Tomato Pie, you ask? Why, yes! Tomato Pie! Who’da thunk!? Well, let me tell you…every year, beginning in about May, I start a metamorphosis from human to tomato! I kid you not! There is n.o.t.h.i.n.g so good, to me, as a vine ripe tomato! And this tomato pie? Well, you might just as well drop the fork and stick your face straight into it. Ummm, yeah…so, remember to have a napkin handy; I may or may not be speaking from experience.
This particular tomato pie was the result of the tomato gods visiting me in the form of two different magazines I received in the very same day having tomato pie recipes. And you know me…I can’t just follow a recipe, so this is from neither one. Rather, it’s my dream tomato pie…it’s the tomato pie that was just bustin’ my brain at the seams tryin’ to get out in edible form!
I’d made some ricotta (see my last post for the recipe) and I thought, well yes indeedy…ricotta will work quite nicely. Also, I’d been a bit obsessed with making pie crust…and the crust idea just fell into place too. See, it really WAS a dream pie!
As part of my annual metamorphosis, I require at least 7 tomatoes a day so this was a handy way to fit in a few more. If you are a tomato fan, I can absolutely guarantee you will love this pie!
- FOR THE HERB BUTTER PASTRY:*
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 sprig each of fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut in one inch pieces, place in freezer for 30 minutes
- 4-6 tablespoons ice-cold water (or just enough that the dough starts to hold together)
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 4 large tomatoes, sliced ¾" thick, pat dry with paper towel****
- ½ large onion, sliced very thin
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- 6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- 1 cup ricotta
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ cup mozzarella, grated
- 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade
- FOR THE PASTRY:
- Combine flour, salt, sugar and herbs in a food processor; pulse to mix.
- Add butter, a couple of pieces at a time and pulse the food processor until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. (If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again.)
- Remove the dough from the food processor and place in a mound on a clean surface.
- Gently shape into a ball, flatten like a hamburger patty.
- Lightly dust with flour, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.**Note This re-chills the butter and gives the gluten in the flour time to relax.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make is easy to roll out.
- Using a rolling-pin, on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a 12-inch circle, about ⅛ of an inch thick.
- Line pie plate/tart pan with pastry.
- If using a pie plate, flute edges.
- FOR THE PIE FILLING:
- Fill the bottom of the pie shell with tomato slices
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add ¾ of onion slices and sprinkle with ¾ of the crumbled bacon.
- Place all three cheeses and the garlic in a bowl and stir to combine.
- Mound the cheese mixture in the middle, reserving about ¼ cup.
- Do a second layer, centered in the middle of the cheese mixture, of the tomatoes, salt/pepper, onions and crumbled bacon.
- Add the remaining cheese mixture in the center of the second layer of tomato.
- Bake in a 350° oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until tomatoes are cooked and pie is done.**
- Allow to cool slightly.***
- Sprinkle with the chiffonade of basil.
** I covered the pie with a circle I cut out of aluminum foil for the first 20 minutes and removed it for the remainder of the cooking time, to brown the cheese.
***Unless you let the pie cool, the basil will blacken from the heat of the pie. The pie must cool before you can cut and serve.