Monday, September 12, 2016

It's Tomato Pie Time.

Rosie's had a busy day in the kitchen today, which is really no different from any other day.  But today, somehow, something was different.  Can't put my finger on it exactly except to say that everything flowed. Flowage usually doesn't happen and there can be stress (YES! STRESS!!) in Rosie's little space.  I've been in the kitchen since 8:00 this morning and I just sat down to write it all down at 4:00.  In case you don't do the math, that's eight hours, in addition to everything else I got going on that I have to deal with.  I even pruned roses this morning, but couldn't finish since it was too hot for me and I just ain't dealing with the heat.

Today, however, worked.  From breakfast for three - Plugra buttered toast, cinnamon toast, stone ground yellow grits, homemade applesauce, 3 eggs doused with cream, dashed with kosher salt and Lawry's pepper and my red cayennes, and studded with cheddar cheese slices, and tiny diced hash browns - to a Sweet Tomato Pie designed with Mr. Hawthorne in mind, to a taco bowl for Boy, filled with red beans and rice and caramelized corn off the corn and topped with shredded iceberg lettuce, homemade salsa, and sour cream.

Well, let's make a sweet tomato pie.

Rosie's Sweet Tomato Pie
1 pie crust, either your own homemade dough or the refrigerated, rolled-up ones, never the frozen in the tin pans
5-6 tomatoes
1 medium Vidalia onion
about 1/2 chopped herbs  I used basil, parsley, chives, and thyme.
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper for each layer
1/2 tsp sugar for each layer
pats of unsalted butter
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 TG buttermilk
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella
2 oz chèvre cheese
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
12 Ritz crackers, crumbled
more pats of butter

Heat oven to 425°.  Press dough in a 9-inch pie pan.  Chill 30 minutes.  Line pie crust with foil and fill with dried beans to keep the crust from bubbling up as it cooks.  Bake at 425° for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.  Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Peel tomatoes, cut in half and squeeze with your fingers in the pockets to juice and seed.  Slice thinly.  Place slices in a single layer on paper towels and evenly sprinkle with a teaspoon of kosher salt.  Let sit 10 minutes, then pat dry with paper towel.

Layer tomatoes, chopped onion, and herbs in prepared crust, seasoning each layer with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and 1/2 tsp sugar.

Top with a few thin pats of butter.  Sprinkle cheeses over top.  Stir buttermilk into mayonnaise and spread onto top of tomato pie.  Sprinkle Panko and Ritz over top and dot with additional pats of butter.  Put a foil protector around edges of crust and bake about 35 minutes, until lightly browned.

Here are my Amelia tomatoes.
Heavy producers, firm, perfect for our coastal climate.

I have a Zyliss tomato peeler which I highly recommend.
Here it is:

However, if you don't have a tomato peeler,
here's how to easily peel your 'maters.
Bring a pot of water to a boil
and drop your tomatoes in.

Mr. Hawthorne recommends cutting a small slice
down the tomato skin first,
before dropping in the boiling water.

Boil a minute or two or until you see the skin start to peel off.

Transfer to a bowl a let cool a bit,
unless you have asbestos fingers, as I do.

And simply peel the skin off.


Pie crust ready for oven.
Be sure edges are covered.

Slice the tomatoes in half, seed, and juice,
then slice and salt on paper towels.
Slice up some Vidalia onion.

Give it some basil, parsley, chive, and thyme lovin'.

I believe I'm ready to make a pie.
I have my tomatoes.
My onions.
My salt, pepper, and sugar.
My buttermilk/mayonnaise mixture.
My herbs.
My cheeses.
My Plugra unsalted buttah.
My Ritz.
My Panko.

Start layering.
Tomatoes, onions, herbs, salt, pepper, sugar on each layer.

The Boy wanted chopped onions, not sliced.
I had enough for 3 layers.
Just put on the pats of butter.

Chèvre going on.

Rest of the grated cheeses.

Evenly spread the mayo/buttermilk mixture over top.

Top with crumbled Ritz and Panko.
Dot with unsalted butter.

Protect edges!

About 35 minutes in a 350° oven.
Until nicely browned.
You might want to rotate it halfway through.

Here's my sparingly sweet, herbal, and cheesal tomato pie.

I'm looking forward to this for breakfast tomorrow.
These things only get better.

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