Fourth of July

Sue Lyon's Tomato Pie

September  7, 2016
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

By popular demand, my solution for rock-hard beefsteaks from the grocery store (more here.) Sue Lyon is my best friend Giles Lyon's mother: She is a passionate home cook who used to have a business called Tin lizzie where she sold home retinning kits (suprisingly easy!). They live in Hillsdale, New Jersey and I've spent countless summer weekends lounging around their pool letting Sue cook for me. This tart is always being made (with her garden tomatoes) and we always fight each other for the last bite—there are never leftovers. I asked her for the recipe recently, as Giles doesn't live on this coast anymore and while I miss him and his family, I am most sad about not getting to eat the tart! —Sara Jenkins

What You'll Need
  • 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
  1. Place flour and salt into a food processor and pulse. Add cold butter and pulse until butter is in oatmeal-size flakes. Don’t wash the food processor bowl; you will be using it to grate the cheese. Place flour/butter mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in the mustard water with a fork. Use only enough liquid to allow pastry to clump onto the fork. Using your hands, gather the dough into a ball and place on a sheet of plastic wrap about 18-inches long. Fold wrap to loosely enclose the dough, then press down to form a disk about 1-inch thick. Refrigerate about an hour or place in freezer about 5 minutes to firm up. While dough is chilling, prepare the filling.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Slice the tomatoes about 1/4-inch thick and and place in a pie dish along with basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, and a tiny bit of salt.
  3. Take the Gruyère and grate in the aforementioned food processor.
  4. When dough is chilled, unwrap it and cover with another sheet of plastic wrap. Start rolling it out. It will crumble. Roll it out about 1/2-inch thick. then fold in three. Turn it so you are rolling in the vertical direction. Turn and roll twice and by then the dough should be pliant and the butter should be well distributed. Now make the final roll, placing it, still on the plastic wrap on the bottom part of a 9-inch tart pan with a lightly-floured removable bottom. When the dough is almost the size of the pan bottom, reverse it onto the pan bottom and continue rolling until you have a 1 1/2-inch border around the pan. You should be able to see the dark pan through the dough. Lift the bottom part and fit into the quiche ring. Push the dough up the sides of the ring to about 1/4-inch above it. Refrigerate the dough shell.
  5. Take the pastry shell and spread 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard on the bottom. Add the grated cheese and then overlap the tomato slices with the basil and garlic, leaving the juice and seeds in the plate. Place finished pie onto the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, then place on middle shelf and bake an additional 25 minutes. The cheese should be bubbling, the tomatoes just beginning to take on a little brown color and the crust should be golden brown.
  6. Place the quiche pan on top of a bowl a few inches less wide than the pan bottom. The pan bottom will remain on the bowl and he ring will slip down. You can use a sharp knife to make sure the crust sides separate. Then serve after allowing it to cool a bit.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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    Scott Basye
  • Victoria Maynard
    Victoria Maynard
  • Somia
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel

7 Reviews

Scott B. September 6, 2017
Good Grief. That's the most complicated tart crust instruction that I've ever seen. Could you just use a normal tart crust method?
JZilch August 3, 2023
I upvote this so hard. I’m a pretty avid baker who has made plenty of tarts and I still have NO idea what I’m supposed to be doing on step 4. I’m supposed to be rolling on top of the tart pan bottom?? Can a girl get a video?
Lorien January 5, 2017
Can this be made ahead of time? If so, what id the suggested time frame?
Gardener September 12, 2016
The background story ... the photos ... I just had to try this. Oh my, de-lish! To fill in a few details that were missing from the recipe: I used a 8"x11" tart pan, a 375 degree oven, and after the initial 10 minutes on the bottom shelf, it took 35 minutes on the middle shelf to achieve perfection. My husband suggests that with this pie we can conquer the world!
Victoria M. September 12, 2016
This was so so so good!
Somia September 10, 2016
Couple of details I couldn't find - size of the pan and the oven temperature.
Sarah J. September 13, 2016
Sorry about that oversight! Those details are in there now.