This is a recipe which adapted from a centuries old Nantucket recipe. In the Nantucket version from the 19th century was known as a pudding and made with bacon fat and hard tack crust, and then later with a buttery oyster cracker topping.
Wearing my Prince Edward Island lens, I began tinkering with the recipe. I wanted to make it a dish that immediately makes you think of a family meal, gatherings, and even the fall/winter holidays. Meals that are prepared for gatherings often contain summer savory. Summer savory is a powerfully aromatic herb that hits notes of thyme, marjoram, and even a little bit of mint. It is a must have in a turkey stuffing side dish, and is often added into soup. I have added some summer savory in with the corn, along with some green onions and a dashes of hot sauce. This corn pie actually slices up quite well, so you won’t have to worry about arguments breaking out about who ate more buttery cracker got topping than whom.
I like this as a side dish with poultry, but it would also work well with pork. If you feel like enhancing the dish further, feel free to add cubed ham or lobster meat.
PEI Corn Pie
Chef Ilona Daniel
2 ½ cups whole milk
2 tbsp corn starch
½ tsp each paprika & nutmeg
1 tsp summer savory
A few dashes of hot sauce if desired
5 cups corn
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 ½ cups Buttery Cracker Crumbs or Corn Flake Crumbs
4 Tbsp melted butter
- Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 9×9 pan.
- Mix the first 7 ingredients together plus one cup of the cheese and pour into the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the corn mixture.
- To make the topping stir together the melted butter and crumbs; sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for 45-55 minutes. The casserole should have that amazing golden colour and a little wiggle to it.
- Garnish with some fresh herbs if desired.
Chef Ilona Daniel is the founder of Tribe Fresh Events and Consulting, a purpose-driven insights consultancy accelerated by modern approaches to the hospitality industry, immersive experiences, community and culture development, and game-changing deliverables.
With 15 years of experience, she is a thought leader and an established business-builder with projects spanning the globe including Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. Her strong background in consumer products and services includes a specialized focus on the interconnected producer and consumer in the food service sector. Ilona is also on the Board of Directors for the Tourism Association of PEI & The PEI Writers Guild. Chef Ilona is a published writer for numerous publications, is a media personality, and a dedicated Culinary Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada. The episode, “PEI Lobster” of the series, “Untamed Gourmet”, which Chef Ilona hosted was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.