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Tomato pie good for the soul

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Bless Your Spoon

 

During summer, I want to eat everything that comes out of the ground.

Of all the season’s plentiful produce, it’s the fleshy fruit of tomato, which I can’t seem to get enough of. One reason is because of the fruit’s versatility. As far as savory tomato side dishes, the tomato pie baked in layers of melted cheesy goodness soothes my soul – the ultimate, oh, so humble, comfort food.

Every good cook knows tomato pairs well with just about every vegetable. But, what I’m about to share – might be news to you.

Tomatoes cozy up to other fruits, as well.

I was raking onto a fork, a bite of my scratch tomato pie – three layers of sliced tomatoes, each generously spread with homemade pimento cheese. That’s when I first started feeling symptomatic – creative juices began flowing. With flavor explosions bursting in my head, I needed a quick fix – so I took to the kitchen in search of a remedy.

What if I combined other sweet fruits with a tomato – and then paired it with a creamy cheese? The combinations of fruit and cheese were endless.

That’s when I discovered a few tasty treatments that drove those cravings right into remission.

Flavorful bursts of sweet heirloom tomatoes were paired with core, pome, berry and stone fruits – apples, pears, peaches, blueberries, and olives. Combine any favorite fruit with slices of homegrown heirlooms, and slather with a cheesy combination that enhances the taste of the fruit.

Enjoy these southern, savory, two-fruit pies – they’re good for your soul and anything else that ails you.

German Johnson tomatoes and yellow peaches came from Brent and Leshia Hunter of Hunter Farms, Boonville, NC; Cherokee Purple tomatoes from Carolyn Shoaf of Nosey Goat Soaps or the Redland community in Davie County, and a roadside farm of Hwy 158 in Mocksville, NC.

FAVORITE PIE PASTRY

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. sugar

½ tsp salt

1 stick salted butter

½ cup Crisco

7 Tbsp. water

Makes 2 pie crusts. In a mixer, mix flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and Crisco, cutting in with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. With a bread hook, mix with 1 Tbsp. water at a time until it comes together to form a dough. Scrap crumbs off bottom, and mix again until all is incorporated, and dough sticks to hook. Dough should be tacky but not sticky. Roll out on a floured surface until desired size. To transfer, fold into halves. Fold over again. Place in deep-dish pie pan and unfold.

APPLE AND TOMATO PIE

1 scratch or ready-made, refrigerated crust

2 Tbsp. salted butter

3 cored, sliced, golden delicious apples

1 ½ cup pimento cheese

¼ tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 sliced, drained, large Cherokee Purple tomatoes

½ cup chopped onions, divided

1 Tbsp. minced garlic, divided

1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh sage, divided

½ cup grated asiago cheese

In a deep-dish pie pan, unroll refrigerated pie crust. Bake crust in a 425-degree oven for 5 minutes. Cool. In a skillet, melt butter. Add sliced apples and cook 15 minutes on low until softened. Set aside. To bottom of crust, add 1 layer of tomatoes. Add half the onions, garlic, and sage.  Spread a thin layer of pimento mixture over tomatoes. Add a layer of apples.  Spread a thin layer of pimento mixture over apples. Add final layer of tomatoes. Add remainder of onions, garlic, and sage. Cover pie with pimento mixture, making sure to completely cover tomatoes. Spread with grated asiago over top. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 35 minutes.

TOMATO-BLUEBERRY PIE

1 scratch or ready-made refrigerated pastry

¾ cup premium mayonnaise

¾ cup crumbled goat cheese

¼ tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 sliced, drained, large German Johnson tomatoes

½ cup fresh blueberries, divided

Balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp. chopped basil, divided

½ cup mild cheddar cheese

In a deep-dish pie pan, unroll refrigerated pie crust. Bake crust in a 425-degree oven for 5 minutes. Cool. In a mixer bowl, combine mayonnaise, goat cheese, salt, and pepper. To bottom of crust, add 1 layer of tomatoes and ¼ cup blueberries. Drizzle with balsamic. Sprinkle with half of basil and garlic.  Spread with a thin layer of mayo mixture.  Add another layer of tomatoes and blueberries. Add remainder of basil. Spread with a thin layer of mayo mixture. Add another layer of tomatoes. Cover entire top with mayo mixture, making sure to cover tomatoes. Top with grated mild cheese.  Bake in a 400-degree oven for 35 minutes

SWEET PEACH AND TOMATO PIE

1 scratch or ready-made refrigerated pastry

¾ cup premium mayonnaise

¾ cup crumbled blue cheese

¼ tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 sliced, drained, large Cherokee Purple tomatoes

½ cup chopped onions, divided

1 Tbsp. chopped basil, divided

4 peeled, pitted, small ripe peaches

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In a deep-dish pie pan, unroll refrigerated pie crust. Bake crust in a 425-degree oven for 5 minutes. Cool. In a mixer bowl, combine mayonnaise, blue cheese, salt, and pepper. To bottom of crust, add 1 layer of tomatoes. Add half the onions and basil.  Spread thin layer of mayo mixture over tomatoes. Add a layer of sweet peaches (must be very sweet). Spread a thin layer of mayo mixture over peaches. Add another layer of tomatoes. Add remainder of onions and basil. Cover pie with mayo mixture, making sure to completely cover tomatoes. Cover pie with shredded parmesan. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 35 minutes.

TOMATO AND PEAR PIE

1 scratch or ready-made refrigerated pastry

4 peeled, pitted, sliced, small pears

2 Tbsp. salted butter

¾ cup premium mayonnaise

¾ cup grated Havarti cheese

¼ tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 sliced, drained, large Cherokee Purple tomatoes

½ cup chopped onions, divided

1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary, divided

½ cup grated Romano cheese

In a deep-dish pie pan, unroll refrigerated pie crust. Bake crust in a 425-degree oven for 5 minutes. Cool. In a skillet, melt butter. Add sliced pears and cook 15 minutes on low until softened. Set aside.  In a mixer bowl, combine mayonnaise, grated cheese, salt, and pepper. To bottom of crust, add 1 layer of tomatoes. Add half the onions and rosemary.  Spread thin layer of mayo mixture over tomatoes. Add a layer of pears. Spread a thin layer of mayo mixture over pears. Add another layer of tomatoes. Add remainder of onions and rosemary. Cover pie with mayo mixture, making sure to completely cover tomatoes. Spread grated Romano cheese over top. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 35 minutes.

TOMATO-OLIVE PIE

1 scratch or ready-made refrigerated pastry

¾ cup premium mayonnaise

¾ cup finely crumbled feta cheese

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 sliced, drained, large German Johnson tomatoes

½ cup sliced Kalamata olives, divided

½ cup chopped onions, divided

1 Tbsp. minced garlic, divided

2 Tbsp. chopped basil, divided

½ cup grated white cheddar cheese

In a deep-dish pie pan, unroll refrigerated pie crust. Bake crust in a 425-degree oven for 5 minutes. Cool. In a mixer bowl, combine mayonnaise, feta, salt, and pepper. To bottom of crust, add 1 layer of tomatoes and ¼ cup sliced olives. Sprinkle with half of onions, garlic, and basil.  Spread with a thin layer of mayo mixture.  Add another layer of tomatoes and remainder of olives. Add remainder of onion, garlic, and basil. Spread with a thin layer of mayo mixture. Add another layer of tomatoes. Cover entire top with mayo mixture, making sure to cover tomatoes. Top with grated white cheddar. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 35 minutes.