I’ll be turning sixty in a few weeks, something a fellow can only take so much credit for. And even if I do have little say in the matter, I feel blessed to glance in the rearview mirror and find that almost everything in my life looks better in retrospect.
Time and memory have a way of doing that, don’t they? Together, they season our long ago days with sweetness, soften the hard edges of regret, and tease out a deep appreciation for the things we used to take for granted.
I suppose that’s why, in my mind, dad’s fruit pies will always taste better than my own, and my mom’s stews live on without peer. Why the tomatoes of my New Jersey youth were meatier and more succulent than any I can find today. And the fresh corn sweeter and more plump.
Back in the kitchen, it’s a chore competing with a memory that glorifies the past. Maybe that’s why I get so excited when a dish really does measure up and takes me back home, in a manner of speaking, to a time when everything tasted so darn good.
This Savory Corn Pudding Pie is just such a dish, the creamy and delectable essence of the season all summed up in a flaky crust. (Scroll all the way down for the recipe.)
If you’re a southerner and you know spoonbread, you will find some similarities, notably the step where we simmer cornmeal and milk to make a slurry or sauce called a rick. It’s a simple but important thing because it gives this pie its unique creamy-but-compact texture.
But the real hero of this savory pie is the fresh corn kernels, which – promise me, please – you will dutifully cut from fat, sweet, just-picked ears you find at a local farm stand. There is no substitute without serious repercussions to the overall wonderfulness of this dinner pie.
What to serve with our corn pie? A big salad is the thing, any salad that makes the most of the moment. For me, that means peeled, seeded, and sliced cukes mixed with halved cherry tomatoes and some thinly sliced red onion. Dress it all with a mustardy vinaigrette and a healthy slug of pesto, and heaven awaits.
And while we’re on the subject of fresh cut corn, I want to tell you about a clever kernel cutting gizmo I’ve fallen for lately. It’s called the Corn Zipper, made by Kuhn Rikon, and it makes corn kernel removal easier than you ever imagined. Watch it in action in the video above.
Kuhn Rikon has generously set aside three Corn Zippers for Pie Academy members. Here’s how you can win one.
All you have to do is go over to our just launched, new and improved Pie Academy online store, and have a look around. We’ve got some great items, including bakeware, our new branded apron and rolling pin, and other cool stuff pie makers like you will really dig.
You don’t have to purchase anything to enter the drawing. But we would like some feedback from you, telling us what sorts of useful, interesting, or otherwise noteworthy products you’d like to see in our store in the future. We’ll be adding new items on a regular basis, so your input will help us greatly. Everyone who emails us their feedback and ideas by August 14th will go into the drawing. Then we’ll choose three names at random and announce the winners next week. Cool, huh? You can email us by clicking on the Contact tab at The Pie Academy.
Incidentally, Kuhn Rikon has graciously accepted our invitation to be one of the corporate sponsors of our Lowcountry Pie Getaway this coming October. And that’s good news for you, if you’re attending: more swag in your swag bag!
A Toast to Savannah: Our Lowcountry Pie Getaway Destination Just Named Second Friendliest City in the U.S.
Apparently, all of our carrying on about Savannah, Georgia – the hostess city for our October 2014 Lowcountry Pie Getaway – being such a warm and friendly place isn’t just in our imagination.
At least, not if you believe the readers of Conde Nast Traveler, who just voted Savannah the second most friendly city in the United States, edging out such amiable A-listers as San Antonio, Fort Worth, Telluride, and New Orleans.
Of course, this comes as no surprise to us here at The Pie Academy. The friendly factor is one of big reasons we chose Savannah, and it’s why – in addition to lots of hands on pie making and instruction tailored just for you – we’ve built in plenty of time for y’all to visit the sites and soak up all the friendliness this hospitable town has to offer.
We still have a few spots left if you care to join us for this one-of-a-kind event. (We’ve rented out an entire historic inn, and it just wouldn’t be the same without you.) Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you a registration form and answer any questions you might have.
Oh, and by the way, Charleston, South Carolina – just up the road from us in the other direction – was voted the #1 friendliest city. That’s no surprise, either, and a shoe-in for a future Pie Academy Pie Getaway.
Use your favorite pie pastry recipe for this pie, or one of these:
THREE-GRAIN BUTTER CRUST – If using this one, you’ll only need half of the recipe.