Pesto Tomato Pie
Yield: 1 pie
Specialty ingredients: Vegan mozzarella, veg parmesan, veg mayonnaise
To be completely up front with you, this pie is a labor of love in the truest form. It’s not a pie that you just slice some things for, throw it in a crust, bake, and call it a day. No, she’s not like that. But if you take the time to get to know her, you’ll find that all the components you had to understand were well worth it.
I’ve made Tomato Pie in the past and it was perfectly tasty with the traditional pie crust, but my mind always leads me to other potential combinations and I had never had a pesto pie crust...So here we are!
To sum up all steps: Prep pesto, prepare crust, freeze crust, blind bake crust, deseed, core, and dice twelve tomatoes, marinate + bake half of the diced tomatoes, let the other half drain, caramelize onions, prepare cheese + mayo layer, slice tomatoes, assemble, bake.
You pretty much can’t stop eating this tomato pie until you’ve made yourself physically uncomfortable. I think it’s the perfect pie to make for a date because it’s not only delicious, but it’s charming. Dinner in a pie! What a guy!
Make Pesto Crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup very cold vegan butter, cubed
1/4 cup cold pesto
3-4 tablespoons ice water
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1.) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and nutmeg.
2.) Add in the vegan butter. Mix the butter, using your fingers, to help break the butter down into the flour. Continue to do this until the butter is well blended into the flour.
3.) Add in the pesto. Incorporate with your hands, again. Mix until the flour has become course meal and is evenly colored green, making sure to break down any blobs of pesto.
4.) One tablespoon at a time, add in the water. Keep adding water until the dough comes together when pinched. You want to be careful to add just enough water. If you add too much, the dough will be less flaky and more tough.
5.) Press dough into a ball and roll out on parchment paper into a 12 inch circle. Transfer to a pie tin or dish. Press evenly, and pinch the borders.
6.) Store in freezer for 15 minutes or until you’re ready to bake the crust.
7.) Cover your pie loosely with parchment paper or foil, making sure the edges of the pie are covered. Spread pie weights or died beans over the paper or foil.
8.) Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Make sure the center of the crust is cooked through, and not still doughy. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.
Make Tomato Filling:
Tomato + Cheese Filling adapted from Saveur’s Recipe
12 vine-ripe tomatoes-cored, seeded, and cut into 1⁄2-inch dice, divided
2 tsp. salt, divided
1 tsp sugar, divided
1 tbsp vegan butter
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup unsalted tomato paste
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp fresh parsley
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup packed whole basil leaves
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/3 cup vegan Parmesan (I used Go Veggie)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Tomatoes for tomato slice topping, thinly sliced + blotted with paper towels
1.) Toss half of the diced tomatoes with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar. Set them over a colander to drain while you get everything else ready, at least an hour.
2.) Lower your oven to 375°. In a medium sauté pan or skillet, melt the butter and then add the onion and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium-low heat until deeply caramelized. This will take about 45 minutes. If the onion gets away from you and burns a little, add 1⁄4 cup of water to the pan, scrape up the overbrowned bits, and keep going.
3.) Toss the remaining diced tomatoes with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, thyme, parsley, garlic, and olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a parchment paper lined sheet tray with as much room separating the individual pieces as possible. Roast for 30-35 minutes or until the tomatoes are slightly browned and the juices have mostly dried out.
4.) In a large bowl, stir together the onion, roasted tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, sugar, black pepper, and basil until nicely combined.
5.) In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, parmesan, mozzarella, and lemon juice.
6.) Spread the tomato filling onto the pre-baked crust. Use a spatula to carefully spread the cheese mixture evenly over the tomato filling. Place the tomato slices over the cheese mixture.
7.) Pop the pie in the oven at 375 degrees and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese looks nice and golden. Allow to cool for about fifteen minutes before serving.