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Today is the first day of Summer!

In celebration of this momentous occasion, I present to you a fanfreakin’tastic savory Summer pie.  Sweet & tangy fresh tomatoes are matched with sharp cheddar, fresh herbs and salty bacon for a delicious celebration of the season!

Truthfully, I’ve been wanting to make a pie like this for years.  I saw Paula Deen prepare her version on on the Food Network quite some time ago and it looked delectable.  However, every time I was tempted to make it, the ingredients stopped me in my tracks.  A cup of mayo and two cups of cheese paired with 4 tomatoes in a crust.  Eeek, that’s a whole lotta fat, even for me.

So when I read Michael Kiss’s recipe recently published in the Washington Post with a much more reasonable ratio of fat to tomato, I decided to take the tomato pie plunge.

Of course, I had to put my own spin on it.  I increased the tomatoes, cheese and onion and substituted fresh basil for oregano.  The resulting pie is like a fresh and juicy pizza.  Really quite a wonderful thing.

Summer Tomato Pie
Adapted from a recipe by Michael Kiss

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  • One 9-inch American Pie Crust (without the sugar)
  • 5-6 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, seeds removed
  • 1/3 medium sweet onion, minced (1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 16 stems chives, chopped (2 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano)
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 4 slices thick bacon, cooked until crisp & chopped

Blind bake (aka prebake) your pie crust until light golden brown.  For instructions on how to do this, check out the end of my post on Pate Brisee.  NOTE:  I don’t recommend the Pate Brisee for this particular pie, but the blind baking technique is the same.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Scatter one-fourth of the cheese on the bottom of the pre-baked pie crust, then use one-third of the sliced tomatoes to create a second layer. Sprinkle with some of the minced onion, chives and basil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Repeat with the same ingredients to create 2 more sets of layers, then end with a top layer of cheese.

Spread the mayonnaise on top of the pie as if you were frosting the top of a cake.

Bake for 30 minutes.  The cheese in the filling should be melted and the crust should be nicely browned.  Let the pie rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

Garnish with the crumbled bacon before serving.

See what I mean?  Fanfreakin’tastic!

 

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