The Handoff: Tomato and Corn Pie with Whole Wheat Crust
Even though it’s not officially summer yet, you wouldn’t know it here in Charlotte, North Carolina. The summer solstice isn’t for a couple more weeks and kids are still in school, but the 90+ degree heat and overflowing vegetable bins at the market say otherwise. Last week, Erin and Gina took advantage of a variety of seasonal vegetables available in San Diego for their gluten-free Portobello Cap Pizza. Relaying off the tomatoes in their recipe, I decided to bake something that would showcase this ingredient, but would also be perfect for summer. A tomato pie is similar to a quiche, since it is a savory dish baked in a pie crust, but without the egg custard. A grown-up version of a tomato and cheese sandwich in pie form. A southern tradition, this pie lends itself to a endless variations. I bought local produce from Providence Produce Market, a basil plant from Trader Joe’s, and the rest of my ingredients from Earth Fare. I had the same problem that Erin and Gina ran into last week in that the farm stands provided local produce, but not organic, whereas organic produce is available at grocery stores, but it is not local. I hope as the awareness of eating locally and organically increases, the availability of local organic food will become more prevalent.
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I worked with a recipe I found at one of my favorite food blogs which was inspired by this recipe from Gourmet. The crust is is not a typical pie crust because it calls for leavening, but you can use your favorite pie crust recipe or use a pre-made one. I made mine whole wheat which turned out really well. Since this is a rustic, homey dish, it would also work really well in a galette if you’re not feeling the double crust. Instead of corn, basil, and cheddar you can play around with different herbs and cheese combinations and add any other vegetables that look appealing. Next time I would try eggplant or mushrooms and mozzarella. I also attempted to make my own mayonnaise. I keep reading about how easy it is to do, but I think I could use a private lesson in mayonnaise making! Feel free to make your own if you’re feeling ambitious, otherwise regular mayo will work just as well.
This pie is a huge win. It’s a great project to bake something summery, but filling, and perfect for sharing. I hope you try it!
Whole Wheat Tomato and Corn Pie
adapted from Gourmet
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
Total Time: 1:45 minutes (including cooling)
Yield: 6 servings
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 Tbs baking powder
- 1 3/4 tsp salt, divided
- 3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 2 teaspoons melted
- 3/4 cup whole milk (I didn’t need the full 3/4 cup, but depending on the altitude and humidity, you may require less or more.)
- 2 1/2- 3 tomatoes
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise (I chose to make my own. See recipe below)
- 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups corn (from about 3 ears), chopped
- 2 Tbs finely chopped basil, divided
- 1 Tbs finely chopped chives, divided (I omitted this)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
- 7 oz coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (1 3/4 cups), divided
- Whisk together flours, baking powder, and 3/4 tsp 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 slowly, 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. (I would recommend rolling the dough out on a well-floured surface.)
- Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
- Cut an X in bottom of each tomato and blanch in a large pot of boiling water 10 seconds. Immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to cool. Peel tomatoes, then slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick.
- Arrange half of tomatoes in crust, overlapping, and sprinkle with half of corn, 1 Tbs basil, 1/2 Tbs chives, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper.
- Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes, corn, basil, chives, salt, and pepper, then sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.
- Pour mayonnaise over filling and sprinkle with remaining 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 tsp).
- Bake pie until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 30-35 minutes, then cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Mine took about 45 minutes).
For the Homemade Mayonnaise
adapted from Bon Appetite by Molly Wizenburg
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 3/4 cup
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt plus more to taste
- 3/4 cup canola oil, divided
- Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and 1/2 tsp salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds.
- Using 1/4 tsp measure and whisking constantly, add 1/4 cup oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4 minutes. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick, about 8 minutes (mayonnaise will be lighter in color). Cover and chill. do ahead Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
Karleen is from Denver, Colorado, but spends her summers working in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a professional ice skater currently pursuing a career in sustainable food. She never travels without her measuring cups, a loaf pan, and a cute apron.