Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tomato and Corn Pie

The Tomato and Corn Pie from August's Gourmet has been all over the internet with people freaking out about how awesome it is. It's a great, timely recipe for late summer (tomatoes AND corn, y'all!) and people like pies...I don't know. Anyway, I, too, was swept up in this whirl of excitement. However, one ingredient left me somewhere between hesitant and grossed out:

Ew. Why is this in the pie?

Deb at Smitten Kitchen already covered this pie, and used the mayo. She also noted that Gourmet's original pie ended up a little soggy, so suggested coring the tomatoes. I didn't really want to loose the pretty tomato shape, so I decided to dry out the tomatoes on paper towels (believe me, this is coming back to the mayo problem, I promise).

Because of this, I figured that my pie would already be a little drier, and didn't want it to veer into stuck-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth territory. So I was wary of taking away any of the other wet elements and decided to look for a substitute. In the comments section of her post Deb recommended using sour cream instead. Ok, I thought, that's about 25% less gross. Keep in mind, I was making this for my two friends who are in the Women Who Are Uneasy About Creamy White Foods Club with me (we're looking at you whipped cream, mayo, yoghurt, and sour cream) so I was not only concerned for myself. Anyway, the solution was to sort of hide the sour cream from everyone (including me) until it was time to use it.

Putting the pie together was fun. I got to use my brand new pastry cutter (from the helpful people at Brooklyn Kitchen) to make the biscuity dough, and I also got to make pretty layers which indulged my inner aesthete. (Club slogan: Not much of an athlete? Become an aesthete.)

Anyway, here's the pie when it's done:

All in all it was pretty fabulous, especially with the farmer's market corn and tomatoes that I picked up that morning. I felt good about making something so seasonal and fresh. However, if I were to make it again, I would forget the creamy white substance all together. Even with drying out the tomatoes there was still enough moisture in the pie so that if you took out the sour cream/mayo you'd be well within the range of delicious. I'm not sure it adds anything, and it's guaranteed to gross out at least one person at your table.

I served this with some roasted salmon with herbs made by the wonderful Kate:

Tomato and Corn Pie
Gourmet August 2009
(slightly adapted)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 2 teaspoons melted
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 pounds beefsteak tomatoes, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick, divided
1 1/2 cups corn (from about 3 ears), coarsely puréed in a food processor, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil, divided
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
7 ounces coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (1 3/4 cups), divided
Equipment: a 9-inch glass pie plate

To peel the tomatoes, slice an x in the bottom of each one and blanch in boiling water for ten seconds. Immediately plunge into an ice bath. Peel.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon 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 1 piece between 2 sheets of plastic wrap into a 12-inch round (1/8 inch thick). Remove top sheet of plastic wrap, then lift dough using bottom sheet of plastic wrap and invert into pie plate, patting with your fingers to fit (trim any overhang). Discard plastic wrap.

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Arrange half of tomatoes in crust, overlapping, and sprinkle with half of corn, 1 tablespoon basil, 1/2 tablespoon chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes, corn, basil, chives, salt, and pepper, then sprinkle with 1 cup 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.


Mme. M said...

1. mayonnaise - and ONLY hellmans mayonnaise - is amazing. you are crazy.

2. your fear of white gooey foods seems rather... freudian. examine that with your nearest trained professional.

3. hooray for mayonnaise.

i didn't really need the 3rd bullet, but it seemed weird to have only two.

Meghan said...

haha I know it's Freudian. That's why the club is gendered.

Jose A. Contreras said...

Don't fear the Mayo!

I would suggest Miracle Whip, which is more sweet. Mayo purists might crucify me, but I like it!

Emily said...

I just found your post after taking to the web to see if anyone else was grossed out by the mayo component. If I can screw up the courage to make this again, there will be no mayo. Hitting that layer was disconcerting for everyone, especially in light of the accompanying sea of tomato juice in a soggy crust. Last time I follow a recipe to the last detail.