I look forward to the smell of ripe, homegrown tomatoes every year and we are finally getting our first harvest. While a humble tomato sandwich (thick slices of tomato piled on rustic bread with mayo, salt and pepper) is my preferred way to enjoy just-picked tomatoes, I also love this healthier version of tomato pie. The cornmeal crust is light and flavorful and gives structure to the fleshy center. This is a basic recipe that can be adapted to suit your tastes. Add crumbles of cheese to the top or dressed micro greens for a more “finished” presentation. Or just enjoy the simple goodness as I did here. I’m really not much of a baker, so if I can pull this off, you can too!

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Makes 1 Tart
Prep time: 30 minutes

Cornmeal Pie Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1-2 tablespoons ice cold water
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water, for egg wash

For Tart:
4-5 Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced 1/2″ thick
1/2 cup grated hard sheep’s milk cheese (such as Manchego)
flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
fresh ground black pepper
fresh basil, torn into pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare Crust:  Add flour, cornmeal, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the cold cubed butter and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Combine egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of the cold water. With the food processor running, slowly pour in egg mixture, running until mixture begins to form a ball, about 10 seconds. Add more water, if needed. Shape dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
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Place sliced tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Lay slices on a few layers of paper towels to drain for a few minutes. This helps to keep the crust from getting too soggy.
On a floured surface, roll dough out into a round circle, about 12″ in diameter. Carefully transfer dough to a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle grated cheese over the dough, leaving a 2″ rim around the edge. Arrange tomato slices evenly in center of tart and carefully fold the edges of the dough up and onto the tomatoes, making pleats around the edge as you go. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with a healthy pinch of salt and a few fresh grinds of pepper. Brush edges of dough with egg wash. Place tart on the center rack of oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Tart can be served warm or at room temperature. Best served within a few hours of baking.
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No time to make your own crust? See if you can find French Picnic Pie Crust in the freezer section of your local grocery (I can find it at Whole Foods or Lunardi’s).  The wonderful all-butter dough is a perfectly suitable substitute when you’re in a pinch!

 

Meet the Author

Diana

Diana lives in Danville, California with her husband Rob and their two children, Anders and Leah. A chef by trade, her focus now is on preparing easy yet nourishing meals for her family but she still enjoys entertaining her close friends and family with elaborate parties or simple outdoor barbecues. Diana has a passion for travel and loves the process of planning a new adventure but you can usually find her volunteering at schools or sitting on a sideline. Two of her very favorite places in the world are Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina and Hamilton, Montana.

2 comments… add one
  • Anonymous Jun 28, 2016, 8:48 pm

    Question: what’s an egg wash?

    • Diana Jun 28, 2016, 9:39 pm

      Hi there! An egg wash is just an egg that has been thinned with a bit of water, milk, or cream that is brushed onto pastry right before baking to promote browning or to create a glossy shine, or both. Hope that helps!

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