Thursday, December 8, 2011

tomato pie three ways

So last year I shared with you one of my favorite family recipes for tomato basil tart, and also a corn and tomato pie from the smitten kitchen, which was likewise amazing. I didn't actually make either of those things this year, but I do have for you a trio of new tomato pies to choose from, in case that's your thing (Nathan for instance, is most definitely not a fan, which is strange and misguided, but to each his own I suppose).

The first one is the best, and therefore the only one that I will post a recipe for. This tomato cheddar pie from epicurious has a doughy buttermilk crust that was thick, but delicious. Much like my favorite tomato basil tart, it's got a cheesey mayo based filling, but the dill makes it dramatically different. It's not my favorite herb, but sometimes it can be a refreshing change of pace. Used here as a subtle but undeniable accent flavor, it works really, really well. The other two tomato pies felt like works in progress, but this one is perfect just as it was written.

Tomato and Cheddar Pie
from Bon App├ętit on Epicurious

2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 cup buttermilk

Whisk first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in butter until coarse meal forms and some small lumps remain. Stir in buttermilk and knead gently with your hands until dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

2 pounds large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into ¼" slices
2½ cups coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar (8–9 ounces)
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan (1/2 ounce)
1 scallion, trimmed, chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp sugar
¾ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1½ tbsp cornmeal

Lay tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with 2 layers of paper towels. Place another 2 layers of paper towels on top of tomatoes. Let stand for 30 minutes to drain.

Preheat oven to 425°. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to an 11 inch round. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Invert dough onto pie dish. Carefully peel off plastic wrap.

Toss both cheeses in a medium bowl until evenly incorporated. Reserve ¼ cup of cheese mixture. Whisk scallion, mayonnaise, dill, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

Sprinkle cornmeal evenly over bottom of crust, then top with ½ cup cheese mixture. Arrange ⅓ of tomatoes over cheese, overlapping as needed. Spread half of mayonnaise mixture (about ⅓ cup) over. Repeat layering with 1 cup of cheese mixture, ½ of remaining tomato slices, and remaining mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese mixture over, then remaining tomato slices. Sprinkle with reserved ¼ cup cheese mixture. Fold overhanging crust up and over edges of tomato slices.

Bake pie until crust is golden and cheese is golden brown, 35-40 minutes (check crust halfway and tent with foil if it's getting too dark). Let pie cool at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours before slicing and serving.

The second pie, a poppy seed crusted tomato and onion tart with goat cheese, was very delicious, but I adapted the recipe quite a bit, and I think I would have to make it again to get it quite right.

The poppy seed studded crust was very nice, but the raw onions weren't cooked as much as I would have liked. I think that I would probably try pre-cooking them the next time, maybe even let them get a little caramelized. I did add some goat cheese which I think kept the onions from cooking as much as they might have otherwise, so I might actually take that out, now that I think about it. But the onions, rosemary, garlic, tomatoes, goat cheese and poppy seed crust all worked together nicely. Even though I'm not going to post a full recipe, it's definitely worth a second look.

The third pie, with green tomatoes and goat cheese, was probably my least favorite of the three. The crust was a really simple mix of almond flour, salt, butter, baking soda and eggs. That sounded pretty good to me, but I actually felt that one egg with maybe some milk would have been more than sufficient. It just tasted way too eggy. The goat cheese and green tomatoes were good ingredients for the filling, but they needed to be punched up with a little bit more than just some raw shallots. This wasn't bad, just bland.

So there you have it. Three tomato pies.

1 comment:

  1. I could die for a tomato pie. And adding cheddar makes this recipe a header!