Thanks to the recent publication of A Year of Pies we’ve been raving about pies around the office lately. But who doesn’t love a buttery, flaky, heaven-filled pie, hot from the oven? For a little glimpse into the book from my earlier post, just click here. Well, today is your lucky day. In celebration of the book’s publication we wanted to offer you all a tasty free recipe right from the pages of the book.
If you’re like me, you want to get every last precious home-grown tomato out of your garden before the season is over. In most cases, that means pulling some of those not-yet-ripened green maters off the vine and finding creative (and delicious) means to showcase their savory, slightly sour goodness. Well, grab some of those gorgeous green globes, a tart pan, and get ready for a recipe that is sure to tickle your taste buds, garner a shower of compliments, and have you looking at pie in an entirely new light. Author Ashley English highlights two quintessential Southern classics here: friend green tomatoes and homemade pimento cheese. Salivating yet? Yeah, I thought so.
Fried Green Tomato and Pimento Cheese Tart
Makes: One 11-inch tart (or 6 to 8 servings)
You will need
½ recipe Basic Pie Dough (see bottom of post)
11-inch tart pan with removable bottom
Fried green tomatoes
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into slices 1/3-inch thick
¼ cup peanut oil
8 ounces cheddar cheese
1 roasted red pepper, diced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon paprika
1 slice bacon, cooked till crisp and crumbled (optional)
2 to 3 large basil leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Prepare the crust
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and fit it into the tart pan. Trim the overhang to 1 inch, then fold it inside the tart pan, pressing it against the pan’s fluted sides. Prick the bottom of the crust 6 or 7 times with a fork, then place the crust in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the dried beans or pie weights and parchment paper from the crust, and cool it completely before filling.
Prepare the tomatoes
Beat the eggs with the milk in a medium-size bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, granulated garlic, paprika, and salt. Dip each tomato slice into the egg mixture, then in the flour mixture, repeating the process once. Place the dredged tomato slices on a platter as they are completed. Heat the peanut oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and fry for about 5 minutes per side until lightly browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the tomato slices with tongs to a paper towel–lined platter.
Prepare the Pimento Cheese
Coarsely grate the cheddar cheese and combine with the red pepper, mayo, paprika, and bacon (if desired) in a food processor. Puree until smooth.
Assemble the Tart
Spoon the pimento cheese into the prepared crust, smoothing it level with a spatula. Carefully place the largest fried green tomato slice in the center of the tart. Cut the rest of the slices in half and arrange the halves radiating out from the tomato in the center toward the edge. Roll the basil leaves into a cylinder and cut into thin strips. Scatter this basil chiffonade evenly over the surface of the tart. Serve chilled or at room temperature, removing the sides of the pan before serving.
Basic Pie Dough Recipe (All-Butter Version)
This all-butter crust is unrivaled in terms of flavor. It’s also quite flaky, despite having no shortening. The secret is to work with very cold butter. I keep all of my butter in the freezer, transferring it to the refrigerator overnight or several hours before I intend to make pie dough. Work quickly, with cold hands on a cool work surface, and you’ll end up with a crust that’s as flaky as it is scrumptious.
Makes: Dough for one double-crust pie
You will need
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
¾ cup ice water
Mix the flour and salt together in a medium-large bowl. Using a pastry blender or two forks, incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal (you should still have some rather large bits of butter and shortening when you’re done). Slowly drizzle in the ice water. Stir with a large spoon until the dough begins to clump. Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface and, using your hands, fold it into itself until all of the flour is incorporated into the fats. The dough should come together easily but should not feel overly sticky. Divide the dough in half, shape it into two balls, and pat each ball into a ½-inch thick disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap (or try the alternative tip on page 22) and refrigerate for at least an hour.