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 a spirited culinary and hospitality curator with initiatives across the globe which serve to enrich and empower all stakeholders she engages with.
Ilona has her Culinary Management Diploma with President’s Honours from the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, a Degree in Culinary Operations from the Culinary Institute of Canada, a Certification in Adult Education from UPEI & Holland College, and is in the process of completing her Med in College Leadership from the University of Prince Edward Island.
Chef Ilona Daniel is the director of her Hospitality and Foodservice Consulting firm, Tribe Fresh. She has worked with several small, mid and large sized local, interprovincial and international businesses to help manage risk, grow their business as well as develop their brand in meaningful ways. Her efforts have taken her across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Chef Ilona’s business also works to execute special events hosting ambassadors and royalty from across the globe. She also works as a brand ambassador with the Prince Edward Island government, restaurants, food manufacturers and multi-national companies to market their operations via various social media channels.
Ilona is also a dedicated Culinary and Hospitality Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada, a Feature Food Writer for Saltwire Network, a regular contributor to CBC Radio, as well as a freelance travel & food writer. Her work has been featured in Saltscapes Magazine, Chatelaine, Harrowsmith, The Globe and Mail, Salty Magazine, and East Coast Living Magazine.
Chef Ilona has appeared on several television programs including The Marilyn Denis Show, Breakfast Television Toronto and Vancouver, Global Morning Calgary, FOX UK, Ethiopian Broadcast Service, as well as programs on VICE TV and APTN. Untamed Gourmet, episode “PEI Lobster” hosted by Chef Ilona was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.
In her spare time, Ilona enjoys painting, and chasing the best sunsets from tip-to-tip of her beloved Island home.