Corn Pie 101. After a week spent vending at the Kutztown Folk Festival, it’s safe to say my husband, Dan, and I have kicked off our summer fair feasting! My downfall was the sweet rolls, which I discovered could be ordered in a loaf-style bread. And after chatting it up with the church gals who were quilting in the quilt barn, I discovered a small food building selling handmade Corn Pies. Unfortunately I can’t recall which church group made the pies, but someone sure was busy!
I’ll admit that I had never heard of Corn Pie until recently. And I could not understand why one would put loose corn kernels in a pie crust, nor why hard-boiled eggs were added to the mix (you know how I feel about eggs).
When I spoke with my mother-in-law, Jane, and her sister, Lonna, about recipes, I learned that in days long gone by, a savory pie might be a creative option for putting food on the table during lean times.
I’ll happily speak with strangers all day long to learn something new, and it was at the Folk Festival that I learned the pie is easily made with a crust, corn, hard-boiled eggs, salt and pepper. In my mind, I wanted to add more texture, no eggs and more flavor to compliment a plain corn filling. Potatoes, peppers, shallots and possibly shredded cheese went into my mental recipe notes.
But before embarking, I asked Jane and Lonna for their two cents, and they gave me two recipes, one is the recipe below, from Jane’s mother. I baked two variations, thinking the celery would be a bit strange, but in a side-by-side tasting this recipe won, hands down. Jane said her mother would often prepare it in a 9×13-inch baking dish with just a crust on top. If you try it that way you may want to double the filling ingredients.
I received another corn pie recipe from the friend of a local Mennonite farm stand owner. This recipe is unusual to me in that it requires a custard-like filling with a cream and egg base to bind the corn filling. Because it seems so unusual, I’ll share the recipe on my website.
No matter how you prepare a Corn Pie recipe, it seems popular way to serve it each portion in a shallow bowl, with warm milk and topped with sliced hard-boiled eggs.
- Pastry for top and bottom crust of one 10-inch pie dish
- 1-1/2 cups whole kernel corn, fresh or frozen
- 1 medium onion, diced (about ¾ cup)
- 1 cup potatoes, peeled and evenly diced
- ½ cup celery, finely chopped
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- Fresh parsley to garnish
- Line a 10-inch pie dish pan with 1 pastry crust.
- In a medium bowl, combine the corn, onion, potatoes, celery, milk, butter, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour into the pie dish and top with the egg slices (or serve the eggs on the side).
- Top the filling with the second pastry crust. Crimp the edges to seal and slice the center of the crust to vent.
- Bake at 350ºF for about 1 hour, until golden. Garnish with the fresh parsley and serve with warmed milk for pouring over the pie.
Here is the recipe jotted down on a sticky note pad by a local farm stand vendor. I wish I got her name but I did not. I think it may yield a more custard-like corn pie but I did not prepare this version. She does not mention the size of the pan to use for baking but I’d suggest a 9-inch pie dish. She also mentions a crust in the pie dish but did suggest a crushed cracker topping. So I’m suggesting you line the pie dish with a pie crust.
- Pastry for top and bottom crust of one 9-inch pie dish
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1¼ cups milk, divided
- 2 cups fresh, raw corn kernals
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon onion salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Dash of pepper
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Press the pie crust into the pie dish a 9-inch pie dish.
- In a saucepan bring the butter, 1 cup milk, corn and salt to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Combine the remaining ¼ cup milk and flour to form a smooth paste. Add slowly to the corn mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until thick.
- Add the onion salt, eggs, and pepper; stirring to combine. Pour into the crust and bake for 20 minutes.