As with many things, food is so much about timing. Thankfully, seasonality is a chef’s practice that has now been firmly adopted by the home cook. After tasting a just-picked peach or smelling a sprig of fresh thyme, it becomes obvious why eating what is ripe–now–makes sense. Sure there are reasons to can and pickle but the end result is a mere suggestion, or more accurately a memory, of what is possible when the time is right.
In my humble opinion, nothing exemplifies this philosophy better than the tomato (which happens to be my desert island food but don’t bother putting an unripe slice on my mozzarella sandwich) followed closely behind by a fresh ear of corn.
This Corn and Tomato Pie is a recipe that I have been making with regularity over the past three summers. I absolutely adore it. I love serving it to others as a side and to myself as a main so that I have an excuse to enjoy an extra large slice. I’m sure it would be elevated several notches by the use of homemade pastry (or biscuit dough as instructed in the original recipe) but I tend to use the packaged variety and save myself that extra step. And to all you “mayonnaise-haters” out there, don’t be afraid. While there are a couple of tablespoons in this recipe you would never guess by tasting and I’d be reluctant to leave it out.
So go ahead and use the last bounty of tomatoes and corn from the summer in this delicious dish. Enjoy!
- 2 sheets of prepared pie crust, room temperature (or make your own pie pastry or biscuit dough, if desired)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 3/4 pounds beefsteak tomatoes, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick, with some seeds removed and patted dry, divided
- 1 1/2 cups corn (from about 3 ears), divided
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil, divided
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives, divided (I've made without in a pinch)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 7 ounces coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (1 3/4 cups), divided
- 2 tsp melted butter
- Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate with a sheet of pie crust, or if using homemade dough, divide in half and roll out 1 ball into a 12-inch round (1/8 inch thick). Place the rolled out dough into pie plate. Pat with your fingers to fit (trim any overhang).
- Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
- In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice. Set aside.
- 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.
- Pour lemon mayonnaise over filling and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Unroll the second sheet of pie crust or roll out your 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.
- 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.
- Pie can be baked 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat in a 350°F oven until warm, about 30 minutes.