Thursday, June 4, 2020

Tomato Pie with Cornmeal Crust #recipe @LucyBurdette

 LUCY BURDETTEI think by now most of you have heard that The Key Lime Crime will be in bookstores everywhere this summer--because of the impact of the virus on the publishing business, it will now be out in August. So that's a little disappointing, but I hope you'll find it worth the wait!

For now let's turn our attention to the summer tomato season. In our house anyway, we wait all year for perfect garden tomatoes. We've just put our plants in, but pretty soon they will start rolling in and it will be hard to know how to use them all. This tomato pie is a wonderful addition to your tomato recipe folder. Use any tomatoes that are ripe and delicious, they can be full sized or small. If you’re in a pinch, you could go for a store-bought pie crust. But we think the cornmeal crust added an incredible crunch. This isn’t a dietetic recipe but it sure is delicious!

Ingredients for the crust:

 1/2 cup cornmeal
 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
 6 Tbsp salted butter, cold
 3 tablespoons cold water, more as needed

Ingredients for the tomato filling:

Tomatoes, 2-2 and ½ cups
1 large onion
8-12 leaves fresh basil
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup mayonnaise or 1/3 cup plus one egg
½-1 tsp hot sauce

Cut the onions into dice and sauté them in a bit of olive oil over low heat until caramelized. (about 15 minutes)

Cut the tomatoes into chunks, squeeze out the seeds and juice, and sprinkle with a little salt. Leave this in a colander to drain while you work on the crust.

Preheat the oven to 350.

You can use a store-bought pie crust if you’re in a hurry, but the cornmeal adds crunch and a wonderful flavor!

For the cornmeal crust, pulse together the cornmeal and flour in a food processor. Cut the cold butter into chunks, add them to the flour mixture, and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Don’t over work it or the crust will be tough. Add the water one tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each. Stop adding water when the dough comes together in your fingers. (I needed a little more than 3 tablespoons.) Knead the dough into a disk and refrigerate for 15 minutes or so. Roll it out between two pieces of parchment or wax paper and place into a glass pie pan. Freeze the pan for half an hour, then line with foil and pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake another ten minutes.

Squeeze any remaining liquid from the tomatoes with a paper towel. Place the caramelized onions in the bottom of the pan, followed by the tomatoes. Sprinkle with slivered basil.

Stir together the mayo and egg if using, then beat in the cheese and hot sauce. Spread this over top of the tomatoes. Grind some fresh black pepper over the top and bake for about a half an hour until the filling is browning and bubbling.

Serve hot or room temperature with a green salad.

Only two months until the next book in the Key West food critic mystery series will arrive in bookstores everywhere! THE KEY LIME CRIME (July 2020) is available for pre-order now!

You can order it at an independent bookstoreBarnes and Noble, Amazon, and anywhere books are sold!

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mystery series, featuring fiesty food critic Hayley Snow. Number 9, A DEADLY FEAST, is in stores and online everywhere. THE KEY LIME CRIME will be published next summer. Early reviews are rolling in...


  1. This sounds wonderful!
    Draining the tomatoes is key, I imagine. Otherwise you would end up with a soupy mess.
    That picture of the pie with the tomatoes and basil (before adding the topping) is really pretty.

    1. Yes draining the tomatoes is Key! thanks for the nice comments Libby!

  2. Cute cover. Will watch for the book. I have never heard of tomato pie. That looks like a great summer dish. Our tomato plants will probably be done for the season when yours are ready. Mine have been in for 2 months already and I have many cherry tomatoes and waiting on some big boys that are not ripe yet. Book and pie look great.

  3. Great recipe just as is. Just for fun, after munching down the first pie, I made a corn meal crust & roasted the tomatoes. Thanks for sharing!