by Marykate Smith Despres, Salem Depot
Although I could happily slice and eat the heirloom tomatoes I got in my share this week just as they are, I always love an excuse to make pie. If you ordered pie crusts from the Coop last month, this savory, summer pie is worth pulling one out of the freezer.
If you don’t have a crust on hand, don’t worry! You can very quickly and easily make a savory pie crust by simply combining 1 cup of flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and 1/4 cup of ice water and then pressing the mixture into an 9 inch pie plate. Stick it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes while gathering the rest of your ingredients, then score it and par bake for 10-15 minutes or until it begins to brown, but not crisp. I use this recipe for quiche and other savory pies when I have limited time and ingredients on hand and think the olive oil base (rather than butter) would be a great compliment to the tomatoes.
Remember the tomatoes?
This recipe is adapted from the Tomato-Parmesan Custard Pie recipe in Ron Silver and Jen Bervin’s Bubby’s Homamade Pies. The book, and all recipes therein, spring from the institution. If you can’t swing a trip to NYC to visit the Bubby’s, or if you simply prefer recreating these famous flavors in your own kitchen, I highly recommend the book.
But back to the pie. Besides the crust, you’ll need:
3/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch ground nutmeg
2 pounds tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 350.
Wisk liquids and eggs and add your spices and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan.
Cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and layer in your crust (which you baked and cooled earlier), setting aside a few choice slices of tomato for the top. Add the custard mixture and then gently top with saved tomato slices and 1/4 cup of cheese.
Bake for about 40 minutes until the filling sets. Cool to room temperature, slice, and serve.