Monday, August 26, 2013

Holy Tomato Pie, Batman!

I know a lot of you out there have your own gardens, I see your pictures on Facebook!  Right about now you're probably staring at tomato plants heavy with fruit and feeling really proud and maybe just a touch nervous.  Just what are you going to do with ALL THOSE TOMATOES??  I'm a big fan of canning so I definitely recommend you put some of those garden-fresh beauties up for the winter months!  But for enjoying right now, you MUST make this Tomato, Cheddar and Bacon Pie from Southern Living Magazine.  I made this pie earlier in the summer (and am just now getting around to posting it, of course) and my friends and I were blown away by the cheesey, bacony, tomatoey goodness!

The bacon crust really makes this pie.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Bacon crust.  With sour cream.  Seriously.  And the addition of herbs, cheddar and Parmesan in the filling make this one a sure-fire hit!  Don't skip the step of salting and draining the tomatoes on paper towels, it will help keep your crust from getting soggy.  I made just a few slight modifications to the Southern Living recipe, only so that I could use ingredients I already had at home.  (The original recipe can be accessed through the link above.)  I think you could easily make your own variation by using different herbs and cheese - feta, gruyere or goat cheese would be lovely, and tarragon or oregano would do nicely for the herbs.  I used just red tomatoes, but if you have multiple colors and varieties, all the better!  Just don't skip the bacon crust please!!

The finished pie full of delicious tomatoes.  This would be perfect with a salad and glass of wine for a light dinner or lunch.

Tomato, Cheddar and Bacon Pie
Adapted from Southern Living Magazine
Makes one 9-inch pie

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup sour cream
8 cooked bacon slices, chopped

2 1/2 lbs. ripe, fresh tomatoes
2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg, beaten
2 tsp. dried dill
2 Tb. chopped fresh basil (or substitute 1 Tb. dried basil)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tb. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 Tb. plain yellow cornmeal

For the crust, place flour in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer; cut in cold butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas. Chill 10 minutes.  Add bacon to the flour mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Gradually add sour cream, 1/4 cup at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Spoon mixture onto a heavily floured surface; sprinkle lightly with flour, and knead 3 or 4 times, adding more flour as needed. Roll to a 13-inch round. Gently press the dough in a 9-inch fluted tart pan or pie pan and trim the edges.  Chill at least 30 minutes.

For the filling, slice the tomatoes 1/4-inch thick and spread out in a single layer onto paper towels. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and let drain for 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a bowl combine the cheddar cheese, the next 9 ingredients and the remaining 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and stir well. Sprinkle the cornmeal onto the bottom of the pie crust and spread half of the cheese mixture on top.  Layer half of the tomatoes on top of the cheese in overlapping circles.  Spread the rest of the cheese over the top of this layer and then cover with the remaining tomatoes.  If desired, season the top of the pie with salt and freshly ground black pepper and a light sprinkling of the same herbs you used.

Bake the pie in the pre-heated oven about 40 to 45 minutes, shielding the edge of the crust with foil if needed to keep it from browning too much.  Let the pie rest at room temperature 1 to 2 hours before serving.  This pie is best served at room temperature, but still delicious when cold.

The bacon crust!  I actually had more dough then I needed, so I wrapped up the excess and put it in the freezer.  I have enough to make a mini pie, or to roll, cut and bake into delicious snacks!
The assembled pie ready for baking.  I sprinkled a little salt, pepper and basil over the top of mine.