Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tomato pie with bacon and jalapeños

tomato bacon pie

On my refrigerator is a photo my mom sent me from last Thanksgiving. It’s a shot of a long wooden table that’s been topped with an array of pies. There are cream pies, pecan pies, fruit pies and chess pies. They’re not perfect, as the crusts may have rough edges and the meringues don’t always form even peaks. But this is what tells you that these are pies that have been made by hand, with love. There’s nothing better than homemade pie.

At family gatherings, pies are usually the way we conclude our meals, but lately I’ve been thinking about ways to incorporate pies into the beginning and the middle of the meal, as well. Tomatoes are not only at their peak right now, but it’s also starting to cool down outside—baking tomatoes into a pie just seems right.

tomato and bacon pie

There’s a classic Southern tomato pie recipe that calls for an abundance of mayonnaise. This is not it. While that’s a fine pie, it’s always felt like a side player to me and I wanted something heartier—a pie that could take center stage.

To reach this goal, I first decided to bake my pie in a deeper dish. I used a large cast-iron skillet, but a regular deep-dish pie pan would work as well. I also gave the pie a cornmeal biscuit crust, which is substantial enough to support the pie’s layers but soft and tender enough to absorb some of the tomato’s juices, too.

Adding lots of bacon seemed like a good idea, as it’s a natural partner with tomatoes. And there are also jalapeños, which give the pie an additional bite, along with pepper Jack cheese, which holds it all together.

The end result is a hearty, satisfying slice that works well as a main dish. Though if you wanted to cut it into smaller slices it could be a starter or a side dish instead. You could almost say it’s a little bit like a deep dish pizza, though to me, it still feels like a pie. And while it’s best served warm, straight from the oven, it’s still good at room temperature, which also makes it a great travelling dish for your next potluck.

tomato and bacon pie

Because it’s baked, you could make this pie with those hothouse tomatoes you find at the store when they’re no longer in season. But I recommend making it now, as it will be at its best with ripe tomatoes that are plump with juice and full of flavor. Plus, there’s nothing better than homemade pie.

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In other news, I'm heading to Abilene next week for its annual cookbook gala. I haven't been to Abilene in years, so if you have any recommendations for places to eat and visit in the area, I'd love to hear them!

Tomato pie with bacon and jalapeños

Ingredients:

For the filling:
1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups (12 ounces) pepper Jack cheese, shredded
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced
8 ounces cooked bacon, diced

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
3/4 cups buttermilk

Place the sliced tomatoes in a colander and then place the colander in a mixing bowl. Toss the tomatoes with the salt, and allow them to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to extract some of the juices.

Meanwhile, to make the crust, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. Cut into the flour the chilled butter, until the flour has a crumbly, pea-like texture. Stir in the buttermilk and mix until well combined. On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and roll it out into it’s about an 11-inch circle.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a deep-dish pie pan or a large cast-iron skillet. Gently lift the dough and place it into the pan, working the dough until the pan is evenly lined with the crust. (Unlike regular pie crusts, I don’t do anything fancy with the top of the crust since it’s puffier than most as it’s a biscuit crust, I simply make sure it goes to the top of the pan.)

To fill the pie, sprinkle half of the cheese along the bottom of the crust. Layer in the tomatoes, garlic, jalapeño slices and bacon, topping with the remaining cheese.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and place the pie pan on top. (This is to catch any juices if it boils over.) Slide the sheet into the oven and cook the pie uncovered for 30 minutes or until the crust and cheese are lightly browned and the pie is bubbling.

Yield: 4-8 servings

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49 comments:

Celeste said...

Sounds great, Lisa! Tomatoes and corn are season partners, so it's bound to be a good mix. Safe travels, and have a lovely time in Abilene!

Derby City Lady Gourmet said...

This looks scrumptious! Tomatoes, corn biscuit crust, jalapeños, and bacon--seriously all of my favorite things in one glorious skillet. I am inspired more and more by the cooler weather to brush up on my skillet meals. Thank you for surprising me with such a great idea. I'll get right on it!

Julie said...

That looks so amazing, I will definitely have to try it soon. Thanks for posting it!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Ok, I'm in. I now need to go immediately to get some corn so I can make this!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Celeste--Yep, they do indeed go well together!

Derby City Lady Gourmet--I'm a big fan of skillet meals--little mess and all the flavors have a chance to get together and bring out the best in each other.

Julie--You're very welcome!

Rocky Mountain Woman--Glad you're in!

J.W. Whitaker said...

