Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tomato...Pie?

It's early August. Late July has come and gone. You may be wondering about the most wonderful time of the year, tomato camp. Well, due to the eclipse, we moved tomato camp to coincide. (Hopkinsville, KY is among the best places for viewing, what?) So, with tomato camp being moved to mid-August, here's a tomato pie recipe to tide all of you tomato fiends over.

This tomato pie is legit. It combines four of my favorite things: pie crust, tomatoes, cheese, and most of all, mayonnaise. But, all you mayo haters out there, you really can't tell. It just melds into the pie like velvet. The whole concoction is one velvety, cheesy, tomato-y delight. (Yes, it is an indulgence. And, no, it's not on the diet.) This recipe comes from my parents' friend, Martha, and it is my kind of recipe. No measurements. No times. Just eyeballing. I've eaten it a few times, but this was my first solo flight.

Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), I did have one in a long lineage of pie crust fails with the recipe. Martha's recipe stated to use Mark Bittman's pie crust recipe. I respect Mark and all, but his pie crust uses sugar. Sugar not really being my thing in a pie crust, I found this New York Times pie crust recipe that had all the hallmarks of Bittman other than the sugar. Followed the directions to a tee, until it talked about pie weights. Umm, who needs pie weights when you can just prick the bottom and sides with a fork? Well, me apparently, when I make this recipe. Because, here's a before and after. 
(Just spent a cool 45 on that braid, nbd.) 

Better Homes and Gardens recipe, why do I betray you? The NYT crust tasted delicious (So! Flaky!), but clearly, it was not going to be filled with tomatoes, cheese, and mayonnaise. So, one in a long lineage of emergency Kroger trips was in store. Pre-made pie crust in hand (sigh), I made the pie. Here's what I did. 

First, bake the pie crust according to directions. As soon as it comes out of the oven, lay thin slices of provolone cheese on the bottom. This will prevent future sogginess. 
Then, prepare the filling. I sliced two tomatoes, placed them in a colander, lightly salted them, and then let them sit for about 10 minutes. After that, I placed them between two paper towels and soaked up any moisture. This, like the provolone, is a sogginess prevention technique. 
While the tomatoes are soaking, grate some Jarlsberg. I used 8oz total. Mix the grated cheese with a bit of grated pepper and some mayo. Hellmans. In a jar. There is no other option on mayonnaise. I used about a cup. (Note: this picture was my first "eyeball." I ended up using about double this amount.)
Now you're ready to pie. Place one layer of tomatoes in the pie crust, followed by a layer of chiffonaded basil and about half the cheese/mayo mixture. Repeat the layers once to complete this savory delight. 
I baked it at 350 for about 45 minutes. Notice, I put tin foil around the crust about 15 minutes into the baking because I noticed the edges were getting crispy. Also, I baked it on a cookie sheet, again, to prevent sogginess. (Sogginess is clearly the archenemy of this pie.)
Bake until it's lightly brown and bubbly on the edges. Before you enjoy, be sure to complete the most important pie-making step, #posewithyourpie.