Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pimento Cheese and Tomato Pie

A few weeks ago, Emily, Erica and I got together for '3-E Baking Wednesday.' Emily and I had to make something for the Foodways class potluck at our Prof. Marcie Ferris' home. We decided to combine our two respective loves--pimento cheese, a Southern specialty (Emily W. is writing her Folklore Master's thesis on it), and pie. Our friend April McGreger shared the recipe with us:

Pimento Cheese and “Put Up” Tomato Pie

This pie is a riff on a church cookbook standard simply called “tomato pie”. Usually made in the summer with fresh tomatoes, this tart takes on a more robust personality by utilizing home canned tomatoes and roasting them. It is a good way to enjoy tomatoes in the off season.

9” Pie Crust - that has been pre-baked to golden brown
20 oz. tomatoes (either home canned or quality store bought—like San Marzanos)
1/4 C. olive oil
2 Tblsp. fresh thyme (or you can use basil or marjoram)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 1/4 C. prepared pimento cheese (we made our using Emily's grandma's recipe + a hint of Sriracha)
1/3 C. Ritz crackers broken into small, rough pieces (about the size of a dime) (We used panko tossed in a little melted butter, a pinch of chopped garlic, a little parm, and a pinch of s&p)

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F

2. Drain the tomatoes (keep the juice for the Bloody Marys!) and dice them into 1 inch pieces. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, thyme, salt, pepper and half the olive oil by tossing with your hands until all of the tomatoes have a little oil on them. 

3. Pour half of the oil onto a sheet pan, rubbing with your hands to coat the bottom of the pan and then spread the tomatoes on the pan to form a single layer. Roast the tomatoes in the oven for about 15 minutes until they dry up a little and start to shrivel slightly. 

4. Fill the pie crust ¾ full with the tomato mixture. Spread pimento cheese over the top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with prepared bread crumb topping.

This was a real cheesy indulgence, but got great reviews at the potluck. Next time I would make it with more tomatoes and a little less salt (I think we may have added too much to the pimento cheese).

We also made mini vinegar pies--an old Great Plains recipe of the "nothing-in-the-house pie"/"adversity pie"/ "desperation pie" genre which served as a lemon-custard substitution in times of hardship. I unfortunately forgot to take pictures of them, so I'll make it again soon and give a full report.

1 comment:

JAZ.ED said...

Looks mighty good. Hmmm... seems there is a lot of material for a folk ways pie book.

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