In the summer of 2009 I treated myself to a subscription to Gourmet magazine. I was one miserable year into law school and all I wanted was to escape. I imagined the collection of Gourmets that I would have one day, stacks of magazines from years of subscriptions that I could pull out and flip through in my obviously spacious apartment. Or maybe in the day dreams it was a house with a whole room dedicated to books and a whole bookshelf to old issues of Gourmet. Except that dream is no longer. I don’t have much interest in collecting back issues of magazines now that the old recipes are all available online and I still don’t have an apartment spacious enough for a whole bookshelf of them anyway. Plus, Gourmet magazine went out of print later that year. I only had time to collect a handful of issues.
I’ve pored over all of those issues, but especially that first one I received. Over the few months after it came in the mail I took it off the shelf at random intervals to flip through the pages, reading it again, tagging recipes I wanted to try. But I only ever made one recipe from that book and it didn’t take a dog eared tag to convince me to make it. Tomato and corn pie. For the past few years we ate it every summer when heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn appeared in the market at the same time.
This year though, I skipped the corn. California corn just isn’t as good as what I remember growing up in New England. It’s not as sweet as what I remember growing up with in New England. The kernels aren’t as plump and juicy as the corn Jeff and I have with our patents if we get the chance to visit in the summer. Add to that the challenge of cutting corn off the cob which always means chasing kernels as they leap off the cutting board. I skippd the whole issue, simplified the recipe to the essentials – tomatoes, mayo, parmesan cheese, crust. No corn needed.
- 1 recipe flaky pie crust + ½ cup of cornmeal and some extra water to bring it together
- 4 medium to large tomatoes, heirloom preferred, thickly sliced; discard the top and bottom slices
- ⅓ cup bread crumbs
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2-3 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2-4 tbs mayo
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- freshly ground black pepper
- Large flake sea salt, to taste
- MAKE the dough and let it rest, covered, in the fridge for at least a half hour.
- PREHEAT the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Flour a counter or cutting board liberally. Roll out the dough to about ⅛ inch thickness. Transfer the dough to the sheet.
- SPRINKLE the dough with the bread crumb mixture, leaving the outer two inches of the dough clear. Then layer the dough with tomato slices. As you add the tomatoes, sprinkle them lightly with salt so each slice is well seasoned. Spread the mayo over the top of the slices and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Fold the dough over the tomato slices and season with the pepper and flaky sea salt.
- BAKE the pie for 40-50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature before serving. As a bonus, cold slices of this pie make a hell of a breakfast.