Pastel de Choclo or corn pie is a very popular dish in many South American countries. You will find this in many homes and restaurants given that corn is so abundant in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Venezuela. This is the type of recipe that can be made a thousand ways just like many traditional dishes from every culture. I selected one of the most simple and quick recipes using frozen corn as a shortcut which would not be done in most South American households. You can also use a ready made pie crust. Did you hear that Chilean grandma scream in the background? I did 🙂 I would never get in the way of tradition so if you prefer to cut your corn fresh off a cob or make your pie crust from scratch all the better. Most people do not have that kind of time or desire and you shouldn’t beat yourself up if you do not. Some recipes for this dish use beef and/or chicken filling in addition to these other ingredients. I may try that next time around. This recipe can be prepared ahead of time and warmed before serving. It will also pair nicely with many side vegetables or with a tossed salad to nutritionally balance your meal.
2 cups frozen corn
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups milk (1% or more)
3/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup of cornstarch
2 hard boiled eggs (chopped)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1 egg, beaten
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Place eggs in a pot and once the water boils, remove from the heat and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 minutes. Cool the eggs under cold running water; peel and chop.
Meanwhile, heat the corn in a saucepan and cook for approximately 2 minutes; strain and set aside to cool.
Heat the vegetable oil in the same saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour the milk into the saucepan and whisk in the cornstarch. Add the butter, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer whisking constantly, then cook for 2 minutes over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the hard-boiled eggs and corn; pour into the piecrust.
Bake in the preheated oven until crust and pier are golden brown and pie center is firm which is about 25-30 minutes depending on your oven.
Half way through the baking process, brush the beaten egg over the top of the pie and finish baking. This will give the pie and nice golden brown topping.
This corn pie recipe is so simple in its ingredients and taste that it will pair with many different white wines which I have showcased in the picture above. Any wine with ripe fruit and low acidity or oak will complement the creaminess of this dish. As you can see I featured a host of white wine options including viognier, chardonnay (unoaked), blanc de blanc champagne, and even a sauterne. Yes, sauterne is not just for dessert. I also tried this pie with a pinot noir because I was curious if a red wine would pair with the pie filling and it did. The pinot noir has to be one with ripe fruit and preferably with cherry notes more than something tart or too acidic. I drank a beautiful Domaine Serene pinot noir with this pie and I was not disappointed.