After much discussion about Tomato Pie this summer with everyone from “the ladies who lunch” in Highlands, North Carolina to my sister and other relatives I decided to play around with my standard version and see if I could come up with something truly special. I love the version that I ended up with. It’s different.
First, I was inspired by Bill Smith’s Atlantic Beach Pie which you should check out over on Food52. This recipe looks genius and I loved the crust. I thought a crunchy crust might be great for our pie because as we all know tomato’s can get rather juicy and I didn’t want my crust to get soggy. As far as the crust goes, I was also inspired by one of my favorite southern women who makes the best squash casserole ever and it turns out uses Cheez It’s in her crust! She finally divulged this to me after years of asking!
So for my crust I altered Bill Smith’s recipe slightly and used a combo of Saltine’s, Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies (I know, crazy), butter and sugar. It was fantastic! Really great combo of salty and sweet and literally made the tomatoes sing!
That’s right…not too much fat in that mixture right? But hey you only live once. Finally cover it up with a pie crust made from lard (yes there is still such a thing) and you have your summer pie masterpiece!
I had a California native helping me and she was equally horrified and fascinated with the ingredients LOL! She and her kids could not wait to try this and they were completely in love. I served with a butter lettuce salad that included homemade garlicky croutons, smoky applewood bacon pieces, sweet red summer onions and green goddess dressing, rarely do you see kids coming back and asking for seconds of salad. With this salad you do. I will post that recipe on another day.
- Best Summer Tomatoes-I used about 6 Heirlooms varying in size from small to large
- 1 sleeve saltines + 1 cup cheddar bunnies or Cheez Its…whatever you have
- 1/2 softened unsalted butter
- 3TBS sugar
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 or 4 scallions white and green parts chopped
- about 1 cup white cheddar grated (you can use orange as well)
- 1 pie crust- I had one that is made with lard that I bought at Prather Ranch but I am lucky and live by The Ferry Plaza use whatever pie crust you like
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice your tomatoes and lightly salt them and place in a calendar over the sink to drain.
Make your bottom crust. In a large bowl crumble all or crackers. Add your sugar and then add pieces of butter and mix until well mixed-like you are making a graham cracker crust. Then bake in the oven at 350 for 18 mins until lightly brown and crispy.
In another bowl mix your mayo, sour cream, scallions and cheddar. Season with S&P. I like mine to have more sour cream than mayo-taste it and see. Maybe you need to add more sour cream. Do what needs to be done.
Assemble your pie. Place a layer of tomatoes in the pre-baked crust. Top with sour cream mixture then cover with pie crust. Place pie on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 30 mins, then raise the oven temp to 400 and bake for 15 more minutes until golden and the edges are crispy.
You are done. Enjoy! You can eat this while it’s hot, cold or at room temperature. It’s delicious at every stage. I’m taking some on a picnic to Santa Cruz today and we will be enjoying it on the beach at room temp 🙂