Monday, December 23, 2019

Corn Pie

My tech lead, Jim, is a fervent cook. So when we were out to lunch the other day and I happened to mention, while having a cornmeal muffin, that I like pretty much any recipe that has corn in it, and will happily eat corn on the cob, corn chowder, corn tortillas, corn-and-black-bean salad, and many other corn dishes, he asked me if I'd ever had corn pie.

"Corn Pie?" I said, "I don't think I even knew that existed."

The next day, Jim brought in his dog-eared and well-loved copy of Edna Eby Heller's Dutch Cookbook, and I made a copy of Heller's Corn Pie recipe.

Nowadays, with our proliferation of recipe websites and fancy cooking magazines, recipes are a different thing than they used to be, and it's a real breath of fresh air to see Heller's approach: simple ingredients, straightforward steps, and an emphasis on basically letting the corn be the star of the dish.

Here's the entire recipe, including the butter stains from Jim's original cookbook:

And, for comparison, here's a modern website version. You can see that, really, not an awful lot has changed about this dish in 50 years.

Well, it's winter now in North America, so there isn't a ready source of freshly-picked ripe-from-the-farm corn on the cob, but we got lucky and found some tolerable corn cobs in our local grocer, and I made my first ever dish of Corn Pie the other night.

I didn't bother making the crust from scratch, I just used a Pillsbury refrigerated crust that we happened to have already.

The result was wonderful!

I'm now a definite fan of Corn Pie.

Pennsylvania Dutch, by the way, is an interesting part of Americana. This is "Dutch" as in "Deutsch", meaning that actually the Pennsylvania Dutch were German immigrants. Here, Wikipedia does a much better job of explaining it all.

Enjoy your holidays, and if you happen to see some fresh corn on the cob in your grocery store, make some Corn Pie!

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