It was about the time of the Tomato Art Festival last year that the tomato became a uniter in a very real way for me. I had been in love with a certain someone for the better part of the summer and on an unseasonably cool Sunday morning in August, he came over for brunch. I made food that I knew would be the ticket to my heart, crossing my fingers that he shared similar tastes: tomato pie, spinach wilted in butter, poached eggs and Porter Road Butcher bacon.
I set my army blanket and plates out on the porch and we sat down, both nervously sipping on black coffee. The eggs oozed their golden yolks and the bacon snapped with a perfect crunch, but it was the tomato pie that broke our silence. "I'm pretty obsessed with you," he said after one bite.
Blinded by and high on love, I don't remember the exact details of that pie. One year later I decided to make another, and although I'm still blinded by and high on love, this time I wrote down the recipe.
adapted from Eric Lanlard
-yields 8 servings
This is one of my more advanced recipes. When placing the dough over the tomatoes, try to not only fold it over, but really tuck it in. If you feel you have both the gumption and finesse, I highly recommend draining the pan a second time half way through cooking.
one disc pie dough (or store bough puff pastry)
1T grape seed oil
heirloom tomatoes, about the size of golf balls
few sprigs lemon thyme
3 ounces fresh mozzarella, finely chopped
2T grainy mustard (optional)
salt and lemon pepper to taste
herbs and good olive oil to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 425. Coat the bottom of a 10" cast iron skillet with oil over low heat on stove. Slice tomatoes in half, season with salt and lemon pepper and place them cut side up. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes or until very juicy.
2. Remove pan and lower heat to 400. Being very careful not to burn yourself, drain juices. Squish tomatoes towards the center and sprinkle with lemon thyme and mozzarella.
3. Roll dough until it is 1/8" thick, about 11"-12" in diameter. Spread with mustard and lay it across the tomatoes, with the mustard facing down*. Tuck the excess dough over the edges with a knife. Brush with cream or egg if desired. Place in the bottom third of the the oven.
4. Bake 35-40 minutes (rotating 180 degrees half way through) or until crust is golden brown. Flip onto a plate (once again, being so so so careful!) while hot.
*This can be pretty tricky. The best way to do it is to fold the dough into thirds, spread mustard on one side, place that side down, then spread the other two sides as you unfold it over the tomatoes.