This has been one of my all-time favorite meals to cook. The kids were in and out of the kitchen, and creativity was high. My oldest wanted cornmeal as a prop for a movie he was making. My youngest was contending with stuffed toy snakes, placed dramatically around the house, and my daughter was making a music video and wanted me to come and observe. I made the time between sautéing onions, whisking crust and filling ingredients and taking dessert out of the oven to watch and wrestle, laugh and feel an overwhelming sense of love and gratitude.
CORN AND BACON PIE
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons shortening, diced
3 to 4 tablespoons iced water
1/2 pound bacon, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sweet onion, chopped
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed, patted dry
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon dried thyme (I was out of thyme so substituted tarragon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
Whisk flour, cornmeal and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3 tablespoons ice water. Toss until dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Shape dough into disk. Wrap, chill at least 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 400F. Spray a 9-inch diameter glass pie dish with nonstick spray. Place large piece of parchment paper on work surface. Place dough in center, cover with second sheet of parchment. Roll out dough to 12-inch round. Peel off top parchment. Using bottom parchment as aid, turn dough over into prepared pie dish. Carefully peel off remaining parchment. Fit crust into dish, sealing any tears. Trim off excess dough.
Cook bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 1/2 tablespoons drippings. Add onion and pepper to skillet. Saute until almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add corn, sauté until very tender, about 3 minutes longer.
Whisk half and half, eggs, thyme or tarragon, salt, Worcestershire and black pepper. Mix in green onions, then corn mixture. Sprinkle bacon then cheeses over bottom of crust. Pour in egg mixture.
Bake pie until filling is golden and just set in center, about 55 minutes. Let pie cool at least 30 minutes. Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2008