Picture this: a golden, flaky crust filled to the brim with juicy sun-ripened tomatoes, perfectly roasted corn kernels, and a medley of savory herbs and spices. The aroma wafting from the oven is nothing short of heavenly, leaving your mouth watering in anticipation. This delightful combination is none other than the Southern Tomato and Corn Pie, a dish that effortlessly captures the essence of summertime in the South. With just a handful of ingredients and a simple preparation method, you can bring this delicious recipe to life and impress your taste buds with a symphony of flavors. So, get ready to embark on a culinary journey that celebrates the richness of Southern cuisine with each delectable bite.

Ingredients

  • For the crust:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2/3 cup shortening
    • 6-8 tablespoons ice water
  • For the filling:

    • 4 large ripe tomatoes
    • 2 cups corn kernels
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the topping:

    • 1 cup grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)

Crust preparation

To start, let’s prepare the crust for your Southern tomato and corn pie.

Mixing the dry ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt. Give it a quick mix to ensure the salt is evenly distributed in the flour.

Cutting in the butter

Next, add the shortening to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. This process ensures that the shortening is evenly distributed throughout the crust, resulting in a flaky and delicious pie crust.

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Adding the wet ingredients

Once you’ve achieved the desired texture, it’s time to add the ice water. Start by adding 6 tablespoons of ice water to the mixture. Mix it in with a fork or your hands until the dough starts to come together. If necessary, add an additional tablespoon or two of ice water until the dough forms a ball.

Forming the dough

Transfer the dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Shape it into a ball and flatten it slightly with your hands. This will make it easier to roll out later on.

Chilling the dough

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Chilling the dough allows the gluten to relax and prevents shrinking during baking.

Filling preparation

While the crust is chilling, let’s prepare the delicious filling for your tomato and corn pie.

Blanching and peeling the tomatoes

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Carefully drop the tomatoes into the boiling water and let them cook for about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to a bowl of ice water to cool. This process, known as blanching, helps to loosen the skin, making it easier to peel.

Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and remove the stems. Slice the tomatoes and set them aside.

Removing excess moisture from tomatoes

To prevent your pie from becoming too watery, it’s essential to remove any excess moisture from the tomatoes. Place the tomato slices on a paper towel and sprinkle them with a little salt. Let them sit for about 15 minutes, allowing the salt to draw out the moisture. Pat them dry with a paper towel before using.

Cooking the corn

In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the corn kernels and cook them for about 5 minutes until they become tender and lightly browned. This step brings out the natural sweetness of the corn, adding a delightful flavor to your pie.

Sauteing the onions and garlic

In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the diced onion and minced garlic until they turn translucent and fragrant. This step adds depth and complexity to the overall flavor of the pie.

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Combining the ingredients

In a mixing bowl, combine the prepared tomatoes, cooked corn, sautéed onions, and garlic. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Give it a gentle stir, ensuring that all the ingredients are well combined.

Assembly

Now that the crust has chilled and the filling is ready, it’s time to assemble your tomato and corn pie.

Rolling out the dough

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle slightly larger than your pie dish.

Transferring the dough to the pie dish

Gently transfer the rolled-out dough to your pie dish. Press it into the bottom and sides, ensuring it fits snugly. Trim any excess dough hanging over the edges.

Adding the filling

Take the prepared tomato and corn filling and evenly spread it over the bottom crust. Make sure the filling is packed tightly, leaving no gaps.

Top with the cheese

To add an extra layer of flavor, sprinkle the grated cheese over the filling. The cheese will melt and create a deliciously gooey layer that complements the tomatoes and corn perfectly.

Baking

With the pie beautifully assembled, it’s now time to bake it to perfection.

Preheating the oven

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) to ensure it reaches the ideal temperature for baking.

Baking the pie

Place your filled pie into the preheated oven and let it bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until the crust turns golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Keep an eye on the pie while it bakes, so it doesn’t overcook.

Serving

Your Southern tomato and corn pie is almost ready to be enjoyed. However, we must allow it to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Allowing the pie to cool

Once you remove the pie from the oven, let it cool for about 10-15 minutes. This will allow the flavors to meld together and prevent the pie from crumbling apart when slicing.

Slicing and serving

After the cooling period, grab a sharp knife and slice your tomato and corn pie into desired servings. The steamy aroma and the beautiful combination of flavors will surely impress your family and friends.

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Variations

While the classic Southern tomato and corn pie is already a delight on its own, you can add your own creative twists to make it even more unique.

Adding bacon or ham

For an extra savory touch, you can incorporate crispy bacon or diced ham into the filling. The smoky and salty flavors will take this pie to a whole new level.

Incorporating herbs and spices

Get creative with your spice cabinet by adding herbs like basil or thyme to the filling. These aromatic herbs will elevate the overall taste of your pie and give it a fresh, earthy flavor.

Using different types of cheese

While the traditional recipe calls for cheddar or mozzarella cheese, feel free to experiment with different types of cheese. Gruyere, feta, or even a sharp blue cheese can add an exciting twist to your pie.

Tips

To ensure your Southern tomato and corn pie turns out perfectly, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

Choosing ripe tomatoes

Select ripe tomatoes that are firm but slightly soft to the touch. Ripe tomatoes will have a sweet and juicy flavor, enhancing the taste of your pie.

Using fresh corn

For the best texture and flavor, use fresh corn instead of frozen or canned. Fresh corn will lend a natural sweetness that can’t be replicated with other forms.

Adding breadcrumbs for extra texture

If you prefer a slightly crunchier texture, sprinkle a thin layer of breadcrumbs over the bottom crust before adding the filling. The breadcrumbs will absorb any excess liquid from the tomatoes, preventing a soggy crust.

FAQs

Can I use frozen corn?

While fresh corn is recommended for its natural sweetness, you can use frozen corn as a substitute if fresh corn is not available. Simply thaw the corn before cooking it in the skillet and proceed with the recipe as directed.

Can I make the crust in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the crust in advance. After chilling the dough, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to use, let the dough sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before rolling it out.

Can I freeze the pie?

Yes, you can freeze the assembled pie before baking. Wrap the unbaked pie tightly in plastic wrap and foil to prevent freezer burn. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove the pie from the freezer, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and then bake as instructed.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You now have all the information you need to prepare a delicious Southern tomato and corn pie. With a flaky crust, sweet tomatoes, and savory corn, this pie is a true Southern delight. Feel free to experiment with additional ingredients, such as bacon or herbs, to make the recipe your own. Get ready to impress your family and friends with this mouthwatering dish, perfect for any occasion. Happy baking!

Jenny Jones

By Jenny Jones

Jenny Jones is a passionate culinary enthusiast hailing from the heart of the South. Born and raised in a small town known for its rich culinary traditions, she developed an unwavering love for Southern cooking from an early age.