As expressed by Food and Wine, when they featured my tomato pie on Instagram recently, “it really wouldn’t be summer without plenty of fresh tomatoes.” And what better way to make your tomatoes shine than with a beautiful tomato pastry that is just as delicious as it is photogenic? This recipe will be sure to impress your lunch or dinner guests, giving the impression that you have spent hours slaving in the kitchen. In reality, however, this delicious tomato pie is a breeze to make. With no need for working your dough or decorating it with fancy techniques, a last minute meal can turn out to be quite special.
As mentioned in previous galette/pie recipes. The key to getting a flaky and soft crust as opposed to a really crumbly one is to not work the dough. Bits of butter should be visible up until the pie goes in the oven. Maintain gentle hands and the ingredients will do the rest.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
For the Pie Dough:
1 1/4 cups/180 gr. all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 stick/113 gr. cold butter, cut into cubes
1 large cold egg, whisked
1 teaspoon cold lemon juice
2-4 tablespoons iced water
For the Filling:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
3 cups/ 25 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
few sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup good mozzarella, sliced or shredded, or melting cheese of choice
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
good grinding of pepper
1 egg, beaten
1. Mix together the flour, salt, and sugar. Combine the flour mixture and cubed butter in a food processor. Blitz just until the butter is broken down into chickpea-sized chunks. Add the egg, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of water. Blitz or pulse the mixture just enough to combine. The butter should still be visibly separated. Feel the dough to see if it comes together. If it still feels dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of cold water and blitz to combine. *The key to a soft and flaky dough is to avoid over-mixing it. Briefly shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and leave to chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
2. In the meantime, cook the sliced onion in olive oil and a generous pinch of salt over medium heat while stirring often. Cook until the onion is soft, transparent, and slightly golden. Leave to cool.
3. Preheat oven to 200C/400 F. Toss together the cherry tomatoes, garlic, generous pinch salt, thyme, and balsamic. Roll out the chilled dough over parchment paper so that it is about 11-12 in. in diameter and about 1/8 in. (4mm) thick – the butter should still be visible. Transfer the dough with the parchment paper to a large baking pan. Place the caramelized onion in the center of the dough, leaving a 2 in. border surrounding the filling. Layer the mozzarella and parmesan over the top, and then add the cherry tomatoes with garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Gently fold the border of the dough over the filling in any style you want – messy is okay. Brush a light layer of the beaten egg over the outside crust.
4. Bake the pie for 40-45 minutes or until golden and thoroughly cooked. Garnish with grated parmesan, fresh basil, and zaa’tar. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.