Market Finds

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Tomato Pie

The tomato and I have not always been on the best of terms, even though I grew up with access to lovely home grown tomatoes from my grandmother's gardens.  I never quite comprehended the conversations I overheard between my mother, aunt and grandmother, discussing the virtues of home grown tomatoes as they happily munched on their mayonnaise laden tomato sandwiches.  Why didn't I like tomatoes?  The answer was simple, my father did not like them, and still doesn't, therefore I did not like them.  Seemed like a reasonable explanation at the time.  In hindsight, I am kicking myself for being a late comer to the joys of a tasty tomato.

Now that I have seen the error of my ways, I anxiously search all summer for the perfect bite of a home grown tomato.  This year I have had my fair share and have been working on some recipes inspired by this luscious fruit.  The recipe I am sharing today is for a savory tomato pie.  It has had several iterations over the past few weeks as I experimented with different types of tomatoes, cheeses and herbs, in search of the perfect combination.  I put this pie together earlier this week and shared it with some of my amazing friends/guinea pigs.  

I hope that you will enjoy these last fleeting weeks of summer and share a slice of this delicious pie with some of your friends and always remember to make every (pie) plate something to be passionate about!

Beauty Shot: Savory pie topped with fresh herbs and avocado

Tomato Pie:
1 each red, green and yellow heirloom tomatoes
1 9" pie shell
1 cup grated sharp white cheddar
1 cup grated parmigiano reggianno
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup light olive oil mayonnaise
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped basil

1 Avocado, Diced
1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs including dill, chives and basil

1) Slice tomatoes into 1/4" slices and place in a single layer on a paper towel lined sheet pan. Sprinkle tomatoes with sea salt and cover with another layer of paper towels.  Place a second sheet pan on top of the paper towels to act as a weight.  Set tomatoes aside and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

This step is very important and it will help remove moisture from the tomatoes.  No one likes a soggy pie!
2)Dock your thawed pie crust and blind bake for 10 minutes at 400 deg.  Allow to cool 15 minutes before filling.

3) In a medium sized bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (cheddar through basil) to form the filling
The filling should be fairly thick, similar to a pimento cheese consistency

4) Places slices of tomato in a single layer onto the cooled pie crust.  You may have to cut some of the tomatoes to fit.
Squeeze as many tomatoes as you can onto that bottom layer

5) Scoop all of the filling onto the tomato layer and spread out using the back of a spoon so that none of the tomatoes are showing
Make sure to spread your filling all the way to the edge of your crust

6) Arrange the remaining tomatoes on top of the filling.
I like to cut my tomatoes in half and arrange in a fan shape…do whatever you like, just make it pretty!

7) Place foil around the crust, so as to avoid over browning.  Place the pie in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, until filling is bubbling and heated through.
Don't forget to tent the exposed crust with foil.  This will prevent it from burring as the filling cooks.

8) Remove pie from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before garnishing and serving.

*I used a store bought crust for this recipe, but feel free to make your own pastry if you are so inclined.  Additionally, this same technique would work equally as well on a free-form galette crust