SUMMER TOMATO PIE
Our first few tests of Summer Tomato Pie made it clear that while juiciness is the strength of a good tomato, it’s the enemy of tomato pie. The wet tomatoes created a soaked, doughy bottom crust. To eliminate moisture, we salted the tomatoes and let them sit to draw out their juice. After the slices drained, we pressed them firmly with paper towels, layered them in the pie, and cut large vents in the top crust for steam to escape. Adding cornstarch to the filling and lowering the oven heat after a few minutes prevented the mayonnaise from curdling.
- Use our recipe for Double-Crust Pie Dough (related), or use your own recipe or store-bought dough. If using store-bought dough, bake the pie for 30 minutes after turning down the heat in step 4.
- 2 (9-inch) pie dough rounds (see note)
- 2 pounds ripe beefsteak tomatoes (about 4 large), cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 scallions, sliced thin
1. DRAIN TOMATOES: Arrange tomatoes on paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Let drain 30 minutes, then press tomatoes with additional paper towels until very dry.
2. ROLL DOUGH: On lightly floured surface, roll 1 dough round into 12-inch circle (if using store-bought dough, you do not need to roll either crust). Transfer to 9-inch pie plate, letting excess hang over edge. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes. Roll second round into 12-inch circle and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. ASSEMBLE PIE: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix mayonnaise, cornstarch, and 1 cup cheese in bowl until well combined. Sprinkle remaining cheese over bottom of dough-lined pie plate. Arrange third of tomatoes over cheese. Spread half of mayonnaise mixture over tomatoes and sprinkle with half of scallions. Layer with another third of tomatoes, remaining mayonnaise mixture, and remaining scallions, then top with remaining tomatoes.
4. CRIMP CRUST: Arrange top crust on pie. Press crusts together, then trim, fold, and crimp edges. Cut four 2- by 1-inch oval vent holes in top. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until crust is golden brown, about 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 3 hours. Serve at room temperature.