Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tomato Time!

Oh, yes! The tomatoes are ripening and we are feasting!

Those big green-topped beauties are the Cherokee Purples and there was one just right for making BLTs -- our summertime favorite.

An assortment -- San Marzanos, Cherries, and Yellow Pears -- set me to thinking of Tomato Pie and I went to a recipe from Garden and Gun.  

Oh. My. Goodness. It was WONDERFUL! We ate half for supper and will be enjoying the rest for lunch today.

Here's the recipe.(Of course, I made a few changes)

4  shallots, minced  (I used a medium sized onion, not having shallots on hand) 
3  garlic cloves, minced
4  tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1  tbsp. Dijon mustard
9-inch pie shell (See below)
1  lb. assorted heirloom tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
3  oz. goat cheese, crumbled  (I used mozzarella as Himself doesn't like goat cheese)
½  oz. fresh basil chiffonade
1  tbsp. Grenache vinegar (I have no idea what this is -- I used balsamic vinegar)
½  cup fresh bread crumbs ( I almost used bread crumbs out of a can but I tore up a fresh ciabatta and was glad I did-- fresh makes a difference.)
1  oz. grated Parmesan cheese (NOT the stuff in the green shaker.  I used a bit more, since I wasn't using the goat cheese.)
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small pan, sauté shallots (or onion) and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in mustard, and set aside.
Place pastry shell in a 9-inch pie dish.  Sprinkle some of the Parmesan on the bottom. Layer in half of the tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper; spread shallot (or onion)   mixture over top. Add goat cheese ( or mozzarella) and half of the basil, distributing evenly. Layer in remaining tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and vinegar over the tomatoes; top with remaining basil.
In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle evenly over tomato filling.   
Bake 30 minutes, or until topping and crust are golden brown.


It REALLY is  worth the trouble to make your own. I've employed several tricks to make it easier. One is to use a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with flour to roll out the pastry on. Another (and I'm almost embarrassed to tell it) is to use the recipe for a two crust pie, even though you need only one crust. The extra dough will give you plenty of overhand to make a pinched edge  and I found that even though I left the pastry a bit thicker, it was delicious and amazingly flaky.

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup) vegetable shortening (e.g. Crisco)
A scant 1/3 cup vodka with an ice cube to cool it (trust me, this works SO much better than water to keep the pastry tender

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add the salt to the flour and cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or two  knives. When the mixture looks like coarse meal, sprinkle on the cold vodka, a tablespoon at a time and blend in with a fork. Continue till the mixture begins to hold together and you can form it into a ball. You may need to add a bit more liquid, at this point cold water is fine. 

Roll out the pastry and line your 9 or 10 inch pie pan. (You may have more than you need - bake the scraps with a little sugar sprinkled on them for a sweet treat.)  Prick the crust all over the bottom with a fork and bake (unfilled) for about ten minutes. This pre-baking keeps the rust from getting soggy on the bottom.



Thérèse said...

Miam miam! It sounds delicious!
I keep the recipe in mind.

Victoria said...

That looks sooooo good! I'll be trying it soon, and also your recipe for pie crust. When I was little, my mom used to always make extra pie crust so she could make little "cookies" sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar for me. Thanks for bringing back a sweet memory.

Ms. A said...

At least two of my granddaughter would be thrilled with all those tomatoes!

Chris said...

I'm jealous of your bounty! Our patio tomatoes got too water logged with all the rain. Maybe next year.

Barbara Rogers said...

What a great sounding (and I'm sure tasting) recipe...thanks for photo before you cut into it too! That must have taken some patience. Happy tomato season!

Merisi said...

Yummy yummy!

Me to my youngest this after noon: I am looking forward to cooking again in the fall. *seriously*

Merisi said...

Yes, it is "afternoon" also in this sizzling city. Still.

NCmountainwoman said...

What lovely tomatoes. Tomato season is one of my favorite times of the year. Oh, those tasty sandwiches. And I'm going to make that tomato pie for sure.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a great tomato pie. Don't you just love Gun and Garden? I think if I had to name one food as my favorite, hands down it would be tomatoes. I grew up in tomato country and one of my friends jokingly says we have tomato juice running through our veins. I don't think she's far off of the mark.
PS - you can't beat Cherokee Purples. They've become my favorite