TAKE PERFECTLY RIPE TOMATOES, place them on a bed of store-bought biscuits, top them with basil, mayonnaise and cheddar cheese, bake the works until puffed and golden, and what do you get? Why, only the most delicious thing on earth — Classic Tomato Pie. You can make this company-worthy fare in no time at all:
Note: I’ve written about Classic Tomato Pie before, first in 2010 and then in 2011. So why mention it again? Well, because if you are new to my blog, you might not know this recipe exists. And that would make me cry.
Note: I cry very easily.
Classic Tomato Pie
Ingredients for one 9-inch pie
10 store-bought biscuits (from a 7.5 oz package)
2 large, perfectly ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Fresh basil leaves (as many as you like), sliced into thin strips
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese
Tip: For a thin crust, use biscuits from a 7.5-ounce package. For a thicker crust, use biscuits labeled “jumbo-size” or “grands.”
Toss the biscuits into a lightly-greased 9-inch pie plate…
And press them against the bottom and sides of the plate.
And by the way, I hope you will use only perfectly ripe, in season tomatoes for this pie. More often than not, tomatoes obtained from the supermarket in winter have traveled 3,000 miles in a refrigerated truck.
Long-distance tomatoes are tasteless tomatoes.
Lay the tomato slices on the biscuit crust, as above. Then give them a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
Next, grab 7-10 fresh, fragrant basil leaves, and stack them together as pictured above.
Tightly roll the leaves from tip-end to stem-end, as if you were rolling a cigar.
Then slice the cigar cross-wise into thin strips. This is called a “Basil Chiffonade.”
Sprinkle the basil over the tomatoes.
Blend mayonnaise with extra-sharp cheddar cheese.
This isn’t a diet-dish. But it’s a delicious dish. If you wish to substitute low-fat yogurt for the mayo, just as my friend Ed did when making this pie for his friends on Fire Island, the decision is entirely yours.
I spoke with Ed last night, and he told me my tomato pie is “the talk of Fire Island.”
I can live with that.
Drop big dollops of the cheese mixture over the pie. Then spread it around with a spoon.
For me, the 30-minute wait always feels like an eternity. I vant to eat ziss pie!
A biscuit crust…summer-fresh tomatoes…fragrant basil and a mayo-and-cheese topping…this pie is totally awesome, dude.
And although Tomato Pie is a cinch to prepare, it is elegant enough for a summertime dinner party. A dinner party where goblets of Pinot Noir are generously poured.
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Here’s the printable:
Classic Tomato Pie
- a lightly-greased 9-inch-diameter pie plate (not "deep dish")
- A 7.5 ounce package of store-bought biscuits
- 2 large, perfectly ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 7 large basil leaves, cut into thin strips
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- Center the oven rack, and preheat the oven to 375°F. Press the biscuits against the bottom and sides of the prepared pie plate to form a crust. Then layer the tomato slices over the crust, and give them a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Scatter the basil over the tomatoes.
- Blend the mayonnaise and cheese in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture mixture over the pie, and spread it out with the back of a spoon.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the biscuits color and the topping puffs -- about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack until juices recede -- 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.