Tomato Pie!

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.

It Happened. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, That Is.

The last time we had rhubarb, Michael asked, “Are you gonna make a pie?” I thought I might, at the time but then it was so hot, and I was baking other things, and then ….I turned it into a smoothie. Which for the record was very, very good.

Another CSA trip and we ended up with 1 pint of strawberries and 1 pound of rhubarb. And pie, it was.

Several times last night, Michael declared this “the best pie you ever made”. I think it’s as good as the french silk pie I made over the winter, which was so dangerous to have around (even I, the queen of self-control was about to eat all of it myself) that I sent Michael off to work with it the next day. It’s good to share calories with other people. Espescially boys with fast metabolism.

This one I’m keeping for us. Dangerous pie be damned.

I was looking on Foodgawker for a recipe I wanted to use, and I came across this, and adapted slightly.

First, make the pie crust. (And set the oven on 400 while you’re at it).

1 stick of butter, cut into small pieces.

1 cup flour

2 tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp ice water

Place all ingredients into processor or stand mixer. (I went with stand mixer here because I couldn’t handle any more equipment on my counter!) Blend until the butter looks like tiny pea-sized sand bits. Smoosh dough together until it forms a ball (the butter will suddenly help it stick) and transfer to a bowl and put it in the fridge while you work on the rest.

Next, make the filling:

1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut in half

1 pound rhubard (6 stalks, cut into 1″ pieces)

2/3 cup sugar

3 tbsp flour

Mix filling together and let it rest while you make the topping.

Finally, make the crumb topping.

1 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 stick of butter, cut into small pieces

Combine everything and use a pastry cutter or place in a food processor or stand mixer. You want the butter to once again be cut into small pieces, with the mixture resembling wet sand.

Assembly:

Take the dough out of the fridge and roll on a floured surface. You want to do this quickly as the butter starts to melt in a hot kitchen. Transfer dough to pie dish. Fill with filling and top with crumb topping. Bake for about 50 minutes with a large baking sheet under the pie dish to catch any juice that might run over.

I served this with fresh whipped cream (whipping cream, confectioner’s sugar).

A little love note on this pie: one of the fastest I’ve ever make and best tasting too.