Like most of my cooking friends it is like Christmas comes early when the first of the season tomatoes are ready. I harvest a few from the little pots I planted of heirloom varieties and cherry tomatoes from the side yard and fill in with local tomatoes grown at a farm down the street from me. This delicious pie is great served warm from the oven or at room temperature and the herbs and cheese can be swapped out to make different variations on the same recipe. —laurielufkin
2 1/2 cups
all purpose flour
frozen butter, cut in small pieces
finely grated parmesan cheese
ice cold water
grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Italian herb blend
ripe heirloom tomatoes
prepared basil pesto (I make my own in large batches and freeze in small containers)
fresh mozzarella cheese in 1/2 inch slices
julienne sun dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
large egg, lightly beaten with one teaspoon water
In the bowl of a food processor (or by hand, or with a fork, or a pastry blender) combine flour and butter until butter is incorporated and the size of small peas. Blend in cheese. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing if you are using the processor until dough forms a loose ball. Divide in half, form into two discs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour or until ready to use--this step can be done a day or two in advance.
When ready to bake pie, preheat oven to 300
Toss cut grape or cherry tomatoes with oil, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in preheated oven for 1 hour until lightly browned and caramelized, shaking pan occasionally. Set aside to cool slightly.
Increase oven temperature to 375. Move oven rack to bottom third and place a baking stone on the rack (if available) to preheat.
Slice heirloom tomatoes into ¼” slices and lay flat on a kitchen towel to remove some of the moisture. Lay another towel on top and press down lightly.
Roll out one pie crust and place into a 9 ½” pie plate (preferably glass). Sprinkle tapioca on to crust and top with sun dried tomatoes. Layer half of the fresh heirloom tomatoes over sun dried and spread on pesto. Top pesto with sliced cheese and another layer of sliced heirloom tomatoes.
Roll out remaining crust and cut in to strips. Weave strips in to lattice crust and crimp the edge to form a rim. Brush entire crust with egg and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
Bake in preheated oven on stone for 45 minutes uncovered. Cover crust lightly with aluminum foil if over browning and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until bottom crust is browned.
Allow to cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.