I’m a bit late on posting this since it’s now October and summer is over, but if you’re able to find good tomatoes at your local farmers market (or in your back yard) you’ll love this recipe from Cook’s Country. Not only are there just a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably have in your pantry and refrigerator, the pie is quite stunning and most of all simply delicious.
The original recipe says to use Cook’s Country pie dough recipe, your own recipe, or store-bought dough. I am sold on this pie crust recipe. It’s the only one I use these days. I use 2 tablespoons of vodka in place of 2 of the 5 tablespoons of water called for. From Cook’s Illustrated: “Since water bonds with flour to form gluten, too much of it makes a crust tough. But rolling out dry dough is difficult. For a pie dough recipe that baked up tender and flaky and rolled out easily every time, we found a magic ingredient: vodka. Using vodka, which is just 60 percent water, gave us an easy-to-roll crust recipe with less gluten and no alcohol flavor, since the alcohol vaporizes in the oven.”
These gorgeous Big Beef tomatoes did fairly well in our garden even though we had the hottest, most humid summer ever. They are meaty tomatoes with few seeds. Just perfect for this recipe.
Thinly sliced tomatoes are salted and left alone for 30 minutes to draw out their moisture. This procedure ensures the crust will not be too doughy and wet once the tomatoes are layered on the crust.
The original recipe doesn’t call for bacon, but I couldn’t resist adding some.
Summer Tomato Pie
Author: Kiyo Miller adapted from Cook's Country Recipe
- 2 (9-inch) pie dough rounds (see Best Ever Pie Crust link above)
- 2 pounds ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cored and cut into ¼-inch slices. I prefer to peel the tomatoes but this is optional.
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (I used extra sharp white cheddar)
- 4 scallions sliced thin
- 5 pieces cooked and crumbled bacon, about ½ cup (optional)
- Arrange tomato slices on paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Let drain for about 30 minutes, then press tomatoes with additional paper towels until very dry.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 dough round into 12-inch circle. Transfer to 9-inch pie plate, letting excess hang over edge. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes. Roll second round into 12-inch circle and refrigerate for 30 minutes (I placed mine on waxed paper lined cutting board and covered with plastic).
- Adjust oven rack to the second placement from the bottom (about 5" from the bottom of the oven floor) and heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix mayonnaise, cornstarch and 1 cup cheese in bowl until well combined. Sprinkle remaining cheese over bottom of dough-lined pie plate. Arrange a third of tomatoes over cheese. Spread half of the mayonnaise mixture over the tomatoes and sprinkle with half of the scallions. Sprinkle half of the bacon bits over the top if using. Layer another third of tomatoes, remaining mayonnaise mixture and scallions, and bacon if using. Top with remaining tomatoes.
- Arrange top crust on pie. Press crusts together, then trim, fold, and crimp edges. Cut four 2-by1-inch oval vent holes in top. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until crust is golden brown, about 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack at least 3 hours. Serve at room temperature.