Is there no binder to hold everything together? Thanks Jeff.

Brenda S Okie in Colorado said...

It was great seeing you on food channel. You did great!

Sara from Texas said...

Lisa, you posted this on the dreariest, coldest and most rain-filled day we've had in a long time. This pie will be perfect for warming us up. Sadly, I can't get monterey jack in our part of the world, so thinking I might swap it with a combo of emmentaler and gouda. Any other cheese suggestions?

lljljljljj said...

I'm from Abilene and I LOVE your cookbook!(I currently live in London so it's a taste of home)

Definitely go to Perini's in Buffalo Gap or the Beehive downtown for supper, La Popular for breakfast, and Hickory Street Cafe for lunch.

Jessica said...

Harold's, DON'T miss it!!! And Perini Ranch, but don't miss Harold's!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

J.W.--The cheese does a good job of holding it together, but it's not a solid pie bound with eggs, such as a quiche.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Sara--Any melting cheese would work and those two would definitely be good, especially if you can find smoked gouda.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Brenda--Thank you so much! It was a lot of fun getting to do that.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

lljljljljj--Thank you for the kind words--I'm so pleased you're enjoying the book! Perini's is already on the list, which I'm very excited about and I look forward to your other recommendations.

Jessica--Harold's is now on the list--thank you!

Dahveed said...

Wow, never thought of a savory pie with tomatoes. This sounds great! Thanks and keep up the good work! Also thanks for keep the mayo out of this pie.

Vickie said...

How timely. I just deleted a recipe for tomato pie yesterday because of the huge amount of mayo. This one. I'm going to make. It seems to make more sense with the cheese and yummy bacon I'll save the mayo for BLT's. Thanks for sharing this. Safe travels.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Dahveed--I actually love mayo, but I do prefer the pie without it.

Tim LeBlanc said...

Two thoughts- instead of Weeping the tomatoes, i might toss them with a 1/4 cup of tabioca (the quick cook kind) or take the drained juice and reduce it then incorporate it back in. Thanks, looks great!

BKP said...

This gave me inspiration to do something with the 2 lonely tomatoes I have on my counter and the corn on the cob in my fridge. I'll add a little goat cheese and basil to round it all out. Love recipes that you can use whatever is on hand to make it your own. I'm from Abilene - but don't expect to find much in the way of good restaurants. I could give you my mom's number though! She makes the best food - especially CFS and peach cobbler!

FreeRange Pamela said...

This looks delicious! Kerbey Lane Cafe here in Austin offers a Tomato Pie in the summers, and this looks like it could rival that delicious dish. Thank you!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Vickie--Yep, no mayo in this one!

BKP--The addition of goat cheese and basil sounds wonderful!

FreeRange Pamela--I'll have to try their version next year.

Anonymous said...

Try Joe Allen's in Abilene. During 4-H state horse shows, Joe Allen's was the place to go.

Anonymous said...

I live in Abilene and thought you would want to know that Harold's has been closed now for quite some time. If you want good Mexican food, go to Los Arcos on Ambler. It's the best in town.

Anonymous said...

Fixed Tomato Pie this evening for dinner, and my husband couldn't stop raving about it:):) Loved it too, what a fun & easy dish to prepare, and it tasted as good as it looked.

dana said...

Just made this last night. Quite excellent!!!

J.W. Whitaker said...

Made 2 of these today to sell at the store. They were well received and easy to make. Good recipe!

Anna said...

I spent my first semester of college in Abilene. Coming from Dallas, I couldn't stand the small town life, and I got out of there as fast as I could. The one and only thing I miss about it still, 12 years later, is Joe Allen's barbecue. I wax nostalgic about it often to my husband.

Alison Bryant said...

This looks realllly yummy.

And to add to the Abilene suggestions: Lucy's Burgers on N. Treadaway. Part of the tastiness comes from the really good homemade buns. Love the blue cheese burger and also the hand-cut fries...so fresh.
And their State Fair-award winning ice cream is very good. They used to be south of Abilene in Tuscola but moved into town due to demand.

I so miss Abilene and am excited to get to travel through there soon! Now I'm hungry.

By the way, hubby and I made the green chile cheese steaks as a special Labor Day meal. So, so good, and we had enough of the queso left over for chips & queso and also smothered burritos. Great recipe.

Kevin said...

This is one really tasty sounding pie!

Anonymous said...

I would second Joe Allen's. We are from Dallas but my husband and I never miss a chance to eat there. At Perini Ranch, the jalapeno cheesecake is a must!

