It's tomato season again, and to celebrate we have another tomato pie recipe to share. For anyone wishing to win a pie contest, wow your mother-in-law, or just eat a good tomato pie, this one won't disappoint. It has a Mediterranean flavor fit for a pizza, but the thick layers of flavorful heirloom tomatoes and caramelized onions in a buttery shortcrust are sinfully good with these Italian inspired ingredients. We tested the recipe with an aged goat milk cheese on top, but if you prefer a milder flavor, try it with Toasted Garlic Drizzling Oil instead of cheese, or use freshly grated Parmesan, Sequatchie Cove Dancing Fern cheese, or make your own fresh chevre.
1 Recipe for Classic Pie Crust
3-4 Heirloom tomatoes (about 1 1/2 - 2 lbs)
2 Yellow onions, sliced
1/4 Cup oil-cured Italian black olives, pitted and chopped
About 2 1/2 oz aged cheese, like Parmesan, goat cheese, or freshly made chevre (optional)
1/4 Cup freshly made pesto
Olive oil or Toasted Garlic Drizzling Oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Coarse kosher salt
Prepare ahead (up to one week) and refrigerate: 1 recipe for Pesto.
Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and place on absorbent paper towels. Sprinkle a little salt on them to help them release some of the juice. Cover with another layer of paper towel and press them gently to squeeze out some of the juice. Let them sit between the layers of paper towel for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the pie crust and press into a 10-inch tart pan or deep pie dish. A thicker crust is good for this recipe because of the moisture content and weight of the tomatoes. So fold any extra pastry dough into the tin and press it into the sides. Bake "blind" for about 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry has cooked enough to be firm, but not browned. Remove from the oven and let rest until cooled.
Slice the onion and cook in a heavy-bottomed skillet with a little oil and a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally and remove from the heat when the onions are golden brown.
Start layering the pie by generously spreading pesto into the crust. Next, press a layer of tomatoes into the bottom of the pie shell. Season the first layer of tomatoes with a little salt and pepper. Spread the onions over the first layer of tomatoes, then top with the rest of the tomatoes. Press them gently to pack the ingredients more densely into the pie. Drizzle a little olive oil or Toasted Garlic Drizzling Oil over the tomatoes, then season, and top with olives and cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees on the top shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes. The crust will be golden brown and the tomatoes will begin to look a little dehydrated on the edges. Most of the excess moisture should evaporate from the tomatoes, but don't worry if there is still a little moisture pooling between the slices when you pull it out of the oven. Let the pie cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm, or cool to room temperature before serving.