Congratulations to Rosalind Paige of Abbeville, SC who won Saturday’s Tomato Pie Recipe Contest!
It was a tough competition, but our expert judges picked this delicious recipe.
Italian Cheesy Tomato Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust
FOR THE HERBED BUTTERMILK BISCUIT CRUST:
2 cups flour, plus more for covering the surface to roll dough and also for kneading the crust
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasonings
6 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 cup buttermilk
FOR THE TOMATO PIE FILLING:
1 tablespoon cornmeal
6 garden fresh tomatoes, sliced into 1/2″ slices
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise (we prefer Miracle Whip)
1 cup sweet onion (Vidalia), chopped finely
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced (or 2 extra large garlic cloves should do it)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
10 – 12 leaves of garden fresh basil
4 strips thick-cut bacon or Italian pancetta, browned, and crumbled
1 cup grated 5 – 6 Italian cheese blend
1/2 cup Parmiggiano Regiano cheese, grated
1/2 cup grated, sliced or crumbled fresh Mozzarella di Bufalo
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/3 cup Gruyere cheese
Garden-fresh basil for garnish
PREPARE THE BUTTERMILK BISCUIT CRUST:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, Italian seasonings, and sea salt. Cut butter into the flour mixture. With a pastry blender until the mixture is coarse and small pieces of butter remain. Pour in the buttermilk and stir until incorporated.
On a lightly floured surface, with floured hands, put the ball of dough on the lightly floured surface and sprinkle with a little more flour. The dough will be quite sticky!
Knead a few times until dough comes together and is not so sticky. Flatten dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 1 – 24 hours before rolling out.
After the dough has chilled, place the disk of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into an 11″ circle. Carefully pick up the dough and place in a 9 or 9-1/2″ deep dish pie plate. Trim any excess dough and blend in when folding and crimping the edges.
Place in a 350 degree oven and par bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Prepare the Tomato Pie:
Place a double layer of paper towels on a cookie sheet and layer the sliced and cored tomatoes in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Place another double layer of paper towels over the tomato slices and repeat on another cookie sheet with any remaining sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with another 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
Cover with double layer of paper towels and let sit for 30 minutes. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP NOT TO ELIMINATE: The salt draws the moisture out of the tomatoes and helps prevent the tomato pie from being a soggy mess (which many tomato pies are!).
Prepare and bake the buttermilk biscuit pie crust according to directions above. Sprinkle cornmeal on top of baked buttermilk pie crust.
PREPARE THE TOMATO PIE FILLING:
Mix all grated cheeses together in a bowl. Remove 1 cup of blended cheeses and set aside for later for final topping.
Layer 1 cup of cheese blend on top of crust. Layer half of the sliced tomatoes.
With the remaining cheeses, in a large bowl, blend cheese with mayonnaise, chopped onions, minced garlic, oregano and basil, and some salt and pepper.
Layer this cheese-mayo-herb mixture over the first layer of tomato slices, leaving one inch open from the edge of pie so that tomatoes can peek out.
Next, place a second layer of tomato slices over the cheese-mayo-herb mixture. Sprinkle crumbled pancetta or bacon on next. Sprinkle the saved cheese blend on top that was set aside previously, for the third and last layer of cheese.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until the cheeses are bubbly and golden brown! For the last 10 minutes, cover the edges with aluminum foil and turn the oven on broil. Keep a very close eye on the oven when broiling so the golden brown color is achieved on the cheese, yet does not burn and turn brown/black.
Let the tomato pie set for about 15 – 20 minutes so the cheeses harden a bit; but it’s also great all ooey and gooey when served hot!