If your neighbors have had enough tomato generosity and you need something more than another recipe for sauce, and gazpacho is not your thing, this is for you. Calling for 2 1/2 pounds of fully ripe "love apples", here is a savory pie with more sauce appeal than a great pizza.
And about those variations, how about the addition of bacon, or gorgeous black olives, or maybe saute some of that zucchini you can't seem to use fast enough, or try smoked cheddar cheese, or instead of crushed chowder crackers, try a thin layer of cooked rice on the bottom...the possibilities are endless! Oh my, this may become your go-to dish for a summer soiree!
All of the recipes I've seen for tomato pie consist of a pre-baked crust, tomatoes that have had some of the moisture extracted, and a mayonnaise, cheese and herb topping that is baked in. Sound pretty simple right? And if you serve it soon after the bake, it's fantastic. The problem is that the tomatoes will eventually weep (so sad!), and that makes a very soggy gooey crust. Not so fantastic any more!
To solve this problem, I have sprinkled a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese over the bottom of the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven. Then , I have added crushed chowder crackers (or Saltines) when the tomatoes are layered. They will soak up all the juicy tomato goodness and create a pie with enough body to hold things together until the very last bite...problem solved!
Trust me my friend, this recipe is a keeper! You may find yourself happily bingeing on tomato pie until the last red orb falls from the vine...and then you'll be wondering what happened to the sauce?!
Makes one savory deep dish delicious pie!
One pre-baked Perfect Pie Crust
2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups diced onion and shallot combination
2 T b olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh herb combination, like basil, oregano, thyme and parsley
1/2-1 tsp any hot sauce, depending on how you like it
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 cups mayonnaise
fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 Tb grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cups crushed chowder crackers, or saltines, or any plain cracker
Make one recipe Perfect Pie Crust. Have the Parmesan cheese grated and ready to sprinkle in the bottom of the shell as it comes out of the oven. This will melt the cheese and create a lining that keeps the crust from getting soggy after the pie is baked.
Line a baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Slice the tomatoes 1/4 inch thick, place on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let the tomatoes sit for at least 30 minutes to draw out some of the juices. In the mean time, saute the onions and/or shallots in the 2 Tb olive oil until transparent and very lightly browned. Let cool.
In a medium size work bowl, measure the mayonnaise, hot sauce, chopped herbs, pepper, cheddar cheese and room temperature cooked onions (if you add the onions when they're too hot, it'll melt the cheese).
With more paper towels, blot the tomatoes well, dabbing up additional juice from the tops. Into the baked shell with Parmesan on the bottom, add 1/4 cup of the crushed chowder crackers. Place one layer of the tomatoes over the crackers, sprinkle more crackers over the tomatoes and add another layer of tomatoes, then the rest of the crackers, finishing with a layer of tomatoes on top. Spread the mayonnaise mixture over it all, it will be a thick layer, like frosting on a cake.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 50-55 minutes, lowering oven temperature if it browns too quickly. This is a deep dish pie, so it should take at least 50 minutes, I give it 55. Remove from oven and let it rest for an hour before cutting. This pie is good warm, room temp or even cold from the refrigerator!