Layered Tomato Pie with Cheese, Bacon, and Caramelized Onions

tomato pie slicesAs the holidays are approaching, we were looking for a filling, comforting, super yummy entree, that is not too complicated to make and looks great too. Et Voila! – we came up with Layered Tomato Pie, enriched with a cheese mix, crispy bacon, caramelized onions, basil, mayo, and hot sauce for a nice kick. The homemade buttery crust makes it extra special and worth the effort. It is a great dish for any holiday gathering, and it holds well in a picnic setting (if the weather still allows.)

Lacanche Tips:

Cluny Range in SnohomishI cooked the pie on a Cluny range, (in ivory color, and brass trim). The baking was perfect in the gas oven; I like to cook everything that has meat in it in the gas oven since it retains moisture so well. The griddle plate is extra handy with its splatter guard, keeping all that bacon grease pretty contained. Caramelizing the onions would have been better with a lower heat than the 15,000 BTU burner. In hindsight I would suggest using a simmer plate or a lower heat burner like the 5000 BTU instead.

Paris is a movable Feast

Ernst Hemingway

This is one of life’s pleasures: eating the freshest, most appetizing ingredients outdoors, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world! I was inspired to make the tomato pie by my picnic experience in Paris a couple of months ago.

I knew that back home I would want to duplicate my picnic joy.  I looked for a homemade dish, that I can cook on our Lacanche, and came up with the easily portable tomato pie. Just outside our Art Culinaire headquarters, located on the banks of the Snohomish river, I had my Pacific Northwest version of that Parisian experience.

Layered Tomato Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 heaped teaspoon sugar
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (for the pie crust)
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter (for caramelizing the onions)
  • 4-5 tomatoes, roughly chopped to 1/2'' pieces
  • handful basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack (you can use any combination of cheese you like)
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (like Tabasco)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12oz uncured bacon (could be smoked or non smoked. Any bacon will taste great in our opinion)

Note

You can easily make this pie with a store bought shell and opt out of bacon to make it a vegetarian dish.

Directions

Step 1
sugar flour mix for crust
For the pie crust, mix the flour with the salt and sugar.
Step 2
butter flour mix for pie crust
Add the butter and water in batches. You can use a mixer or use your hands. Work the dough until the ingredients are blended but don't over mix. Shape the dough into a disc, and cool in the fridge for approximately an hour. After an hour the dough is ready to roll. Spread flour on your working surface. Flatten the dough to fit a 9'' baking dish. Place the dough snuggly into the dish.
Step 3
Pre heat the gas oven to 350F degrees. It will take roughly 25-30 minutes to reach the desired temperature.

Pre heat the Griddle Plate over the two 11,000 BTU burners for even heat. This will take 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime, melt two tablespoons butter. Add the chopped onion. Caramelize the onions, stirring them frequently for 10-15 minutes on low heat, until nicely browned but not burned.
Step 4
bacon cooked on splatter guard
When the Griddle Plate is ready, place the bacon and cook until crispy (careful not to burn it).

Place the cooked bacon on a plate covered with a paper towel and allow it to drain from any excess grease.
Step 5
chopped tomatoes
Place the tomatoes in a colander, over a bowl. Squeeze the moisture out of the tomatoes by pressing on them with a paper towel. Discard the juice.

Mix the two kinds of cheese in a bowl.
Mix the mayo with the hot sauce.

I used one cup of the cheese mixture by itself and one cup of the cheese blend, mixed with the mayo and hot sauce.
Step 6
holding the tomato pie
Layer the ingredients on the pie crust in stages. Use any order you like.

Here is what I did:
1. Caramelized onions
2. Bacon
3. Tomato & basil
4. Cheese mixture (with no mayo & hot sauce)
5. Bacon
6. Cheese mixture (with the mayo and hot sauce)
7. Tomato & basil

Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, until browned and bubbly.
Step 7
pie in the oven
This pie is great with a side of green salad and a bottle of dry crisp white wine or a rose. Enjoy indoors or outdoors!