For the third summer in a row, I’ve had the pleasure of being invited to a Tomato Party. The party kicks off with the hostess’s jewel-toned tomato-basil water, spiked with a bit of vodka, glistening with a drizzle of olive oil. It is the very essence of summer’s end, a fragrant reminder to hurry up and enjoy as many tomatoes as we can.
And so we do. Each guest brings a tomato-y treat, filling out a spectacular meal that includes salads, salsas, tarts, soups, and this year even a divine tomato sorbet topped with a crispy-sweet tuile of dried tomato. Glorious!
My contribution was a Tomato Sweet Corn Quiche. Inspired by my favorite panna cotta recipe, I steeped the cream for the quiche with sweet corn, extracting every lovely bit of corn sweetness that I could. Just try not to drink the whole of it while the corn cream is still warm. I count it as one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. If you resist, it makes a lovely quiche filling.
I added grated raw milk cheddar to the pictured tart but I think the next time I make it, I’ll skip the cheese. I will also make the quiche in a pie plate, instead of a tart pan, so the custard is nice and thick. Did I mention how much I love that corn cream?
Tomato Sweet Corn Quiche
Happily, or perhaps a bit sadly, this recipe requires peak-season ingredients. It’s all about really sweet corn and flavorful ripe tomatoes.
1 9-inch pie crust (Julia Child’s is foolproof; Gluten-Free Girl has worked out a delicious gluten-free crust)
1 Tbsp. corn meal (optional)
2 tsp. butter
3 ears peak-season sweet corn, shucked, kernels sliced off cob
1 c. whole milk
1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 c. grated cheddar (optional)
2 c. assorted garden-ripe cherry tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices (I used a mixture of grape, yellow, purple, green, and orange varieties)
9-inch pie plate, nonstick cake pan, or fluted tart pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
If you like the idea of a bit of crunch at the bottom of your quiche, scatter the corn meal in the bottom of your pan. (If you don’t, skip that step.) Roll out the crust and fit into baking pan. Trim and crimp the edges. Gently set a large piece of foil or parchment paper into and on top of the crust and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights and set crust aside while you prepare the filling.
In a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, stir in the corn. Saute the corn, stirring a couple of times, for 5 minutes. Stir the milk and cream into the corn. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer corn for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Set out a colander placed over a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a blender, puree the corn and cream together, working in batches if necessary (use caution when blending hot liquids). Pour the pureed corn and cream into the colander to strain out the cream. Press down on the corn to extract as much of the cream as possible. Discard the corn. Measure out and 1 1/2 c. of the cream and return it to the bowl. (What remains is divine as is, enjoy as a treat!)
Add salt, eggs, and nutmeg to the corn cream and whisk to combine.
If using cheese, sprinkle it over the bottom of crust. Pour egg mixture into crust, stopping 1/2-inch from top of crust. Arrange tomato slices over the top of the egg mixture. Bake quiche for 40-45 minutes, until edges of crust are golden brown and center of quiche is just-set. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving warm. (Or cool completely to room temperature.)