly picture below (oh wait, they already did, didn't they--shift them back, okay), let me say that ugly or not, weird sounding or not, you should make this. Because it is ridiculously, obscenely, perhaps unrighteously good (for that, we'll blame the mayonnaise). Which is more or less what Deb, from said when she posted it a year or two ago. I made it then because I had leftover ears of corn from the garden--the misshapen, the half-developed, the unloved. And I needed something to do with them. What better thing than to shave the kernels off the cob and use them in a pie. My husband could think of plenty of better things to do. Fortunately--for him and for me--he doesn't do the cooking around here. Oh--and yeah--even he likes it. Although I have a little confession about that later.

I made this homely little pie and I swore I would make it again every summer for the rest of my life. But only in the summer. Because it must have fresh corn and fresh tomatoes and, for a smile from heaven, fresh herbs as well. I'm afraid that if you made it in January with canned tomatoes and canned corn and dry herbs (though you might be able to get away with the herb part), this pie would not be the glory that it deserves to be--the glory that everything that is heaven hidden in a slightly homely shell deserves to be. Amen and amen.

I have left Deb's recipe completely unaltered, save one thing (here comes the confession): I only made half of the pie with the tomatoes. Kip hates tomatoes. I knew I couldn't get away with it. So his half contained only corn. As such, it wasn't half bad either, though if you're going to do a corn pie, I'd up the corn by another cup. Last summer I had some tomato sauce on hand (he loves tomato sauce; it's a texture issue I'm told) and I drizzled some on his corn half.

Tomato Corn Pie
from smittenkitchen
makes 1 pie
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Cost: $2.50
(flour: .20, butter: .25, milk: .10, mayo: .05?, tomatoes: mine were free, but I'm going to say 1.50, corn: .40, herbs: mine were free, but fresh will cost you at the store)

2 C all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt, divided
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes (reduce salt if using salted butter)
3/4 C milk
1/3 C mayonnaise
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 3/4 lb tomatoes (about 2 large)
1 1/2 C corn, removed from cob and coarsely chopped (2 cobs for us)
2 Tbsp basil, chopped
1 Tbsp chives, chopped
7 oz cheddar (about 1 3/4 C)

Note: This makes a sort of biscuit-like pie crust, which is awesome. However, if you'd like to use a pre-prepared pie crust, I will not judge you, and I think all will be well because the inside sings a pretty stunning song.

In food processor, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Pulse. Add butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Turn to low and add milk just until it forms a ball of dough. If you haven't got a food processor, whisk together the dry ingredients, work the butter in with your fingers or with a pastry cutter (oh, the torture), then add the milk and shape it into a ball of dough without overworking it.

Divide dough in half. Roll out half and put it in your pie pan. Throw the other half in the fridge, while you do the fillings.

Whisk together mayo and lemon juice. Set it aside.

The tomatoes: I blanched them, meaning I threw them in boiling water for a minute and then into ice water for another minute so I could peel off the skins. It took about 5 minutes (get your water boiling while you whisk up your lemon/mayo sauce) and to me it was worth it because the skins didn't get in the way in the final product. However, I think it'd still be great with skins on and that does make it less fussy. Still I must say that the blanching really isn't as fussy and painful as it sounds.

Slice the tomato along the middle and scoop out most of the seeds.

Slice the corn from the cobs and give it a chop (again, sounds fussy--takes a minute).

Chop your herbs.

Grate your cheese. This can be done in the food processor you used to make your dough. (No, it's not a 30 minute meal, but it's worth every minute that it takes.)

Layer half the tomatoes, half the corn, half the herbs, and nearly half of the cheese. Repeat. Then pour your mayo/lemon sauce on, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with remaining cheese.

Roll out your other pie crust. Place it on top. Cut off overhanging edges and pinch the sides together. I kind of rolled mine together for what I like to tell myself is a rustic look. Oh, look, my pie pan has a sort of rustic (read: old) look too.

Cut a few steam vents into the top of the dough and if you wish drizzle a little melted butter over the top.

Bake at 400 for 25-35 minutes.

Note: It's best to cool this a bit. If you cut into it super hot like we did, it will run a bit (as all pies will), but we were hungry and we didn't care. Today when we had the leftovers, they sliced up beautifully.


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