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By Popular Demand: A Savory Pie for Your Rock-Hard Tomatoes

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Leave it to chef Sara Jenkins to make us seek out the rock-hard beefsteak tomatoes.

When we asked her what she'd do with tomatoes that feel more like softballs than pincushions (and with a handful of other less-than-optimal fruits: the mealy, the watery, the flavorless, etc.), she said:


I would slice them into thick wheels and roast them in a hot oven with salt and olive oil. Then I'd bake them in a tart using my best friend's mother's recipe.

That information alone was enough for many of you to ask that she share it. Ask and you shall receive, tomato-lovers!

Sue Lyon's Tomato Pie
Sue Lyon's Tomato Pie

The Sue Lyon here is not the film actress best known for her performance in Lolita: It's the mother of Sara's best friend, Giles Lyon. "I've spent countless summer weekends lounging around their pool letting Sue cook for me," Sara says. "This tart is always being made (with her garden tomatoes) and we always fight each other for the last bite—there are never leftovers."


Our favorite part (besides the layer of grated Gruyère)? The ice water that's used to form the pie dough gets flavored with mustard before it's mixed into the dry ingredients. It's a smart tip for making any savory pie, galette, tart, or quiche dough tasty enough to eat on its own.

Now excuse us: We'll be at the grocery store, squeezing all the tomatoes until we find the hardest ones.

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Sue Lyon's Tomato Pie

71ac0add b9dd 45dd 87f6 3be6244a2f8b  unnamed Sara Jenkins

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Serves 6 to 8

For the tart dough:

  • 150 grams all-purpose flour
  • 75 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard mixed with 1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:

  • 2 ripe garden tomatoes or about 10 Campari tomatoes, skins removed
  • 6 shredded basil leaves
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Tiny pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces Gruyère, grated