Michael (my partner) and Finn (my 3.5 year old son) were out for a few hours, helping a friend put together the necessary components for a lobster bake…
Seaweed. Rocks. Wood to build the fire (and maintain it for hours). A few canvas tarps. And most importantly, a dug space. A pot in the earth so to speak… in which to bake the lobsters, corn and clams. A real Maine lobster bake.
Hot rocks layer the bottom of the ‘pot’ (a hole dug into sand or soil). Seaweed is dropped on top, creating steam…lobsters are placed on top of this, and then they are topped with another layer of seaweed and a few splashes of sea water…sizzle, sizzle, sizzle…
Corn is layered next, followed by more water, seaweed and then finally, the clams…more sea water and more seaweed are added, and then the tarps are tossed over, covering the opening, thus creating a ‘lid.’
As the sun sets over the Atlantic, lobsters bake, in the ground, on an island…
I digress…this (potluck) lobster bake, and the fact that Michael and Finn were out for a few hours helping organize the party, is what inspired me to try this recipe.
It’s a recipe I found some time ago…torn from a magazine I regretfully do not know (note to self, write down the month, the year and the title of the magazine, from which the recipe was removed…), and I had yet to make it…
Basil was in the garden, corn I could buy 6 minutes down the road at a local farm stand (my corn is not ready yet), I had eggs (from same local farm stand), cream and enough grape tomatoes to give it a go…I decided this is what I was going to bring to the potluck lobster bake;
A fresh corn, basil and tomato tart.
Plus, I had one hour of uninterrupted time – something truly treasured – now that I’m a parent, and phenomenal lighting, so I prepped, photographed and baked this scrumptious tart in only 60 minutes.
Gluten free? Just substitute flour with a gluten free flour and enjoy…
Fresh corn, basil and tomato tart
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs (despite only seeing one in the photo)
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
1.5 cups fresh corn kernels (2-3 ears of corn, depending on size) – steamed or boiled for 2-3 minutes
1/2+ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/2+ tsp. salt
1/2+ tsp. freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup freshly chopped tomato
spring of fresh basil for garnish
First the cornmeal crust;
What to do;
1. In a medium bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high for about 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar and 1/2 tsp. salt. Beat until combined.
3. Beat in 1 of the eggs until combined.
4. Beat in cornmeal and flour, until ball begins to form.
5. Shape into disk with hands and wrap in wax paper and chill for 30-60 minutes or until easy to handle.
Next, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
– Lightly press dough on bottom and up sides of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom…
work dough towards the sides of the pan and then gently with your fingertips, force the dough upwards, along the sides of the tart pan,
keeping the thickness even all around and up to the brim. This is not as complicated as it sounds. The dough is so malleable, it moves upwards with ease…make sure you keep all sides uniform and to the brim (to prevent overflow, over the top of the crust, when filling).
– Line crust with double thickness of foil and bake for 10 minutes; remove foil and bake for an additional 6-10 minutes more, or until pastry is set.
While that is happening…
– In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining two eggs and cream.
– Stir in corn, basil and 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper.
– Pour over crust.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set. Let stand for 10-15 minutes. Remove sides of pan to serve.
Top with chopped tomato and fresh basil.
Makes 8 servings or more if sliced smaller…