Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie

Sometimes a recipe will contain ingredients that make  you wonder how such diverse items could possibly go together and taste good.  Such is the case with this recipe.  This is a dish that I find unusual and out of the ordinary, not because of what the ingredients are, but the way in which they are put together.

Let’s take the tomatoes— not at all unusual in a sandwich with mayonnaise, or even with a slice of cheese.  But how about if the tomatoes get combined with mayonnaise and cheese in a piecrust?    Add some roast garlic to this combination and top the whole thing off with crumbled Ritz crackers.   This is not a dessert pie, but a side dish.  And let me tell you it is wow-worthy!

Sorry I couldn't cut a piece for a photo.

Sorry I couldn’t cut a piece for a photo.

I believe this dish may be southern in origin, one that is popular at pot-luck get-togethers.  So I made it recently to bring to an end-of-the-year pot-luck picnic.  First came the questions:  “what is this?”   Then sounds of delight, ” wow, this is so good,  who made it?”,  “may I have the recipe?”   I’ll admit, I was doubtful that I would like it, but after one taste I was hooked.  I encourage you to give it a try, with a small suggestion.  When fresh tomatoes become plentiful, you may want to use them, and roast them as the recipe directs, to decrease their juiciness.  But when fresh tomatoes are not available, good quality canned ones are great also, as that is what I used in making it for the first time, and what the recipe actually calls for.

We are going to a pot-luck picnic supper.

We are going to a pot-luck picnic supper.


Yield:   Makes 8 servingsIMG_7581


  • 1 ( 9-inch) piecrust – store-bought or make your own favorite recipe for single crust pie
  • 1 (28-ounce) can peeled whole tomatoes, preferable San Marzano, drained, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large garlic cloves, unpeeled (use 3-4 if you really like garlic)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil  ( I thought this was a more than needed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, plus more for garnish ( or use 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar ( about 4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup crumbled Ritz crackers


1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  On a lightly floured surface, roll piecrust dough into a 1/4-inch-thick, 11-inch round.  Fit into a 9-inch pie plate; trim any excess dough and crimp edge.  Note: use a standard pie dish, not a deep-dish one.

Prepare pie shell for single crust pie.

Prepare pie shell for single crust pie.

Line pastry bottom with a round of parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights.

Fill with dried beans or pie weights prior to blind baking.

Fill with dried beans or pie weights prior to blind baking.

Bake until edge is golden brown but bottom is still pale, 15 – 20 minutes.  Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Baked pie shell.

Baked pie shell.

2.  Reduce heat to 350*F.  Arrange tomatoes and garlic in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle evenly with olive oil and  sprinkle with thyme.  Roast tomatoes until slightly shriveled and starting to brown around the edges, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan.

Roast tomatoes and garlic cloves on a baking sheet.

Roast tomatoes and garlic cloves on a baking sheet.

3.  Meanwhile in a medium bowl, combine Cheddar, mayonnaise, pepper, and salt.  Set aside.

Mix together mayonnaise and shredded cheese.

Mix together mayonnaise and shredded cheese.

4.  Squeeze roasted garlic from its skin onto piecrust.  Using an offset spatula or your fingers, spread the garlic paste evenly to cover bottom of piecrust.  Layer tomatoes on top of the garlic paste.  Spread the cheese-mayonnaise mixture over the tomatoes.

Spread cheese mixture over tomatoes in pie shell.

Spread cheese mixture over tomatoes in pie shell.

Sprinkle top with crushed Ritz crackers.

Top with crushed Ritz crackers.

Top with crushed Ritz crackers.

Bake until cheese is bubbly and pie top is golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Garnish with a sprig of thyme, if desired.

Sorry I couldn't cut a piece for a photo.

Sorry I couldn’t cut a piece for a photo.


SOURCE:   Country Living Magazine


Pie For Dinner

I’m Stressed!  I’m experiencing two things that are not compatible with each other.  One is writing this blog where I want to include baked goods, and more importantly reading other blogs where there is all kinds of wonderful baking going on; and two is trying to follow a low carbohydrate diet plan.  Baked goods, generally speaking, have no place on a strict low carb diet.  I need to bake something to bring my stress level down.  I want to stir something or roll out something like pie dough or cookie dough.  Yeah, that would help out a lot!  I don’t need to eat it, just make it.  What to do?

Well after giving this situation a lot of thought,  I decided to make a pie.  Not a dessert pie, no sireee; a dinner pie.  My analysis of the standard pie crust shows that 1/8th of a 9-inch pie contains 13 Gms. carbohydrate, none of which comes from sugar.  This is well under the 20 Gms. I’m limiting myself to per day.  So then I needed to figure out what the filling should be.  I decided on cheeses and fresh tomatoes flavored up with pesto.  With the creative juices flowing, and the stress level coming down, I set to work mixing up the pie dough. Cutting in that shortening and rolling out that dough takes muscle, but I was up for it!

Here then,  ladies and gentlemen, I present to you for the first time, my newest creation:  Fresh Tomato and Ricotta Cheese Pie


Makes 8 servings

  • pie dough for a single crust 9-inch pie, either home made or store-bought
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 large tomatoes, and 4-5 grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil


1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Fit pie dough into a 9-inch pie pan.  Do not prick.  Line with heavy-duty foil.

2.  Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking for 8 more minutes.  Remove from oven.  Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.