Cro Magnon said...

I'm going to do your Green Tomato Pickle from Oct' 2010. I shall be adding some sugar to the vinegar; I'll let you know how it is.

Kara said...

Checking in for the first time in a while, and pleasantly surprised to see you're headed to Abilene! I'm a former Abilenian, was back for a year recently and lucky to work with one of the best chefs in the area, Joel Trueblood. He and his wife opened a fantastic place in Clyde (about 20 min west) which had the most flavorful food around -- chef-driven, locally focused, "West Texas Nouvelle." The restaurant did very well, but they recently closed to the public due to family priorities. Sorry that you just missed it! The good news -- their food is on the road in Abilene at the Gypsy Blu food truck downtown - every Friday at lunch, and sometimes other days. Haven't had the food from the truck yet (live abroad now), but if it's anything like the restaurant, it will be delicious! (http://www.bonterrablu.com/ or http://gypsyblufood.com/)

Also, I just read about new spot coming to downtown Abilene -- Abi-Haus -- not sure when the doors open. They are offering brunch (!!) - something that's been sorely missing from the local food scene there. Will be interested to hear your thoughts if you try it! (http://www.facebook.com/eatabihaus)

And, I have to echo a couple folks above: For fresh tortillas and breakfast burritos, La Popular cannot be beat! I prefer the location on South 14th & Sayles.

Enjoy!

Kara said...

Yes! also to the Lucy's Burgers blue cheese burger suggestion above!

And, one more: There's a Tex-Mex takeout place called Enchilada Express -- the enchiladas are fine, but their lime-cilantro rice is absolutely fantastic. Could eat a whole meal of just that (and I love enchiladas!).

Crazy Amy said...

I had an abundance of home grown tomatoes sitting on the counter yesterday, so I made this recipe! It is soooo good! thank you again for another wonderful recipe.

Tyrone Barton said...

I saw the picture, but when you said there was bacon in it I was hooked! Love the recipe, and the picture!

Sharon M said...

I made this today, but I think I did something wrong! The crust was more doughy than... crusty. I measured everything to a T. Any suggestions? (BTW, it was still yummy, I just ended up pressing it into the pan instead of rolling it out.)

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Hi Sharon--Not sure what you mean--it's a biscuit crust so it's soft like a biscuit.

Sharon M said...

The consistency of my crust was somewhere between biscuit dough and cornbread batter, so I wasn't able to roll it out. I'm blaming my local overseas butter. It never cooperates with me! :-D Lesson learned; from now on, I'll stick with Lurpak. Still, the food was AMAZING. Our family gobbled the whole thing up. Thanks for another fantastic recipe!

Bobbie//Rebelle said...

Hello!
I just wanted to let you know I featured you on my blog this morning!
Link to the post:
http://dishinwithrebelle.com/food-network-my-addiction/

Shelley said...

These last few delicious posts are for iron (young) stomachs!

Joy Tilton said...

Hey, I have acid pills! Love the spicy ones, after living in Texas we can't tolerate anything too bland. This is the same favorite flavors we have on a pizza.. can't wait to make this!

Anonymous said...

Love your site! Have never commented before but I'm a long time reader. I just had to jump in and say how much I love seeing all these Abilene recommendations! I live in DC now but am from Texas and went to college in Abilene - so this is all making me feel very nostalgic! Thanks for creating a great place for Texans and non-Texans to hang out! (And a giant YES to Perini and La Popular!) - jenn

Alicia said...

Oh I'm so glad that this tomato pie doesn't have mayo! Thank you!

Debra Kapellakis said...

This is a must make recipe for me. :D

lizcline said...

This is amazing! I made this weekend and followed recipe exactly and it was perfect. Served with a bowl of pintos and hamhock! Yum!!!

Bill Harris said...

Wow! This looks fantastic. I had a tomato pie and have been looking for a good recipe. I just came across your blog and it is fantastic!

lilli h said...

I made the pie this past weekend and it is a splendid recipe. The flavors marry wonderfully and because the ingredients are so simple, it has a very light, homey and delicately layered taste. Highly recommend!

Chef Jeff said...

Your food always looks amazing. Thank you for sharing your delicious food with the world.

It is 6:45am and my mouth is watering. Time for a Tomato Pie.

Thanks again,

Jeff

Sara said...

I've had this recipe saved for almost a year, and finally I tried it out yesterday. I replaced jalepenos with hatch green chilis. It was a big winner with my hunnie! Thanks

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