Make a Tomato Pie!
My Mom and Step-Dad returned from their vacation home in Western North Carolina earlier this week, and as is often the case, they returned with goodies from their favorite Dillard, Georgia produce market, Osage Farm. It’s only about a half hour away from their house in NC, so they visit often when they are up in the summer. They gave me some sweet corn, a few peaches, which I made into cheesecake dessert bars, and a bunch of beautiful red tomatoes. While my own little garden has blessed me with more cherry tomatoes than I would care to count, and a steady stream of the more finicky heirloom varieties I grew, I have not had enough surplus on hand at any one time to make this pie. Though the recipe only calls for three tomatoes, you have to take into consideration their size. These NC tomatoes were quite large, and I found three to be about perfect. I have used four, or even five, before when my tomatoes were smaller. Also, I will note here that if the tomatoes are less meaty and juicier, more will be required. I always line a plate with paper towels when I am slicing them, so that there is time for the juices to drain before assembling the pie filling.
I am not good at gauging prep time on recipes. I figure that I must be slow anyway, because it inevitably takes me longer to assemble a recipe than it states in the instructions. Maybe this is because I usually clean up and put away as I go. Preparation is always quicker when Gaia is helping because she takes over some of the clean-up chores. At any rate, I would say it takes twenty to thirty minutes to assemble and prepare this pie for the oven.
I will readily admit that it would take me even longer if I were making the pie crust. I can make pie pastry, but I most often choose not to. While I love most forms of baking, I have always hated making pie crust. So, when the ready-made industry replaced the horrible frozen crusts in a throw-out pan with conveniently rolled dough in the refrigerated biscuit aisle, I embraced it happily. If you choose to make your crust from scratch, all the better. There are many great recipes out there. My own favorite, when I still made pastry dough, was always Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee. It is a simple and elegant crust, and I had better luck with it than most recipes I tried.
Fresh Tomato Pie
The recipe that follows was given to me a few years ago when I was still living, and working, in North Carolina. I worked in both the production and the graphics/advertising departments of a wonderful company that designs and manufactures Hearing Testing Equipment. The factory building is actually located in a very rural part of Western NC, and numerous of the employees over the years have been natives of that region, and descended from the rich traditions of the Appalachian Culture—in other words, Country Folk.
I was downstairs in the production area on the day that one of our co-workers sisters came by and gifted us with a lovely, savory tomato pie. We shared it for lunch that day, and immediately began to pester co-worker Russell to get his sister’s recipe for us. I have made it at least two or three times every summer since. What follows is Rosemary Allen’s Fresh Tomato Pie Recipe. I don’t always make it exactly the same. I am that kind of cook. If you look closely at the photos accompanying this post, you will notice they are of two different baking sessions.
- 3 Tomatoes sliced
- 1 Bell Pepper cut into thin strips or chopped
- 2 Eggs
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 3/4 cup Milk
- 1 tsp Garlic Salt
- 1 tsp Seasoned Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 1 cup Swiss, Monterey Jack or Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
- 1 Prepared Pie Crust
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.Line a 9.5 inch deep dish pie pan (I prefer glass) with crust. If using a store-bought crust, I recomend giving it a quick going over with a rolling pin and a light dusting of flour. Not only does it make the dough smoother and more regular after being packaged, but it helps with the sogginess that some people report having with these crusts.
Layer the tomatoes, onion and pepper in the unbaked crust. I make two layers of each. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and other seasonings as you make the layers. Whisk together the eggs, flour and milk. Pour evenly over the top of the layered vegetables. Top the pie with the grated cheese.
Finish off by folding crust in over filling for a rustic finish, or use whatever pastry edge technique you prefer. Bake the pie on a cookie sheet or pizza pan (to catch any drips) at 375 degrees for 5o minutes. If crust browns too fast, cover the edges with foil for the last fifteen minutes or so.
Cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Bon Apetite, Ya’ll! This pie is a southern dream. I hope you enjoy!
If you have any questions or comments, just let me know. I am new at this writing down recipes that other folks can use and understand. I hope to get better.