Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tomato Pie 
From More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin

Here's a great summer recipe that uses up your bumper crop of tomatoes. This is how it appears in the book, followed by my notes on what I do differently.

For the Crust:2 c all purpose flour
1 stick cold butter
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 c milk or buttermilk or a combo of the 2

Combine baking powder and flour in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives or your fingers till mixture resembles oatmeal. Add milk and mix just till it holds together, turn onto floured board and knead a few times, but don't overwork. Divide dough in half. Roll one half and line a 9" pie plate with it.

Add 2 lbs peeled fresh tomatoes (about 6 or so large tomatoes) quartered and drained in a colander for at least 30 minutes, or, a 28 oz can and a 12 oz can well drained canned tomatoes and scatter over the top:

chopped fresh basil or chives or scallions (amount to taste)
1 and 1/2 c grated cheddar cheese

Drizzle with 1/3 c mayonnaise that's been thinned with a little lemon juice

Roll out remaining dough and cover pie, seal edges and crimp, cut a few steam vents and bake at 400 for 25-35 minutes till bubbly.

Cool slightly and serve hot, warm or at room temp.

What I do differently:Add 1 teaspoon salt and 2 Tablespoons sugar to the dough.
Use basil AND scallions or oregano or whatever I have on hand. You can use dried herbs, but it is NOT the same.
Sprinkle the tomatoes, if they're fresh, with a little sugar.
Add 1/4 c finely chopped red onion.

Put a layer of cheese down on the bottom first on the dough before the tomatoes (I used brie once on the bottom and cheddar on the top and it was heavenly). Then the tomatoes, basil and remaining cheese. I've skipped the mayo and don't notice it's absence.It really is so fabulous hot out of the oven when the crust is not soggy and the cheese melted, but it's great even the next day zapped in the microwave. Store any leftovers in the 'fridge. Drain any juices in the pan before I put it away.

I would seriously recommend this author to you. Her fiction is OK, but the two collections of food essays are wonderful reading. They are Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. Check 'em out.

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