I know today is the first day of fall, but can we make one more tomato recipe as a goodbye to summer? This summer has been especially good to us, all things considered. Graduations, weddings (and wedding planning!), travel, time on the water and with friends, birthdays, music, festivals, and as always: good food and drinks! Even with the big-old-test called The Bar in the middle of it, we made every second of the fleeting season of count.
Now, this pie / galette thing? It’s one of my favorite things I made this summer!!! I’ve never had a true tomato pie, but there’s no question whether I’d like it or not: roasted, vibrant tomatoes with tons of cheese and mayonnaise? YES PLEASE. However, eating it and making it are two different things. It’s crazy how many things—sometimes healthy, but mostly not—I have no problem eating if someone else makes it, but I can’t actually bring myself to make and eat it. Example A: a pork shoulder (as long as I trim all the fat off and put it in the slow cooker the night before, I can eat it fine the next day with no stomach-churning flashbacks). Example B: an authentic tomato pie with at least 1/2 cup mayonnaise in it. The vision of it makes the finish product instantly less appetizing.
So this rustic pie(s) just has a little bit of mayonnaise in it and a lot of buttery CRUST (to make up the difference in fat?). I made it multiple times to get it right. First time, I tried it with some ricotta in the filling to, well, make it more F-I-L-L-I-N-G as well as less mayo-y and slight spoof-y on lasagna. It just wasn’t has satisfying as I hoped—in taste and texture. Cheddar and mayonnaise are key ingredients for this salty, southern pie to be just right!
The crust itself is super easy and not as finicky as real pie crusts I’ve made, where they just crumble… or melt and shrink. I can’t seem to conquer them yet. This crust, though, is simple and self-explanatory. The rolling and folding of it is awesome too, since it’s not supposed to be perfect. Thank goodness!
I tend to halve the dough and make two manageable, not-quite-personal pies. Or make one and save the second disk of crust for later in the freezer—in which case I halve most of the filling ingredients. Garland just doesn’t like tomatoes as much as I wish he did, so the pie is 10 times out of 10 all mine. No matter, since I happily eat this for both breakfast and lunch. My favorite way to serve it is with a side of greens tossed with a drop of olive oil, pinch of sea salt and and chopped BACON. It’s almost like a BLT in a bowl. Or plate. It also helps to make it feel like a more well-balanced meal.
- 1¼ cups all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup fine cornmeal
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1¼ tsp salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & cut into ½-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup ice water
- 3 medium tomatoes, cut into ¼-1/3 inch slices
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Fresh kernels from 1 ear corn
- 1 egg, white and yolk divided
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper
- For the dough: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt. Cut in the chilled butter---using a stand mixer, a food processor, or a pastry blender---until it’s evenly distributed but still in large, visible (pea-sized) pieces. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil (reserve the other 2 tablespoons for later!) and ice water, and mix until the dough begins to come together. Gather the dough with your hands onto a piece of wax or parchment paper; shape it into one or two disks, depending on your preference. Wrap the disk in the paper (or plastic) and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Alternately, you could wrap one of the disks tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for later! (If you go this route, make sure the halve the filling ingredients used below)
- While the dough chills, lay out tomato slices on a few layers of paper towels, lightly salt and cover with an additional layer of paper towels (this will help remove some of the moisture to avoid a too-soggy pie!).
- Add remaining olive oil to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Saute the onions for about 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper. During the last minute, add in the garlic. Stir frequently so as not to burn the garlic. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees; and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the egg white, cheese, mayo, corn and cooled onion mixture.
- Remove dough from fridge; and roll it on a floured surface into a 15 inch round (if using full recipe) or 6-7 inch rounds (if using half of dough). To make sure it's not sticking to the surface, lift the dough with a spatula or your fingers periodically as you roll. Add more flour to surface or top of dough, if needed.
- Gently move dough over to the prepared baking sheet. Leaving a 1½ - 2 inch border, spread out the cheese mixture evenly (and equally, if making two). Next, layer tomatoes on top. Season with salt and pepper.
- Fold the dough borders inward, starting at one place and working your way around the circle, making pleats (see pictures as a guide). Take the remaining egg yoke and whisk together with 1 tablespoon water. Brush crust border with egg wash. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until crust is golden and tomatoes/cheese is bubbling. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Store remaining pie, wrapped in plastic, within the fridge for about 1 week.
Notes: Crust and concept originally from Alexandra’s Kitchen / AlexandraCooks.com