Tomato, Cheddar, and Basil Summer Pie

Tomato cheddar pie.jpg

Photo by Michael Piazza

Submitted by Meg Jones Wall of Somerville. She gets her tomatoes at the Union Square Farmers Market, and finds her copy of Edible Boston at Taza Chocolate.

"This pie is my favorite summer tomato recipe—the base is a buttermilk-cheddar biscuit dough, and it’s filled with layers of tomatoes and cheese. It’s delicious either hot or cold, and works with any type of tomato (or cheese), and any leftovers can be reheated for a very fine breakfast!"

Serves 6–8

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup cold buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

2 pounds assorted ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced
2½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 scallion, trimmed and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into chiffonade

Preheat oven to 425°.

Lay the tomato slices on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and top with more paper towels to absorb their liquid. Allow to drain for 30 minutes while you make the crust.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Keep the mixer on low and gradually add the chopped butter until it’s the size of peas. Whisk the buttermilk and egg together, then quickly add it to the flour and butter mixture, stirring on low until just combined. Add the grated cheese, stir until just incorporated, then turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Knead a few times until smooth, then roll out with a floured rolling pin to an 11-12 inch round. Fold into quarters and transfer into a 9-inch Pyrex pie dish, gently unfold the crust, press into the bottom of the dish, and cover with a dry cloth until ready to fill.

Combine the remaining cheddar and the Parmigiano in a bowl, then remove ¼ cup to reserve for topping. In another small bowl, stir together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, scallion, salt, and pepper.

Sprinkle a handful of cheese onto the bottom of the crust and top with a layer of tomatoes. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, drizzle on some of the oil-vinegar mix, then top with more cheese and some basil. Continue making layers like this until all the ingredients are used up, being sure to save your prettiest tomatoes for the top layer. Finish with the reserved cheese mixture and some basil, then fold the overhanging crust onto the top layer of filling, like a crostata.

Bake until crust is light golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Check halfway through baking to make sure the crust isn’t getting too dark—tent with foil if needed. Allow the pie to rest at least an hour before serving.