Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Last Fresh Taste of Summer | Tomato and Corn Pie


I'm well aware that fall is fast approaching -- it's my favorite time of year! I get to celebrate my wedding anniversary and (a milder celebration!) for my birthday.

Still, it's hard to let go of summer, knowing that this beautiful fall season is short-lived and it's a harbinger of five months of snow on the ground in Pennsylvania!

I want to savor these precious waning days of summer. A tomato and corn pie has long been on my list of "things I gotta make." And finally I did it and it was worth the wait.

It's a perfect farewell to summer freshness, celebrating two of my favorite foods. Although corn and tomatoes can be found year-round, they are at their freshest best in summer.

They pair together exceptionally well. Mr. Rosemary tells me that as a child, his family would make meals out of just corn and tomatoes, although then, as now, he shies away from the fresh tomatoes.

When I first explored which recipe I was going to try, I was sorely tempted to make one from Smitten Kitchen. Double-crusted, with plenty of cheese, and a bit of mayonnaise, this pie was a favorite of James Beard and Laurie Colwin. How could you go wrong with endorsements like that?

Still, I'm standing guard over my waistline and feeling a need for moderation. So I turned to this lighter version from Eating Well.  It was very satisfying despite being scaled down some. I changed the recipe only slightly, upping the cheese (I'm no saint!) and using basil instead of time. The original recipe also includes a whole wheat pie crust, but I opted for convenience and used store bought pastry.

I ended up eating this myself, over several days, mind you. But I wonder, if I added bacon or sausage, would Mr. Rosemary go for it? A question that will likely never be answered.

Tomato-Corn Pie
Adapted from Eating Well
Makes 8 servings
Pastry for one crust pie, your own or store-bought
3 large eggs
1 cup low-fat milk
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 large ear)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan, preferably deep-dish, and press into the bottom and up the sides. Trim any overhanging crust. Line the dough with a piece of foil or parchment paper large enough to lift out easily; fill evenly with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil or paper and weights. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour.
To prepare the filling: Whisk eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Sprinkle half the cheese over the crust, then layer half the tomatoes evenly over the cheese. Sprinkle with corn, basil, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and the remaining  cheese. Layer the remaining tomatoes on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour the egg mixture over the top.
Bake the pie until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.