There is nothing better than tomatoes. I love walking to the garden and picking a sun-kissed tomato off the vine, sprinkle it with a little salt and bite into it, tasting the acidic sweetness and feel the juices run down my chin. Or, I slice them and place them between two pieces of bread with gobs of mayonnaise. I purée them into sauce or bake them into a dessert tart tatin. There are just so many ways to enjoy ripe tomatoes.
And now we have tomato pie.
I remember a few years ago at a girls’ night having my first taste of a tomato pie. A friend had brought it and I’m ashamed (or happy?) to say I went back for seconds and wanted thirds, it was that good. After that night I never really thought of it again unless I’d see a recipe about it. I would rip it out of the magazine and add it to the stack of “someday I’m going to make this” pile.
This year was different. From the moment we planted the garden, I decided I was going to make a tomato pie. Of course every time I thought about it we were eating something else or not at home. Finally however, last weekend I put my foot down and I made ” The Pie.”
It was like the sun had risen, the stars came out and fireworks lit up the sky. I don’t think a word was spoken between us because we were just too busy eating. In fact with my son and husband at the helm, leftovers didn’t exist since the entire pie had been eaten. This definitely is one of those recipes that you will make over and over and always get rave reviews on.
So, while you’re standing in your garden and feeling the warmth of the sun, tomato juices running down your chin and staining your shirt, remember to save yourself a few of those tomatoes so you can make a Tomato Pie. It will be well worth the sacrifice.
Tomato and Onion Pie
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
- 4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3-4 Tablespoons ice cold water
(optional- you can add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese)
- 6 or about 2 1/4 pounds large tomatoes, sliced
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1 Tablespoons oil
- 1 small onion, sliced thin
- 2 leeks, whites only sliced thin
- 10 sundried tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded and divided
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded, and divided
- 1 cup Fontina cheese, shredded, and divided
- 1/4-1/2 cup mayonnaise
- assorted herbs, minced (basil, thyme, chives, oregano, etc)
TO PREPARE PIE CRUST
Process first 4 ingredients in a food processor until mixture resembles a coarse meal. With processor running, gradually add 3 tablespoons ice-cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Process until dough forms a ball and leaves the side of the bowl. Add up to 1 tablespoon more water if necessary. Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.
Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle lightly with flour and roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Press dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim dough 1 inch larger than the diameter of the pie plate. Fold overhanging dough under along the rim of the pie plate. Chill 30 more minutes until firm.
Line pie crust with aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights and foil. (this will keep the crust from bubbling up) Place on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil. Bake 5 minutes or until browned. Cool completely on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
***see note below
TO PREPARE FILLING
Place sliced tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and let stand for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, sauté onions and leeks and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper each in hot oil over medium heat until they are tender and lightly browned.
Pat tomatoes dry with a paper towel. Layer tomatoes, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 of the cheese and herbs. Repeat.
Combine the remainder 1/2 cups of cheeses with the mayonnaise and spread over pie.
Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes until lightly browned. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
***note*** for a quicker process you can use refrigerated dough or frozen dough by following package directions.
you can also drizzle pie with a pesto sauce or vinaigrette if desired.