Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tomato Pie

Okay, so I know that Ruth Reichl JUST blogged about tomato pie today (P.S. How did I just now discover that she's had a blog for a couple of years now??) but I seriously could not bring myself to write about anything else. After reading her recipe, how could I not blog it? Tomato pie is just about the most perfect food to make right now--tomatoes are red and ripe and plentiful at the market and they'll never be juicier or more flavorful than they are today, in the midst of late summer. Take advantage of them while you can, readers, before the chill hits and they're gone just like the long, hot beach days we've all been savoring.

Reichl uses an old James Beard recipe for her particular pie and this is the one that I've replicated here, minus the parsley since it seems to be only for decorative purposes (and at Milk & Mode, we make things as simple and ingredient-light as possible). It uses a homemade buttermilk biscuit crust that is surprisingly easy to make and tops it with fresh market tomatoes, some basil and a scattering of grated cheddar and mayonnaise. Mmmmm. It's summer itself, in a pie dish.

Tomato Pie

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
4-6 ripe tomatoes
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise (light will do just fine)

Combine 2 cups of flour with 2 and a half teaspoons of baking powder and a half teaspoon each of salt and baking soda. Cut in 1/3 cup of butter until it’s the size of peas. Stir in ¾ cups of buttermilk until the dough holds together, turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few minutes. Pat it into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan.

Cover the biscuits with 4 to 6 ripe tomatoes, sliced into nice fat rounds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Shower a couple of tablespoons of shredded basil on top.

Mix a cup or so of grated Cheddar cheese with a cup and a half of mayonnaise and spread the mixture on top of the tomatoes.

Bake at 375 for about 35 minutes, or until it is golden brown.