August 12, 2010
People have been bringing me tomatoes – fat, gorgeous red orbs, like Christmas ornaments – and this morning when I went into the kitchen the aroma just reached up and hugged me. I suddenly had this sharp taste memory of James Beard’s Tomato Pie – a dish I used to make all the time when I was in my twenties. I haven’t had it in years, but I had this urgent need to taste it, right now.
James Beard’s Tomato Pie
Begin by making biscuit dough. (I like buttermilk biscuits for this recipe, although any biscuit will do – even the ones that are in the freezer case of your supermarket.)
Buttermilk Parsley Biscuits
Combine 2 cups of flour with 2 and a half teaspoons of baking powder and a half teaspoon each of salt and baking soda. Cut in 1/3 cup of butter until it’s the size of peas, and add a little flurry of chopped parsley (mostly it looks pretty). Stir in ¾ cups of buttermilk until the dough holds together, turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few minutes. Pat it into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan.
Cover the biscuits with 4 to 6 ripe tomatoes, sliced into nice fat rounds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Shower a couple of tablespoons of shredded basil on top.
Mix a cup or so of grated Cheddar cheese with a cup and a half of mayonnaise and spread the mixture on top of the tomatoes.
Bake at 375 for about 35 minutes, or until it is golden brown.
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