Corn and Tomato Biscuit PieBy Chatelaine
In the summer of 1992, late novelist and food writer Laurie Colwin published a spectacular corn-and-tomato pie in her book, Home Cooking. Made with a thin biscuit crust, it was inspired by a similar James Beard recipe. It’s wonderful straight from the oven, at room temperature or cold— so it’s perfect picnic fare. This is a streamlined version: The original and its many adaptations call for peeling the tomatoes and removing their seeds and juice, which is unnecessary. If you’re worried about juiciness, opt for plum or Roma tomatoes.
- 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup cold butter , cut in pieces
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove , crushed
- 900 g high-quality tomatoes
- 2 cups corn kernels
- 1/4 cup torn, sliced or chopped basil
- 1 tbsp chopped chives
- 1 1⁄2 cups shredded aged cheddar cheese
- Crust: Preheat oven to 400F. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-sized pieces (or rub in butter using fingers). Add milk; stir just until soft dough forms.
- Divide dough in half, with one half just slightly larger than the other. Roll out larger piece on a lightly floured surface into an 11-in. round; transfer carefully to 10-in. pie plate.
- Filling: Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Slice or coarsely chop tomatoes (if they are particularly juicy, place in a colander set over a plate or in the sink; let drain, moving tomatoes around with your hand a few times to loosen any seeds and release more liquid, for 10 min).
- Arrange half of the tomatoes in crust; sprinkle with half each of the corn, basil and chives; scatter half of the cheddar overtop. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining tomatoes, corn, basil and chives. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour mayonnaise mixture overtop; scatter remaining cheddar overtop.
- Roll out remaining piece of dough into 10-in. round. Place over filling, tucking overhang along edge of bottom crust, pinching and crimping to seal. Cut a few vents into top crust.
- Bake until pie is deep golden, 30 to 35 min. Serve wedges warm or at room temperature.
To add shine and some colour to the crust, brush a bit of milk or cream over pastry before baking.