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Corn and Tomato Pie with Polenta Crust

July 6, 2010

I saw a recipe for tomato and corn pie on Smitten Kitchen one of the first weeks after I started blogging. The perfect summer recipe. Despite it being January I immediately copied down the ingredients and patiently waited for tomatoes to ripen and corn to sweeten. Is there really anything better than summer vegetables at the peak of their perfection, baking just feet away from your dining room table?

That’s like asking if there is anything better than no rain on Independence Day. Or a foot of snow on Christmas. Its a given.

What’s not a given was my desire to perfect gluten free pie crust on a Tuesday night when it is 100* outside. And we don’t have air conditioning in the kitchen. I needed a crust that was fast, easy, and delicious.

Enter polenta.

This pie turned out fantastically, even encountering a few bumps along the way. The polenta crust was the perfect Southern addition to the dish; the hearty, mealy texture reminding me of my favorite scattered, smothered, covered grits. The corn straight off the cob and locally grown tomatoes burst with color and flavor. And don’t think twice about using mayonnaise. Don’t even think about replacing it with yogurt. The blend of the lemony mayo with the vegetables made me want to sit on a hill under a large oak tree, maybe hanging out with a young Forrest Gump or Thomas J. as we took a break from running around the corn fields or hunting frogs in the stream. A piece of this pie is like biting into a big sandwich of childhood summer.

Corn and Tomato Pie with Polenta Crust


For the crust: (adapted from Mollie Katzen)

1 and 1/2 cups cornmeal

1 and 1/2 cups cold water

2 cups boiling vegetable or chicken stock

A little olive oil

For the Pie: (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1/3 cup low fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 large beefsteak tomatoes

The kernels of 3 ears of corn

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375*

To make the crust, combine the cornmeal, salt, and cold water in a bowl. With the stock already boiling, add the cornmeal mixture. Turn the heat to low and whisk constantly for 10 minutes. The mixture will become thick, and you want to make sure there are no lumps! Set aside to cool a little when done.

Spray a 10 inch pie pan with Pam and smooth the polenta around the bottom and up the sides. My crust ended up about 1/4 of an inch thick. Spray the polenta with some more Pam and bake for 45 minutes.

While the crust is baking, mix together the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Peel the tomatoes by cutting Xs into the skin and putting them in a bowl of boiling water. Then carefully remove the loosened skin. Slice into 1/4 inch slices and remove the seeds.

When the pie is done, layer the tomatoes around the bottom of the crust. Top with the corn kernels and season with salt and pepper. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over top and add the cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Turn the oven to broil, uncover the pie, and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Serve with a cool fresh salad.

I’m off to enjoy my air conditioning and get to bed early. My first day of class is tomorrow!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2010 6:40 am

    This officially combines all of my favorite summer flavors. YUM-o.

  2. July 7, 2010 8:20 am

    Looks hearty! I really like the idea of the polenta crust and then loaded with veggies. Thanks for this!

  3. July 7, 2010 12:22 pm

    That looks amazing!!! I’m with you — bring on the mayonnaise…YUM!!! πŸ™‚

    P.S. Thanks for your comment this morning, it was sweet πŸ™‚

  4. July 7, 2010 1:04 pm

    This looks awesome!! I love polenta and all the flavors in this pie sound so perfect!! πŸ™‚

  5. July 7, 2010 4:09 pm

    This has been on my t0-make this summer list too!!!! I love Smitten and pretty much everything she does! Your pie came out fabulously πŸ™‚

  6. July 7, 2010 8:34 pm

    nothing can substitute mayonnaise, real good mayonnaise. LOVE this pie! I esp love the polenta crust!

  7. July 7, 2010 8:47 pm

    I’ve been saying forever that I need to make a polenta-crust-something-or-other. I really need to get on that! It sounds fantastic with the fresh summer vegetables! And I totally hear you on not wanting to do a thing in the kitchen – I’ve totally been avoiding some cooking projects lately.

  8. July 10, 2010 9:11 pm

    What a unique crust and perfect summer meal πŸ™‚

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