Counter Action: Pomegranate–chocolate pie

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Do you ever think of something, get excited by how innovative it seems, and then learn that it’s been done before?

I remember learning about McCarthyism in middle school, and realizing with glorious excitement how similar it was to the hysteria surrounding the Salem Witch Trials. Someone should write a book about that, I thought immediately. Someone should write a book with those two historical events in parallel. You can imagine my frustration when I discovered, some years later, that a brash young upstart named Arthur Miller had already done that.

Similarly, a few years after that, I was delighted to find out how deliciously pomegranate seeds paired with dark chocolate. I have discovered something amazing, I thought. I have discovered a bold new flavor combo that no one has ever tried before.

Oh, the insolence of youth. Not only was I not the first one to try this, but Trader Joe’s, I quickly found out, had already released a pomegranate chocolate bar.

But no matter. Just because something has been done before doesn’t mean we can’t try to improve upon it, right? That’s what I attempted to do with this pie. The slight tartness of the filling … the mouthfeel of the whipped cream … the sweet saltiness of the chocolate crust … if you’re looking for a bold dessert to bring to a party, I’ve got just the thing.

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Pomegranate–chocolate pie

Ingredients:

  • Pre-made 9-inch Oreo cookie pie crust
  • 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c. pomegranate juice
  • Whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and/or pomegranate seeds to garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and pomegranate juice. (Would a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder add even more depth of flavor? Try it out and let me know!)
  2. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15–20 minutes, or until the middle of the pie stops jiggling.
  3. Garnish with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and/or pomegranate seeds. Serve with coffee.
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Counter Action: Tomato–corn pie

tomato corn pie

For some people, summer means bikinis, which means diets and special workouts.

If you are one of those people, this pie is not for you.

Mayonnaise + cheese + butter = embrace the inevitable curves, my friends.

Don't let the media get you down, sandstone. Real geological phenomena have striations.

Don’t let the media get you down, sandstone. Real geological phenomena have striations.

For the rest of us, summer means tomatoes, corn, basil, zucchini, cherries, and a host of other edibles, which we embrace both in their raw, uncomplicated forms and in forms involving as much dairy as we can get our hands on.

This is our pie.

Tomato–corn pie

(From Smitten Kitchen’s indomitable recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1¾ tsp. salt, divided
  • ¾ stick (6 T.) cold diced butter + 2 tsp. melted butter
  • ¾ c. whole milk
  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1¾ lb. tomatoes
  • 1½ c. corn (equivalent to about 3 ears), divided
  • 2 T. chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1 T. chopped fresh chives, divided
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1¾ c. grated sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

Directions:

  1. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Cut in cold butter until well blended. Mix in milk to form a firm dough.
  3. Divide dough in half. Roll out to form two 12-inch circles. Refrigerate until needed.
  4. Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato. Immerse in boiling water bath for 30 seconds. Remove and plunge into ice bath to facilitate peeling.
  5. Remove skins and seeds from tomatoes, and slice into quarter-inch rounds. (This process might seem tedious, but trust me, you want to remove all the moisture from the tomatoes that you can. Removing the skins makes the tomato chunks more tender.)
  6. Remove pie crust from fridge. Place one crust in 9-inch pie pan, trimming edges as necessary.
  7. Arrange half of tomatoes in pie crust. Top with half of corn, basil, chives, pepper, and cheese.
  8. Layer other half of tomatoes, corn, basil, chives, pepper, and cheese in pie crust.
  9. Mix mayonnaise and lemon juice together. Spread evenly over pie filling.
  10. Place other pie crust on top and pinch edges to seal. Cut several steam vents and brush with melted butter.
  11. Bake at 400°F for 30–35 minutes, until golden brown.
  12. Remove, cool, and serve with a green salad.

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Photo credits: Sandstone from tpsdave on Pixabay.