Only two things that money can't buy
"true love and home grown tomatoes"
“Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes
What'd life be without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love and homegrown tomatoes”
Fitness starts in the kitchen. That means, in part, eating fresh foods. There is no fresher nor more nutritious food than that which comes from your own garden. If you have a garden, you have tomatoes, and it is tomato season. That means finding ways to use up the bounty.
While everybody loves a good “mater sandwich,” that is not the only way to use the fresh tastiness in home grown tomatoes. Tomato pie (or tomato tart if you are a Francophile – I am not) is a really good way to use fresh garden tomatoes. It is easy and has just a few ingredients.
If you make this recipe with store-bought tomatoes, make sure to get ripe heirloom tomatoes. You will be glad you did.
This recipe started out as a tomato tart from a cookbook that Brenda and I received as a gift. The Verrill Farm in Concord, Massachusetts puts out a book with recipes. The book is called “A Farm Grows in Concord.”
In the book, the recipe is “Corn and Tomato Tart with Smoked Cheddar.” I tweaked and simplified the recipe. Roasting the corn is a good hack for more flavor. I used green onions instead of the scallions – I find scallions to be pretentious. I also use premade pie shells. If you make a better pie shell than premade, then by all means do that. I am not a pastry guy and premade is easier.
Here we go.
Slice your tomatoes into thin slices and let them drain. Get as much water as you can out of the tomatoes. This step is important as the water turns to steam when you bake the pie. That is not optimum. Less water means more flavor.
Chop up some onions. ¼ cup is the default amount. Use more if you like onions, less if you do not.
Chop some garlic. I used about six cloves. That is a lot but we really like garlic. One clove is the default amount.
Sauté the onions until they are tender. Add the garlic and continue until the garlic is tender and releases its flavor into the olive oil. Remove the skillet from the heat and let it cool.
While the onions are cooking, slice the kernels off the ears of corn. Mix the kernels with a little olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and roast the corn on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven. You want the corn to just be ever so slightly browned. Roasting the corn reduces the moisture and enhances the flavor.
After the corn comes out of the oven, prebake the pie shell according to the instructions on the package. Set the prebaked pie shell aside to cool for a few minutes.
Mix the corn with the onions and garlic.
Mix together an egg with ¼ cup of heavy cream and ¼ cup of whole milk. Whisk the mixture until it is thoroughly mixed.
When everything has cooled, it is time to assemble the tomato pie. You should feel free to riff on this basic recipe. You can add cooked and chopped bacon; bacon improves everything, right!? Add some fresh basil … it is your tomato pie – make it the way you like it.
Spread a thin layer of roasted corn, onions, and garlic in the bottom of the prebaked pie shell.
Put a layer of tomatoes on top of the corn.
Spread a layer of corn, onions, and garlic on top of the tomatoes.
Spread a layer of cheddar cheese on top of the onions and garlic.
Put a layer of tomatoes on top of the cheddar cheese.
Spread another layer of onions and garlic on top of the tomatoes.
Pour your egg/cream/milk mixture into the pie shell. Evenly distribute the mixture.
It is time to do the baking. The baking is done in two steps.
Bake the pie in a 375-degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the egg/cream/milk mixture is set.
Remove the pie from the oven and add a layer of cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you like - I used Parmesan) on top.
Return the pie to the oven and bake until the top layer of cheese is browned to your liking.
Remove it and let the tomato pie cool until it is just warm. Tomatoes carry a lot of heat from the baking process and cooling it is essential.
Fresh Corn (I used three ears)
9- or 10-inch Deep Dish Pie Shell aka tart shell, baked - I use premade pie shells.
Shredded cheddar cheese (I like sharp cheddar but use your favorite)
2 To 3 Home Grown Tomatoes
1/4 cup Whole Milk
1/4 cup Heavy cream