Cheesy Tomato Pie
The internet is dangerous. Raise your hand if you've fallen victim to watching a food video over and over again, until you're convinced you just finished your BA in Pastry Arts and could fondant the shit out of a dinosaur themed birthday cake.
I have the absolute worst habit of watching these when I'm trolling the depths of Instagram looking for inspiration (too early for 2018 resolutions? too late to add a few?) This one just arrived right in front of me, and I couldn't look away. It's like when you're logging into your Prime account to buy the lip kit Kylie Jenner just posted, you can't stop yourself because you've seen the *very real* application on her, and in two days, it could be yours.
And that's how I felt about this pie. It was my lip kit.
Through this process I've learned that recipes should always just be a guide. If something doesn't look or feel right, change it up. Do some research. Don't limit yourself to the constraints of the recipe. And don't hesitate to reach out to the blogger, 9 times out of 10 they will happily reply and help you try to adapt a recipe to better suit what you have to work with.
My pie was never going to mirror the artful clip posted by the genius ladies over at Food52, and no amount of lip fillers or VSCO filters were going to do the trick. But they were August tomatoes, the crust was crunchy and light, and the filling was I-want-to-lay-right-here-and-die- cheesy. And it was a great tomato pie.
Cheesy Tomato Pie
Adapted from Food 52
Yield - one 9-inch deep dish pie
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup ice water, plus more as needed
1 large egg white
4 large heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced
Salt, as needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
Pie dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt to combine. Add the butter, tossing the cubes in the flour to coat. Rub the butter into the flour until it is the size of walnut halves. Add 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese and stir into the dough. Make a well in the center, and add the water a few tablespoons at a time and mix just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a 1 inch thick disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled (at least 30 minutes). Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate and place it on a baking. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Transfer it to the pie and trim the edge so there is 1/2-inch overhang all around. Chill the dough inside pan for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Towards the end of chill time, preheat the oven to 425° F. Poke the chilled dough with a fork on the base and sides. Line the crust with parchment paper and pie weights, and bake until the crust is beginning to brown at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and pie weights. If the base looks visibly wet or under-baked, return the crust to the oven without the pie weights for another 5 minutes. Brush the base of the pie dough with egg white and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese on top. Return to the oven for 2 more minutes. Use scissors to cut the excess crust so it’s at the edge, then cool the crust to room temperature. While the pie is cooling, make the filling. Arrange the tomatoes on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each tomato slice lightly with salt, then place more paper towels on top. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes to remove the moisture.
In a medium pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature. In a medium bowl, whisk the mascarpone, mozzarella, egg, and egg yolk to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
When you’re ready to assemble the pie, place the par-baked crust on your work surface. Place a layer of tomatoes in the base, then top with a layer of onions. Continue layering, ending with tomatoes. Pour the mascarpone mixture into the center of the pie, and spread into an even layer, nearly to the edges. Bake until the crust is golden brown, the tomatoes are bubbly, the topping is golden, and you are drooling. Let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. The pie is best when you let it cool completely (also hot tomatoes are truly like hot lava). You can reheat individual slices on a baking sheet, wrapped in aluminum foil at 325°F for 10 minutes.