Last summer, I continually saw people posting about making tomato pies on Facebook. I had never heard of the tomato pie, but found quickly that it seemed to be a southern thing, and growing up in California wasn't conducive to being exposed to true southern cooking. I was curious, but the summer got away from me, and I never made one. I finally got around to it last week, and I'm devastated that I waited this long! This pie is relatively easy to make and packs a punch with flavor. My husband said that the flavors reminded him of pizza, and no wonder: it's basically tomatoes, cheese, and herbs in a pie form. Make this with the freshest tomatoes possible--straight from the vine and sun-warmed. In a pinch, you can use a premade pie crust, but this crust from Alice Waters has never disappointed me. It's simple to make and turns out flaky and delicious. And the rest is really up to you. I could imagine that this would be delicious with some caramelized onions thrown into the mix. Change your herbs or types of cheese. Add a little crispy bacon to the top. I've even seen it around the interwebs with corn added. Whatever you do, go make this now. It's a scrumptious southern treat!
Southern Tomato Pie
Makes one pie/tart
From Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
12 Tbl cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup ice cold water
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1/4 cup basil, roughly chopped
3/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
8 ounces ball mozzarella cheese, diced or grated
To Make the Crust:
Combine the flour, salt and butter in your stand mixer. Mix for about 60 seconds with your paddle attachment. Add about 3/4 of the water and mix until the dough comes together. (This takes about 30 seconds in the mixer.) Add more water, little by little, if needed. Separate the dough into 2 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour. You'll only need one for this recipe, but you can freeze the second for a later use.
Once it's been refrigerated, take out of the refrigerator and let rest on the counter for about 20 minutes. Roll out on a floured surface until it's big enough to fit in your tart or pie pan. Place in the pan and fold the edges over to create a thicker crust (or you could just trim the excess). Place foil in the crust and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool on your countertop.
To Make the Tart:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Lay your tomato slices in a single layer in a colander and sprinkle with a little salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes. While they are draining, combine the mayo, sour cream, cheddar cheese and mozzarella in a bowl. Place the tomatoes on a layer of paper towels and cover with another layer and let sit for about 5 minutes.(This will help prevent your pie from being soggy. If your tomatoes are extra juicy, feel free to replace the wet paper towels with dry ones and cover again for another 5 minutes.)
Place one layer of tomatoes in the pie/tart tin. Sprinkle with about 1/2 of the green onions and basil. Layer with the rest of the tomatoes and green onions and basil. Spread the mayo/cheese mixture over the tomatoes. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the pie begins become golden. If after 40 minutes, the top isn't completely golden, place under the broiler until the top is browned and bubbly. Let cool slightly, but serve warm.
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