One of my yearly traditions is to bake a savory tomato pie. Being that it’s a little on the heavy side I try to time it right so the weather isn’t sweltering hot. Right now is the perfect time. The days have grown noticeably shorter, the nights are tinged with a slight chill and an abundance of fresh, juicy tomatoes can be found both in the markets and in my garden.
Layers of fresh tomatoes, cheddar cheese and a basil cream cheese blend make up the luxuriously rich filling. The buttermilk crust is a cross between a biscuit and fluffy bread. It’s soft, airy and thick; altogether capable of holding up to the heavy filling without being soggy or falling apart.
The only downside is the pie is time-consuming and takes some planning ahead. The crust needs an hour in the refrigerator and the tomato juices need to drain so you don’t wind up with a watery mess. After all that the pie requires a setting time of at least one hour before it can be sliced. Sit on your hands. It’s best eaten lukewarm.
This is without a doubt the best tomato pie I’ve ever baked! It screams for salty bacon, a softly fried egg and lightly dressed greens. It makes an unforgettable brunch entree.
Swooning may ensue. Be prepared.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Layers of fresh tomatoes, cheddar cheese and a basil cream cheese blend make up the luxuriously rich filling with a buttermilk crust that is a cross between a biscuit and fluffy bread.
- To make crust: whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in butter or use a pastry blender until coarse meal forms and some small lumps remain. Stir in buttermilk and knead gently with your hands until dough forms, adding flour if needed, dough will remain sticky. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile lay tomato slices 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° F. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper to an 11? round. Remove top layer of parchment and invert dough onto a 9-inch pie dish, carefully peeling off remaining parchment.
- Toss the cheddar and Parmesan together in a medium bowl and reserve 1/4 cup. Whisk cream cheese, mayonnaise, scallion, basil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle cornmeal evenly over bottom of crust. Top with about 1/2 cup cheese mixture, arrange 1/3 of tomatoes over cheese, overlapping as needed, then spread half of the cream cheese mixture over the tomatoes. Repeat layering with 1 cup of cheese mixture, 1/2 of the remaining tomato slices, and remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese mixture over, then remaining tomato slices. Sprinkle with reserved 1/4 cup cheese mixture. Fold overhanging crust up and over edges of tomato slices or trim off the edges for a traditional pie.
- Bake until crust is golden about 35-40 minutes, tent with foil halfway through if crust gets too dark. Let pie cool 1-2 hours before slicing. Serve with a slice of bacon.
Adapted from Bon Appetit