Cooking What I Like With Love

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie

I’ve been obsessed with tomatoes since I was a kid. I actually once ate so many that I ended up at the doctor, who at first thought I had scarlet fever again because I was all red and itchy. But then he asked what I’d eaten in the past few days. I’d had tomato sauce twice, a tomato sandwich and I actually just ate a large can of whole plum tomatoes. I guess I overdid it. But I still love them more than any other fruit. Or vegetable. Or whatever. I really love them. I saw this recipe for Laurie Colwin’s Tomato Pie years ago. She was a writer who wrote wonderful cookbooks of home recipes as well as novels and journalistic writing. I saved this for years and then finally decided to make it, because it sounded a little wacky. I haven’t stopped making it since. Once, I made it two days in a row because I needed to eat it again.

It’s a biscuit-crusted pie, filled with tomatoes, scallions and sharp cheddar cheese. It is brought together by a mayonnaise-based sauce but it doesn’t taste like mayo! I gave this to a friend who hates mayo and she loved it. It’s good to eat immediately. It’s even better warmed or cold the next day. This is a great summer meal that can be made with fresh tomatoes when they’re in season. However, if you can’t get good tomatoes, I highly recommend making it with canned San Marzano tomatoes. That’s what I did this time, while I was dreaming of a sun-warmed tomato, freshly picked and sprinkled with salt.

 

To begin, preheat your oven to 400°F.

Whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice. Set aside.

Place flour, butter, sugar, baking powder,  and salt in food processor and pulse until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs.  Add in 3/4 cup milk and pulse until it comes together in a ball.

Place dough on well-floured surface and divide into two. Roll out one half of dough to fit pie pan. This will be thicker than normal pie crusts. It’s more of a biscuit, so it isn’t paper-thin. Place in pie pan, leaving edges for crimping.

Roll out second half of dough and set aside.

Cover the bottom of pie with tomatoes and sprinkle with scallions.

Top with 1/2 of the cheese.

Repeat with remaining tomatoes, scallions and cheese. Drizzle the mayo mixture over the top evenly.

Top with second half of rolled dough. Crimp edges, trimming excess. I like to use the excess to decorate the top of the pie, in this case I made a little tomato for the center. Wet your decoration with a little water to stick it to the top of the pie. Prick holes all over the top of the pie, in an attractive manner. I’ve also just written “tomato” in the little pricks and it looks super cute.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. I like to check the center to make sure it’s hot, by inserting a knife for a minute and testing the temperature of the knife. It should be hot. If it needs more time, you may cover with foil to prevent over browning. You want it a light golden color, like a perfect biscuit. Leave to cool for a few minutes. Slice and enjoy. This is great to bring to party, because you can make it the day before and reheat it. It’s a wonderful recipe, created by a wonderful cook and writer and I hope this adaptation honors Laurie Colwin’s memory.

Tomato Pie

Serving Size: 6-8

Tomato Pie

Tomato, scallions ad cheddar cheese are baked in a fluffy biscuit crust in this summer time showstopper.

Ingredients

  • 4 15oz. cans of Whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained and broken apart with hands
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1½ cup extra sharp white cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Bunch of scallions, green tops only, chopped

Instructions

  1. To begin, preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice. Set aside.
  3. Place flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor and pulse until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Add in 3/4 cup milk and pulse until it comes together in a ball. Place dough on well-floured surface and divide into two. Roll out one half of dough to fit pie pan. This will be thicker than normal pie crusts. Place in pie pan, leaving edges for crimping. Roll out second half of dough and set aside.
  4. Cover the bottom of pie with tomatoes and sprinkle with scallions. top with 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tomatoes, scallions and cheese. Drizzle the mayo mixture over the top evenly.
  5. Top with second half of rolled dough. Crimp edges, trimming excess. Use the excess to decorate the top of the pie. Prick holes all over the top of the pie, in an attractive manner.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check the center to make sure it's hot, by inserting a knife for a minute and testing the temperature of the knife. It should be hot. If it needs more time, you may cover with foil to prevent over browning. You want it a light golden color, like a perfect biscuit. Leave to cool for a few minutes. Slice and enjoy.

Notes

If you have good, fresh,FLAVORFUL tomatoes, use them instead of canned! Just slice thinly and layer as indicted in the recipe.

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