One of my favourite places on the internet is a large message board full of random topics. Last year, one of the members of that forum's Cooking Crew started an Iron Chef type of competition among the board members. This was my entry for Battle Tomato.
I've used this crust before in various savory quiches, and it always turns out so light, and flaky, with just a hint of spice. I thought the flavour would work really well with a layered pie of tomatoes and sweet onions. The tomatoes were incredibly delicious and flavorful on their own, but combined with those sweet onions and the gorgeous soft cheeses, this dish was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Savory Crust Ingredients
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch each - paprika, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne powder, dried oregano, and thyme.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small rectangular pieces
- Ice water in a spray bottle
In the bowl of a food processor combine flour, paprika, salt, galric powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme, and butter and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. While the motor is running, spritz water inbetween pulses until dough comes together to form a ball.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a flat disc. Refrigerate overnight or at least one hour.
Remove from refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface to desired shape and thickness.
Pie Filling Ingredients
- 1 egg
- 2 pounds peeled ripe tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced Vidalia onions
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons chiffonade fresh basil
- 1/2 cup grated fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Roll out the pie crust on a lightly floured surface to fit a deep 9 or 10-inch pie pan. Place the pastry in the pie pan and crimp edges decoratively.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, then line with aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights (I didn't have pie-weights, so I used bulk cannellini beans) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges.
Remove foil and pie weights, and return to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool. Crack the egg in a small bowl, reserving yolk for the filling, separately. Lightly beat the egg white with a fork, then brush the surface of pie crust with a light coating of egg white and allow to cool. Peel tomatoes. Boil some salted water, and cut a shallow X on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop into boiling water for 30 seconds, and then into an ice bath.
Slice the tomatoes, discarding the stem and root ends, into 1/4-inch slices and lightly season with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the bread crumbs in the bottom of the pie crust. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise with the reserved egg yolk and stir until smooth. Place a layer of tomatoes in the bottom of the piecrust over the breadcrumbs, using about half of the tomatoes, then top with half of the sliced onions.
Drizzle with half of the mayonnaise mixture, half of the thyme and basil, half of the fontina and half of the mozzarella cheeses. Top with half of the remaining breadcrumbs then top with the remaining tomato slices, remaining onions, remaining fontina and mozzarella, remaining mayonnaise mixture, and remaining thyme and basil. Top with the remaining bread crumbs and drizzle with the olive oil.
Cover with the Parmesan cheese, place in the oven and bake until bubbly hot and golden brown, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.