Monday, March 18, 2013

Tomato Pie + Pimento Cheese

This has become a favorite summertime dish in our house, and we're really looking forward to those incredible Southern tomatoes to start rolling in. This pie uses our signature Lemon Zest and Thyme Pimento Cheese recipe to top a crust brimming with delicious (and surprising) tomatoes. 

It's tempting to pick the ripest, juiciest tomatoes for this recipe, but really, that's just not what you'll want here. We've discovered that just underripe, slightly hard-to-the-touch, meaty tomatoes, such as the Better Boy variety, are best. They hold up to cooking better and don't release as much water as a ripe tomato. Once sliced, the tomatoes are briefly cured in a sugar-and-salt mixture to add flavor and draw out moisture. It sounds crazy for us to recommend using underripe tomatoes, just have to trust us because it's pretty delicious!

Tomato Pie + Pimento Cheese

1 Basic Pie Dough recipe (recipe follows)

1 heaping cup Lemon Zest and Thyme Pimento Cheese
1 tablespoon cane sugar

1 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 large tomatoes (about 12 to 14 1/4-inch slices)
Cracked black pepper (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make the Basic Pie Dough and the Lemon Zest and Thyme Pimento Cheese according to the recipes. Set both aside in the fridge until needed. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and salt together. In a large colander, layer in the tomato slices and sprinkle every layer liberally with the sugar and salt mixture. Allow the tomato to sit for at least 20 minutes. The sugar and salt mixture will draw moisture out of the tomatoes. 

While the tomatoes are draining in the colander, roll the pie crust out to fit a 10-inch pie plate and finish the edge however you like. Dock the dough using a fork and blind bake it for 25 minutes. Pat tomato slices dry with a kitchen towel and arrange them into the crust. Top with Lemon Zest and Thyme Pimento Cheese and bake another 20 minutes. 

Remove pie from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes; allowing the rest time will make the pie less juicy when you cut into it. (Serves 4.)

Basic Pie Dough

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsalted butter (cubed)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
ice water

Add the all-purpose and whole wheat flour, shortening, and salt to the bowl of a food processor and start it. Slowly add cold water a teaspoon at at time until a ball forms. Stop the motor and pull the dough ball out. Place it in a covered bowl in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to rest.


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

This is like, my dream! LOVE this!

tender b. said...

You are right, I don't think I ever expected a tomato pie suggestion of using underripe tomatoes.

The Yogi Vegetarian said...

We just sowed 80 tomato plants in purple, orange, pink and red to go in our new polytunnel, so come Summer this lovely recipe will be on our menu bigtime! As we don't eat cheese any more, I will try out the lemon and thyme pimiento cheese using cultured cashew cheese, which I learnt to make last year. It won't melt like real cheese, but it has a really nice tang a bit like goats' cheese and takes other flavours really well...

Unknown said...

Oh my. This sounds amazing. I've gotta try this. Thank you!

Mouse said...

Oo, I've only ever tried making savory green tomato pie. This is definitely being added to my "to bake" list!