tomato pie

Heirloom Tomato Pot Pie

I’ve been kind of debating what I wanted to call this little number. I think “pot pie” best suits it, because it really is a meal in and of itself, served along side a little green salad.

My friend TJ grew up in New Jersey working at a roadside farmstand. Every summer “Ron the Baker” would come and buy fruit, and later return with all kinds of pies for them to sell. Mostly the pies woulld sell themselves, but the one that people weremost skeptical about was his savory tomato pie. But once they bought one, they kept coming back.

Ever since TJ told me about this a few months ago I’ve been thinking about baking one myself. We’ve had many speculative conversations about Ron’s tomato pie… I wonder what he used to thicken it, flour or cornstarch? Was there cheese in it? Did he roast the tomatoes first? Did he take the seeds out of the tomatoes? What else was in the pie?

I’d been trying to wait until my own tomatoes were ripe to mess around with my version of Ron the baker’s famous tomato pie, but I couldn’t wait any longer. Beautiful heirloom tomatoes are everywhere right now (except my garden), and last Sunday at the farmer’s market, they were calling my name. I searched the internet for tomato pie recipes, but didn’t really care for any of the ones that I saw, so I just went with my gut and made it with what I would want to eat…caramelized onion, roasted garlic, mozzarella cheese, and pesto. I decided to go with bread crumbs as a thickener too, which worked perfectly. The one thing I didn’t do that I wish I would have, is blanch and peel the tomatoes first. This isn’t a completley neccessary step, but the pie will have a better mouth feel in the end. To save yourself a little time, you can use store bought pesto if you prefer, but my recipe is delicious. Although classically pesto is made with pine nuts, I use almonds, because pine nuts are the one food in life that I hate. I know it’s weird, but I do. Also, bake this in the deepest pie dish you have, as this pie has a lot of guts.

Tomato Pot Pie

Makes one deep dish 9″ pie
Conventional oven 400, Convection 375

Pesto:

  • 2 cups basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan reggiano
  • 1/2 cup extra vigin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, adjust to taste

Put all ingredients except 1/2 of oil and lemon juice in a blender. With the blender running, slowly pour the rest of the olive oil in until pesto is smooth and slightly emulsified. Add lemon juice. The lemon juice will eventually turn the pesto slightly brown, but it’s okay because you are going to bake this anyway. Pesto will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

For the pie:

  • 2# heirloom tomatoes, blanched and peeled. Half of them with seeds removed.
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/2″ discs
  • 1/4 c + 2 TBSP pesto
  • 1 small onion, caramelized
  • 5 cloves roasted garlic, chopped
  • 1 TBSP banyuls or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • heavy cream for brushing the top of pie
  • sea salt for top of pie
  • grated Parmesan Reggiano for top of pie

Roll out pie dough into 2 discs, about 1/8″ thick. Shape 1 disc into a deep dish pie and set aside in the refrigerator. To blanch and peel tomatoes: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Slice a small x into the bottom of each tomato, slicing just through the skin. Submerge tomatoes a few at a time into boiling water and leave for 10 seconds. Immediatley remove and submerge in ice water. With a pairing knife, peel skin off and throw away.
Remove seeds from half of the tomatoes and save for another use. Cut tomatoes into wedges. In a large bowl,toss tomatoes with caramelized onions, garlic, bread crumbs, salt and pepper, and vinegar. Lay the mozzarella in a single layer on the bottom of the pie shell. Top with pesto and spread into an even layer. Top with tomato mixture. Place reserved pie dough on top and pinch edges to seal. Chill. Brush top with cream and sprinkle sea salt over top of pie. With the tip of a pairing knife, slice vents in top of pie. Bake 50 minutes – 1 hour, or until crust is browned and your house smells amazing. Top with grated parmesan while pie is still hot. Serve warm.

62 Responses to “Heirloom Tomato Pot Pie”

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