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A straightforward and savory southern tomato pie that’s nothing lacking divine

RECIPE

This pie is manufactured out of the season’s fresh-picked, vine-ripened treasures aka summer’s perfect tomatoes

Published July 30, 2022 5: 59PM (EDT)

Tomato and red pepper tart with garnish(Getty Images/Brett Stevens)

In “Bibi’s Gulf Coast Kitchen,” columnist Bibi Hutchings goes on a culinary journey over the coastal south. Come for the fantastic food writing, stay for the delicious recipes.

We take homegrown produce for granted through the summertime where I reside in Baldwin County, Ala. From small, self-serve produce stands on private homesteads, to co-ops with several growers under one roof, to 200+ acre family-farm businesses, that is farmer’s market season and fresh, local vegetables and fruit abound.

As the crisp honeydew and watermelons, mouth-watering sweet corn and tender little beans and peas are so excellent, the tomatoes are simply just incredible. These plentiful, vine-ripened treasures put their store-bought counterparts to shame. But seriously, how could they not?

Supermarket tomatoes are picked completely unripe, then artificially forced to ripen virtually overnight using ethylene gas. As a youngster, my grandmother taught me in her garden that sunlight is everything for a tomato. That’s because sunlight is what provides tomato its incredible flavor.

If you feel you do not look after tomatoes, I challenge one to seek out ones which are homegrown as well as try growing some yourself. Tomatoes can be found in a lot more than 10,000 varieties red, green, pink, purple, yellow, white and also black and each is distinctly different. Until you’ve eaten a fresh-picked, perfectly ripe tomato off the vine, you do not know just what a tomato really tastes like or everything you have already been missing.

You can find plenty of recipes for tomato pie going swimming, each one of which should ensure it is abundantly clear that having excellent tomatoes is paramount. Needless to say, I really believe one recipe truly is more advanced than the others. It originates from Robin Shedd, an excellent friend of my sister’s, who’s a pal of mine, too. It is the standard we use to measure other tomato pies.

Everyone who tries this tomato pie inevitably requests the recipe once they love it, and it’s really not only an easy task to make but additionally divine. Despite its simplicity, you can find three rules to make this pie, which Robin has been making for an extended, very long time. First, you’ll want truly outstanding tomatoes. Second, avoid mayo with sugar or sweetener inside it. (Robin only uses Duke’s, which I’ll discuss more below.) Third, sogginess kills tomato pie.


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I could only pray you are able to obtain some perfect tomatoes, and I’ll also keep my fingers crossed that it is possible to successfully procure some Duke’s at your neighborhood supermarket. For rule number 3, I’d want to take credit for what I really do to help keep pie-killing sogginess away. However, theItalians have already been doing it for years and years for culinary and health reasons.

Peel and de-seed the tomatoes. In so doing, you drastically decrease the water content of the tomatoes, that is a excellent thing because of this pie. The skins and seeds may also be regarded as tough to digest and damaging to the stomach lining, so eliminating both is apparently best for your wellbeing.

Though not specified in Robin’s recipe, I strongly encourage one to peel the tomatoes (even though you choose never to de-seed them). Release a just as much moisture as you possibly can, lay the peeled and sliced tomatoes from paper towels for a little, then pat them dry before layering them in the pie. Whatever journey you select, you will not have the ability to stop making tomato pie come early july.

Ingredients:

Tomatoes

Provided that they’re vine-ripened and delicious, any selection of tomatoes works beautifully in this recipe.

Fresh Basil

When possible, use fresh basil in this pie. The freshness really sticks out, whereas dried basil falls just a little flat. Hopefully, fresh basil is really as abundant your geographical area as it is here now this time around of year.

Mayonnaise and Cheeses

While Robin only uses Duke’s mayo, any full-fat/regular mayo without sugar or sweetener works fine.

Robin also uses white Irish cheddar, nevertheless, you can choose any sharp cheddar you prefer white or yellow.

Robin’s Southern Tomato Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 basic pie crust of one’s choice (ready-made is okay)
  • 4-5 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/4-inch rounds (and de-seeded if desired)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1-2 tablespoons more for bottom of baked pie crust
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
  • 10+ large fresh basil leaves, cut chiffonade, plus much more for garnish if desired
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Blind bake the pie crust for approximately 10 minutes, then set it aside to cool.

  3. Lower the oven to 350 degrees.

  4. Prepare the tomatoes by peeling, slicing and de-seeding them. Next, lay them on paper towels to soak up any extra moisture.

  5. In a normal size bowl, mix the mayo, cheeses and green onions together.

  6. In the cooled, baked pie crust, sprinkle just a little Parmesan cheese on underneath, then layer the tomatoes at the top.

  7. As you layer the tomatoes, sprinkle the majority of the chopped basil throughout.

  8. Fill the pie crust almost to the very best with sliced tomatoes.

  9. Spread the cheese, green onion and mayo mixture at the top plus a little more basil.

  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until bubbly and just starting to turn slightly golden.

  11. Allow time and energy to cool before slicing; the pie will set since it cools.

  12. The pie could be served warm, room temperature or cold (after refrigerating).


Cook’s Notes

De-seeding tomatoes is fairly easy. Though you’ll lose a little bit of beauty (because the slices could have negative space where in fact the seeds were in the past), it generally does not change the looks of the pie at all.

There are many methods, but also for this recipe, I would recommend slicing the tomatoes first. Once you peel the tomatoes and cut away the stems, slice them into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Grab each slice and press out, or cut right out, the locules, which will be the chambers that contain the seeds.

Remember that if, like me, you de-seed the tomatoes in other recipes, you will need a lot more than the recipe demands (as you’re discarding a few of the mass). As soon as you enter the habit of peeling and de-seeding, it becomes second nature.

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Bibi Hutchings, a lifelong Southerner, lives along a quiet coastal Alabama bay with her cat, Zulu, and husband, Tom. She writes concerning the magical way food evokes memories, instantly bringing you back again to individuals, places and experiences you will ever have. Her stories take you all over the South and so are accompanied with tried-and-true recipes which are destined to become section of your memory-making as you share them together with your relatives and buddies.

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