I’ve made two kinds of tomato pie in my life. One kind is the tomato pie I blogged about here, which can be made year round because it uses canned tomatoes, and then there is this one.
I’ve made this pie since I was young. In fact, on the index card on which I wrote out the recipe in my horrible handwriting, I called it “Mimi’s Tomato Pie.” Well, I know I got it somewhere, but I unfortunately cannot credit a source. And, in fact, I’ve not seen a recipe like this since all of my years reading cooking magazines and cookbooks. So, maybe I’ll take the credit!
This tomato pie can only be made with fresh, ripe tomatoes, and I actually made it in August when I had a friend dining with us. It was a good excuse to make it, although I don’t know why I don’t make this more often. It’s absolutely delicious if you love tomatoes, Swiss cheese, bacon, and basil. Those are the ingredients. So simple, and yet so wonderful. Here’s the recipe.
Deep-dish pie crust, either blind-baked or unbaked
14 ounces sliced or grated Swiss cheese
I made my own pie crust using white flour, butter, shortening, a little salt, and of course ice water. I did a post on making a pie crust here, if you want to make your own.
However, I did one thing differently – I added about 2 ounces of that nasty Parmesan from a green can. Because just like with graham cracker crusts I wrote about here, whether you’re making a crust to contain a sweet or savory filling, you can play with the pie crust ingredients.
Seriously, I never ever use Parmesan from a green can. But I purchased it because I thought it would be fun to use in breadsticks that I was planning on making for a catering gig a while back, but then, I totally forgot to use it. So there it’s been, staring at me every time I open a certain cupboard. So I decided to add it to the pie crust.
It’s not a completely inferior product – I’ve always heard that it’s actual Parmesan, but finely powdered from the rind instead of the actual cheese part of the Parmesan wheel. I would never use it in place of real, grated Parmesan. But the powdered quality of it has an advantage. And for this pie crust, it was perfect. Just don’t tell anyone I used it.
So, I made the pie crust in a deep-dish pie pan. And then I baked it at 350 degrees Farenheit until just lightly golden. Then I let it cool.
Now, to the pie itself. Begin by placing half of the Swiss cheese on the crust.
Then add a good layer of sliced tomatoes, filling in as many holes as possible.
In the past, I’ve simply placed slices of bacon over the last layer of tomatoes, almost in a lattice-work fashion, but often that bacon is difficult to slice through. So this time I cut 1″ squares of bacon, and placed those on top.
I began baking the tomato pie at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, covered with foil, then brought the heat up to 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then I increased the heat to 375 degrees and removed the foil for the final 15 minutes. Of course, you wouldn’t have to use foil if the pie crust was unbaked to begin with.
If there’s a lot of water and/or bacon grease in the pie, use a turkey baster to remove as much as you can. Otherwise the pie will get soggy.
Before serving, top the pie with a basil chiffonade, or simply strew basil leaves on top if you prefer.
That night I served a fun, spicy squash soup, followed by the tomato pie and a simple green salad.
The pie is good with a nice Viognier, but equally good with a lighter red, like a Burgundy.