Makes 6 Servings
Hands-On Time: 30 Minutes
Total Preparation Time: 65 Minutes
sautéed summer squash or corn on the cob
Basic Butter Pastry (recipe follows) or store-bought pastry for a single-crust pie
1 pound small ripe tomatoes
8 slices bacon (see Cooks Notes)
1 medium onion
3 large eggs
3/4 c whole milk
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 c Boston lettuce leaves
Creamy Garlic Dressing Two Ways (recipe below) or store-bought dressing
1. Prepare the Basic Butter Pastry and set half aside while you make the filling. (Freeze the remaining half for another use.)
2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the tomatoes 1/4 inch thick and sprinkle the slices on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt. Arrange them on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet to drain.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the bacon and cook for about 7 minutes, or until crisp. Meanwhile, thinly slice the onion (about 1 cup). Roll out the pastry between lightly floured sheets of plastic wrap to make an 11-inch round. Fit the round into a 9-inch pie plate. Fold the edges in; press firmly, forming a double-thick edge, and flute.
4. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and reserve it for another use. Add the onion to the fat in the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
5. Pat the tomatoes dry with paper towels. Layer half of the onion into the crust. Crumble half the bacon over the onion and top with half the tomatoes. Repeat the layering with the remaining onion, bacon, and tomatoes.
6. Beat the eggs, milk, mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the black pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl to blend; pour the mixture over the tomato slices.
7. Bake the pie until the filling is set in the center, about 35 minutes.
8. While the pie is baking, break the lettuce into bite-size pieces. Prepare the dressing.
9. To serve, cut the pie into 6 wedges, place each wedge on a serving plate, and top with about 1/2 cup greens drizzled with some of the dressing.
Basic Butter Pastry with Variations
Makes enough pastry for Two 9-Inch Pie Shells or 1 Double-Crust Pie
Hands-On Time: 20 Minutes
Total Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 t table salt
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with chopping blade. Cut the butter into 1/8-inch-thick slices and add to the flour mixture. Pulse 10 to 12 times, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Beat the yolks with 2 tablespoons ice water and add to the mixture; pulse 4 to 5 times, until a crumbly mixture forms. Press the mixture together to form a ball, adding more water, if necessary, to make it manageable.
3. You can immediately roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface (or between lightly floured sheets of plastic wrap) or preferably if you have the time, chill the dough for 1 hour before rolling it out. That allows the gluten in the flour to relax, ensuring a tender crust.
4. Use the pastry as directed in a recipe or divide it in half, shape it into balls and flatten slightly. Wrap the flattened rounds tightly in freezer wrap and freeze until firm for later use. Use within 3 months.
Sweet Variation: Add ¼ cup sugar to the flour mixture and ½ to 1 teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract to the egg mixture.
Savory Variation: Add ½ teaspoon dried basil, oregano, thyme, dill, or your favorite dried herb mixture to the flour mixture.
Creamy Garlic Dressing
Makes about 2/3 cup
2 T sherry vinegar
2 t Dijon mustard
¼ t kosher salt
1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove
¼ c heavy cream, plain low-fat or full- fat yogurt or buttermilk
¼ c extra virgin olive oil
Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small
bowl until the salt has dissolved. Press the garlic (about 1 teaspoon)
into the mixture. Gradually whisk in the cream and then the olive oil.
Store in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Tips for making perfect pie dough:
1. Make sure all your ingredients are very cold
2. Measure your flour by spooning it loosely into the measuring cup and then leveling it off (don’t pack it into the cup)
3. If you want the finished pie to have a nice shaped edge use a combination of butter and shortening, (I prefer the flavor of 100% butter)
4. Mix in the cold butter just until you have butter pieces the size of peas
5. Don’t add too much water
6. Don’t overwork the dough
7. Let the dough rest for an hour after you make it
8. Lightly sprinkle the counter with flour when you roll out the dough, don’t use too much flour and work quickly
9. If the dough gets soft while you are rolling it out put in the fridge to set up for a minute
10. When you put the rolled out dough in the pie plate, ease it in, don’t stretch it to fit the pie plate.
11. Let the dough rest for an hour after you roll it out, before you bake it
What kind of flour works best? You can use all unbleached all-purpose flour or pastry flour. King Arthur makes both kinds as well as an organic version of unbleached all-purpose.
My favorite brand of bacon is Niman Ranch but Nueskes is also right up there.