With fall quickly approaching my boyfriend and I took advantage of the warm of sunny weekend to have a barbecue with our families. The grocery stores still have corn and fresh summer tomatoes despite the fact that the autumn squashes are appearing everywhere. It's the perfect time to bake something like this because the cooler evenings and mornings makes a hot oven bearable while the stores are still stocked up with summer produce.
I've made this pie a number of times and I find that I get the right amount of juiciness without a soggy crust when 75% of the tomatoes have been seeded. It sounds fancy but really all I do is cut almost all the tomatoes in half, then push out the gooey stuff and seeds with my fingers, then slice the tomato. The more juice and seeds you leave in your slices more juice that ends up in your pie.
The chives in our garden managed to survive my signature gardening style (plant it too late, forget about it, mourn it's inevitable death) which was convenient because I've tried this pie with different combinations of herbs and adding only chives is my top pick. The chives get chopped up, the cheese gets grated and it all gets put aside to layer in the pie.
I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of making pie doughs but this biscuit-ish dough is different. On a lightly floured surface its cooperative and easy to roll. Then it bakes up savory and flaky but still substantial enough to hold up to the melty goodness inside.
The crust is lined with tomatoes, corn, chives, cheddar...
...then repeated and drizzled with a topping made from mayo and lemon juice before adding the top crust. I had my doubt about the mayo based topping but it adds a creamy tang that tastes very little like mayo and goes perfectly with the corn and the cheese.
If you're feeling fancy you can use a cookie cutter to make a design for the vents on top of the crust. Then to move the crust onto the pie without stretching out the design too much just gently roll the crust up on your rolling pin and then unroll it over the pie.
I can attest to the fact that the pie is good hot, warm, cold, fresh, and as lunch the next day. Its one of those recipes that I only make occasionally and each time I regret not making it on a more regular basis because its just so tasty.
Corn, Tomato, and Cheddar Pie
(from Smitten Kitchen)
2 cups flour
1 TBSP baking powder
3/4 Tsp Salt
6 TBSP (3 ounces) cold butter cut into cubes or grated and then frozen
3/4 cup whole milk
1 3/4 pounds tomatoes (preferably beefsteak)
1 1/2 cups corn from about three ears of corn roughly chopped
3 TBSP chopped chives
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
7 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 3/4 cups)
1/3 cup mayo
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
2 TBSP melted butter for brushing on the crust
Preheat oven to 400
1. Make dough for crust
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter either with a pastry cutter or a fork until combined and crumbly. Stir in the milk with a fork until the dough comes together. Form in a ball and place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
2. Prep Filling
Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. To avoid a soggy crust de-seed about 75% of the slices by pushing out the goop and seeds.
Whisk the mayo and lemon juice together
Chop the chives, grate the cheese, and have the corn ready.
3. Roll out and fill the pie
Divide the dough in half, wrap one half back in plastic wrap and put back in the fridge.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 12 inch round. Place in a 9 inch pie plate.
Layer half the tomatoes, then half the corn, half the chives. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and some pepper. Layer half the cheese on top.
Repeat: remaining tomatoes, remaining corn, remaining chives, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper. Drizzle with lemon mayo and then top with remaining cheese.
Roll out top crust and either cut out vents with a cookie cutter or a knife. Crimp the edges and brush with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake in the 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.
Cool on a rack and serve either warm or at room temperature