Subbing in Gordy's Thai Basil Jalapenos gives this recipe its D.C. bearings and complicates the flavor. The result is an adult take on the classic BLT sandwich--my favorite way to enjoy fresh tomatoes--ripe and green--from the backyard garden.
If you end up having leftover filling, save it and scramble it with eggs the next morning for a killer breakfast.
The other delight of this project, was that the folks at Etto generously let us work in their handsome kitchen, meaning I got to bake these pies (and cook the bacon!) in the beautiful wood-fired oven. Ever had bacon cooked in a brick oven? It's practically DOUBLE SMOKED. I highly recommended it.
Heirloom Tomato Hand Pies with Bacon, Cheddar, and Thai Basil Jalapenos
3/4 lbs. heirloom tomatoes, half green/unripe and half ripe (meaty varieties are best), diced
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 c. sharp cheddar, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. Gordy's Thai Basil Jalapenos, diced and drained
4 oz. bacon, cooked and diced or crumbled
2 Tblsp. fresh basil, julienned and then halved into small strips
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1 beaten egg + 1 tsp. milk/cream for egg wash
Flake sea salt, for dusting
1. Prepare Nothing-in-the-House pie crust as per the directions. Once chilled, roll out dough onto a floured surface and cut into rectangles of equal size. Place cut crust on parchment paper on a baking sheet and return to chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
2. Place diced tomatoes in a colander and place in a large mixing bowl or kitchen sink. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and toss, then let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes while the juices drain.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl combine cheddar, minced garlic, drained jalapenos, cooked bacon, basil, cayenne pepper, if using, and the drained tomatoes. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
4. Remove cut dough from the fridge and mound filling in the center of half of the cut rectangles. Brush edges of dough with cold water and place a matching piece of dough on top. Press the edges with a fork to seal. Brush hand pies with egg wash, sprinkle with flake sea salt, and cut a steam vent in the top of each with a fork.
5. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake hand pies for 35-40 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Filling will be bubbling and crust will be golden brown when done. Transfer pies to a cooling rack and let cool slightly. Serve still warm.
*Tad suggested using a partial lard crust, and I agree that it would be a great complement to the filling. You can replace half the butter in this recipe with leaf lard, or use your favorite butter/lard pie crust recipe.