Tomato Pie

So, tomato pie is a thing. Sources say that tomato pie goes all the way back to the 1830s!

Roots, y’all.

Most people raised below the Mason-Dixon are already hip to this but for a Northerner like me, tomato pie is very very new to my world.

I’ve only developed a serious relationship with tomatoes in the past few years. Prior to that my exposure to tomatoes usually included the watery, not-in-season, grainy, flavorless kind that thoughtlessly gets thrown on a burger.  Who knew that at their peak tomatoes could be so incredibly different?

And by different I mean delicious. Juicy, refreshing, sweet…God’s gifts.

When tomatoes are in season I get my hands on as many as I can.  I absolutely go overboard. Tomato Jam. Tomato salad. Fresh salsa. Tomato sauce. Gazpacho. Tomatoes get all the love.

And now, tomato pie.

When I first caught wind of it in my Southern Living magazine I definitely wasn’t sold. Like, tomatoes in a pie tho? But then I read the ingredients. And saw the mayo. And the cheese. And more cheese. And I was like, “hell yes, I’m gonna do that.” And I did. And it’s great. And I feel a little more in touch with my Southern brothers and sisters and that warms my heart.

Still not voting Republican, though.

XO

Tomato Pie

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First we make our pie dough. Just like we did when we made the dough for our Rustic Plum Galette. Let’s keep things familiar.

Then we blind bake. No, we don’t put a blindfold on, silly. Blind-baking is just code for pre-baking. Because tomatoes are filled with juicy goodness they would immediately make the pie dough soggy if we started off with raw pie dough. So we blind bake. To do this we put the dough in our pie plate & make it pretty. Next up: we prick the dough with a fork to keep it from bubbling up. Then we make a circle out of parchment to fit inside the pie shell. Finally, we fill it with some type of weight. No, a brick won’t work here. But, you can buy pie weights from a baking supply store.

Want to save some cash? I use cheap dried beans and re-use them over and over for this purpose. Because I have student loans.

Bake.

Remove parchment & weights.

Cool out.

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Now it’s time to make the filling to go between the juicy tomato layers. Hello, mayo, herbs, bacon & cheese. Let’s play.

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Now we layer. Filling, drained tomatoes, repeat.

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Why you so pretty, girl?

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Add more cheese, duh.

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Bake and reap the blessings of life.

Ingredients:

Pie Dough:

  • 1 cups flour, all-purpose
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup buter, cut into pieces & very cold
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vodka
  • 3-4 tbsp ice water

Filling:

  • 2 lbs tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup bacon, cooked & diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1tsp fresh chives, minced
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Procedure:

Pie Dough:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. On a flat surface or in a bowl, mix together flour & salt. Cut in the butter using a bench scrape or pastry cutter until the mixture has pieces the size of peas. Form into a mound and make a well in the center. Add the egg yolk & vodka to the well and begin to incorporate using a fork. Slowly add in the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, using the bench scraper to incorporate until the flour is moistened and starts to hold its shape when pieces of the dough are squeezed together.
  3. Fraisage the dough.
  4. Form into a ball and flatten so it resembles a disk shape. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, until you achieve a rectangle that is about 15″x9″ in size. The thickness of the dough should be 1/4″ throughout.
  6. Place the dough in an 8″ pie plate and flute the edges. Using a fork, prick the interior of the pie shell.
  7. Blind bake the pie shell for 10-15 minutes or until a light golden brown.
  8. Let cool on a baking rack.
  9. Reduce oven to 350°F.

Tomatoes:

  1. Slice the tomatoes and lay in a single layer on paper towels. Sprinkle the tomatoes lightly with salt. Let drain 30 minutes.

Filling:

  1. In a bowl combine the mayo, 1 cup gruyere, 1/4 cup Parmesan, bacon, fresh herbs, hot sauce, sugar, salt & pepper.

Assembly:

  1. Add 1/3 of the filling to the bottom of the cooled pie shell and spread evenly.
  2. Add one layer of the drained tomatoes. Repeat this process until you have three layers.
  3. Top the last layer with the remaining gruyere and parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake 30-40 minutes or until the top is bubbling and golden brown.
  5. Let cool on a baking rack.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

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