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Tomato Pie

August 20, 2011

After three years of gardening I have finally achieved tomato success.  I’m an organic gardener who also tries to use heirloom seeds.  This has proved to be a bit more challenging than had I otherwise just bought random plants and seeds but I find it fascinating and fun so there you go.

The first year I grew tomatoes I randomly planted three plants that I nurtured from seedling. They grew tall and flowered and yet never gave me 1 damn tomato.

Year two was better, I bought plants at our local tomato mania, planted them when I was supposed to and got a few tomatoes from a few plants.

This year, I researched seeds, grew the plantlings, planted at the correct time and went with NINE tomato plants so I could get more than just a few tomatoes…boy have I.  Here is just one weekly harvest:

so many tomatoes

Tomatoes from 1 week

And, now you will understand why, most likely, my next few posts will center around cooking with tomatoes. During one of my cooking days I chose to make a tomato pie. I found a recipe from Paula Dean but really didn’t like some of the items in it. I couldn’t imagine slathering on mayo mixed with cheese to the top of the pie or what that would even taste like. (If you think you would like to try hers, here is the link http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/tomato-pie-recipe/index.html.) So, I used her recipe as a base and created my own. The first attempt was decent but came out watery. You will get what I think is a very nicely modified version of that so yours doesn’t have that same problem. Let me know if you tried it and how it works out for you.

Ingredients:
1 prepared pie shell
4 tomatoes peeled, semi-seeded, and sliced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1-2 pinches of dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 slices of cooked bacon
Salt and Pepper

Steps:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Place the slices of tomatoes on a clean kitchen towel, salt them, let them sit for 10 mins, and then cover the top with another clean kitchen towel. Lightly press down on the tomatoes (to whisk away some of the liquid from the tops) and then leave covered for another 10 mins.

Peeled Tomatoes

Peeled Tomatoes

Chop the 1/2 cup onion and chiffonade the basil

Chopping onion, chiffonade basil

mmm chopped onion and strips of basil

In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of shredded mozzarella, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and crumble in the two slices of bacon. Toss all ingredients together to mix well.

Two cheeses and bacon mixed

Two cheeses and bacon mixed

Begin to assemble the pie:
Place half the cheese in the bottom of the pie shell
Then layer with your tomatoes.
Pepper the tomatoes and then top with onion and dried oregano (sprinkled over all the tomatoes)
Place the final layer of cheese on top of the tomatoes

layers of cheese, tomato, onion, pepper and herbs

Layered pie

Final tomato pie pre-oven

Final tomato pie pre-oven

Place the pie on a flat cookie sheet and place it into the oven for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes carefully remove the pie and dab off excess water with paper towels.
Crank the oven up to 400 degrees.
Place the pie back in the 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until top of cheese and crust turns golden brown.
Remove from oven and let sit for at least 15 minutes before cutting (I prefer 30 if possible)
Enjoy!!!

Final Tomato Pie

Final Tomato Pie

Tips and tricks:
1. I get my pie crust at whole foods as it only contains the same ingredients that you would have if you made it from scratch. Feel free to use whatever is your favorite or make your own.
2. Peeling home grown tomatoes are easy – you just peel them like you would an apple.  But if you find it hard you can throw them into a pot of boiling water for about a minute, immediately take them out and cool them down in an ice water bath to stop the cooking.  They should be easier to peel after that.  I also suggest mostly deseeding them as keeping the seeds just seems to add to the water content and a soggy pie is not a fun pie.
3. I suggest you drain the tomatoes using a towel because just draining them on a rack or in a colander didn’t work well for me – enough water wasn’t drained that way.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 22, 2011 3:21 am

    Tomato pie so yummy

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