An Obsession: Tomato Pie (Paleo Crust)

Everyone who knows me, knows I live for tomato season.  In fact, I just dragged my sad, half-dead tomato bush into a sunnier spot in hopes it might produce a few more jewels.  I love the smell of ripe tomatoes and I adore them sliced thick, with salt, right out of the garden.  I keep them stacked up in my kitchen window sill all summer and I’ll eat them until my mouth is just about raw.  One of my absolute favorite  treats is tomato pie.  It can be simple with just a bit of cheese and herbs or thick and gooey, layered with loads of cheese and bacon.  You can use a barely there crust, a thick and toothy crust, a gluten-free crust, or no crust at all.  With a crust it can be paired with a salad for a light lunch or dinner, or without a crust it can function as a side dish.  There are so many variations on this dish, you’ll never get tired of it!  This particular recipe is a paleo/gluten-free version that I use most often.

Try switching up your herbs and cheeses:  Asiago and chervil, goat cheese and basil, cheddar with bacon and green onions, or Gruyère and thyme as a few suggestions. you can also play with the thickness of the tomato, whether you keep skins on or off, and whether you remove the seeds or not.  I like to leave the skins and seeds intact and I prefer mine sliced fairly thick.

Tomato Pie with Paleo Crust

For Crust:

  • 3/4 cup almond flour plus 1 TBSP almond flour
  • 2 TBSP coconut flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • cracked black pepper to taste

For Pie Filling:

  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes (the better the tomato, the better the result); cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup Asiago cheese, grated
  • 2 TBSP fresh, chopped basil (can use 2TBSP Garden Gourmet Basil Paste mixed into mayo in a pinch–see pics)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (homemade is best)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flour
  • Cracked black pepper

1.  Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick. Place tomato slices on a double layer of paper towels and salt the top-facing side with 1/4 or so teaspoon salt. Let sit for 10 minutes.  While tomatoes rest, prepare crust.

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Look at those beauties!

2.  While tomatoes rest, add almond flour, coconut flour, salt, and pepper to food processor.  Pulse 5 or so times to combine.  Add coconut oil and egg. Pulse about 10 times until ingredients are thoroughly mixed and dough resembles cookie dough.

IMG_5279

Crumbly paleo crust

3.  Press dough into a 9 inch well-greased pie plate, slightly wetting fingers or spatula if necessary. Dough should be extremely thin. Place dough on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until edges start to brown.

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That once crumbly crust now pressed into the pie plate

3.  While pie crust is baking, flip tomatoes, salt with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and let rest 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, cover with another double layer of paper towels and press firmly to release excess water.

4.  Remove pie crust from oven and let stand 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, spread 1/4 cup mayonnaise on pie crust and sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese, top with 1 TBSP fresh basil.  Sprinkle with coconut flour.

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Here comes the mayo, herbs, and cheese!

5.  Follow with a single layer of tomatoes. Add a second layer of 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup cheese, 1 TBSP fresh basil (or mix your Garden Gourmet Basil Paste with your mayonnaise as shown here), and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coconut flour. Add another single layer of tomatoes. Top with 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of cheese, and cracked black pepper.

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More layering

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Final topping

5.  Return pie to oven and bake for 40 minutes until cheese is melted. Watch closely as a foil collar may be needed to avoid the crust becoming too dark. Let pie stand for a few minutes after removing from oven and before slicing.  Perfect tomatoey heaven.

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A tomato pie I’d fight over!

If you don’t have access to in-season, ripe tomatoes, look for organic vine-ripened varieties at the grocery store.  A day or two on the window sill will get them sweetened up, juicy, and red all the way through.

If you don’t want to use a crust, sprinkle a greased 9 inch pie plate with about 1 tablespoon of almond flour or 1 teaspoon coconut flour and about 1/4 cup of cheese.  Build pie the same after that. This method works best as a side dish as it’s a tad messy (but sooo delicious)!

Also, try switching up your herbs and cheeses:  Asiago and chervil, goat cheese and basil, cheddar with bacon and green onions, or Gruyère and caramelized onions as a few suggestions. You can also play with the thickness of the tomato, whether you keep the skins on or off, and whether you remove the seeds or not.

Enjoy!

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