I finally began to appreciate some of my Pennsylvania Dutch (technically German) heritage a few years ago through some culinary exploring.
My favorite dive into this subculture of food quickly resulted in corn pie made with in-season, locally grown sweet corn, like the ears brought in to Wolff’s Apple House in August and September from nearby farmers. I always tell people who haven’t had corn pie that unfortunately, this means they haven’t really lived. But that can change quickly once they test out a bite of the pie. Gloria Sands has offered Wolff’s a few recipes in the past, including her Peach Cobbler. She thankfully recently offered her Bottomless Corn Pie recipe, which she made for me when she introduced me to this dish less than five years ago.
Naming the yield is tough because when you have some, it may be hard to eat only a single portion, and it can move around a bit as you scoop it out of the glass pie dish, once it cools down. Some people also pour a small bit of warm milk over the crust, too, once it’s ready to eat.
- 8 medium-sized ears of local sweet corn
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- enough butter for greasing the glass pie dish, + 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 Pillsbury top pie crust (or make your own)
- Grease a 9-inch deep dish glass pie pan with butter.
- Husk and clean 8 medium-sized ears of corn.
- Cut off the corn into a large bowl.
- Scramble 3 large eggs into the cut corn.
- Add salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 5 tablespoons butter to the corn and eggs.
- Pour the mixture into the glass pie dish.
- Add on the top pie crust, and score with cuts to vent it as it bakes.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour.
Sweet corn is a very unique and crave-worthy local crop, something a friend of mine in Colorado misses immensely because the weather and soil conditions out there just won’t allow for it. We might take for granted how lucky we are to have sweet corn in our region, especially since it’s a very small percentage of the kind of corn grown in our country.
This reminds me of how if you don’t work on a farm or have a farming family background, you might not realize that the vast rows of corn you often see mid-growing are likely not sweet corn at all but field corn, which is grown for livestock to eat or for ethanol as part of gas we put into our cars.
Rachel VanDuzer, Wolff’s marketing consultant, has a great anecdote to tie this all together.
In the past, her husband worked for a sweet corn farmer up north, in the Lehigh Valley.
“Early one morning, my husband and others were working out in the fields, and they heard a car pull over,” Rachel says. “People jumped out and said, ‘Grab as much as you can!’ So they witnessed people stealing corn and asked the farmer what they should do. He told them, “Don’t worry about it; I only plant cattle corn next to the road. People will only steal from me once after they taste that it’s cattle corn!”
That’s another reason you can be glad to know you’re getting authentic sweet corn in-season at Wolff’s when you’re ready to eat it off of the cob or test out this Bottomless Corn Pie recipe.