3.   In a medium bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, salt and pepper to taste, and egg.

4.  Spread the cheese mixture in the partially cooked pie crust.

5.  Slice each large tomato into wedges, small tomatoes in half.  Remove as many seeds as possible.   Arrange attractively  on top of cheese layer.  Heirloom tomatoes produce vibrant colors ranging from pale yellow, pale pink,   purplish red,  even striped.  No two taste alike.  A tomato is a beautiful thing!  Mixing 2-3 varieties together makes a pretty presentation.

6.  In a food processor, process basil, garlic and olive oil until coarsely chopped.  Drizzle over the tomatoes.  I used my own previously made basil pesto, or you could use commercially prepared pesto here.

7.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  The filling will firm up a little more as it cools, so allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting.

8.  The finished product!  I served this pie with chicken salad on a bed of greens and a cucumber salad with a vinaigrette dressing.  I would also serve this dish as an entree for brunch along with some bacon or ham.  Oh, Yum!  The best part of all folks,  I didn’t just make it —-I got to eat it, too.  I am no longer stressed!

SOURCE:   a Carolyn Original

Rustic Plum Tart

A rustic tart, also known as a Galette, is a very easy fruit filled pastry.  Really, just a single crust pie with the outside edges of the pie-crust folded up over the edges of the fruit, leaving the center open.  I like making these for a couple of reasons: they are quicker to make than regular pie,  one crust means less fat and calories,  they are not as apt to go over in the oven and make a mess, and it looks rustic, casual and free-form, so it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect.   Another reason to love it:  it’s satisfying as a dessert, but not too sweet.  In fact it is low in sugar–only what’s in the jam and the little you sprinkle on the crust.

This is a great dessert to serve to guests when you need something rather quickly, and it is impressive; i.e., looks like more work than it is.  You can mix and match your favorite stone fruits, or berries with appropriate jams.  Serve warm with a little ice cream or whipped cream.  YUM!


Serves:   6

  • 1 sheet of refrigerated pie crust from a 14.1-ounce box
  • 1/4 cup jam  (with plums I used plum jam )
  • 1 pound or about 2 cups pitted plums, cut into 1/4″ wedges ( don’t be too fussy here)
  • 1 egg, or 2-3 tablespoons egg beater product
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar (demerera sugar)
  • ice cream or whipped cream for serving

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  Unroll pie crust onto the parchment paper.  Spread jam on the crust, leaving a 2 inch clean border around the edges.

3.  Arrange the plums on top of the jam.

4.  Fold the crust’s edges inward, pleating as needed;  leave the center of the tart exposed.  Press the dough lightly to seal.

5.  Whisk the egg with a little water in a small dish,  or use egg beater product;  brush the egg wash on the dough and sprinkle with the sugar.  Bake until the crust is cooked through and golden brown, about 35 minutes.

6.  Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

SOURCE:   Adapted from a recipe by   Sonny Anderson,  The Food Network.

Summer Squash, Bacon and Mozzarella Quiche

At this time of year I try to take advantage of summer’s bounty of fresh vegetables as much as I can.  Summer squash and zucchini are two vegetables that seem to grow in great abundance for anyone who gardens.  Several of my friends tend small garden plots and are generous in sharing ” the wealth” with me.

The recipe for this quiche was in Cooking Light Magazine last July and I made it several times last summer and already this summer I’ve made it again because we like it so much.  Except for the inclusion of some bacon it is almost meatless, so if you choose to omit the bacon the quiche will still be very good.  It’s also a good way to get children to eat some vegetables by surrounding them with eggs and cheese and calling the dish “pie”.

When I make this I usually serve it with just a green salad along side for a light summertime supper.  It is also a very good dish to serve for a brunch.



Crust:  You may choose to make your favorite pie crust recipe,  use a refrigerated pie crust such as Pillsbury, or a frozen premade crust from the frozen foods isle of the grocery store.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees  Pierce the crust bottom and sides with a fork.  Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.  Watch carefully to prevent bubbles from forming, by pricking with a fork.  Cool slightly.


  • 4 slices smoked bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled.   Save about 2 Tablespoons of drippings in the pan.
  • 2 cups zucchini, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 cups yellow squash, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion or shallots
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme,  or about 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk  ( I used skim milk, and it was fine.)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup egg beater product, or one more egg
  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

To prepare filling:  Saute the two squashes and the chopped onion in the bacon drippings, sprinkling with the thyme.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until squash becomes tender.

Combine the milk, salt, pepper and eggs in a large measuring cup, stirring with a whisk.  Arrange the squash mixture evenly in the pie crust, sprinkle with the bacon and mozzarella cheese.  Pour egg mixture over all.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until filling is set.

When you write a food blog like this the photos taken usually show off your dish to good advantage, and the reader gets the impression that everything goes smoothly and comes out looking ‘picture perfect”.  Not so!  Sometimes everything goes wrong and the dish looks horrible.  Those I don’t write about.  But sometimes funny things happen which was the case with this quiche.

For my crust I used one which was frozen from my freezer.  Some how I failed to notice there was a crack in it.  Look closely, you can see it!   So after I filled it with the veggies, bacon and cheese, I poured in the milk mixture, which ran out the crack, over the side of the pie pan and onto the baking sheet underneath.  I discarded as much of the overflow as I could manage, then put the whole thing in the oven and hoped for the best.  Needless to say it continued to leak in the oven.  When the quiche was cooked and I removed it from the oven there was a hugh bubble of cooked egg mixture attached to the side of the pie pan.  Sort of like a pop-over attached to a quiche!  It deflated quickly so I didn’t get a good picture of it, but you can see remnants of it in the  pictures below. 🙂  In spite of this the quiche tasted very good, and we really enjoyed it.


SOURCE:  Cooking Light Magazine,  July, 2011