I think tomato pie must be a Southern thing, because I' never heard of it before moving down to Virginia. The idea of a tomato pie struck me as kind of gross, but since it's here in the book, I had to make it. Damn, I'm glad I did!!
What did I learn from this recipe?
Holy hell, this is not an appetizer...this is your main course!
I had store bought tomatoes and homegrown tomatoes from Nicole the Knitter. I told her about making this pie, she said she'd never had it and gave me tomatoes to make one for her. When everything was said and done, I had enough to make 2 regular pies (1 with store bought for me, 1 with homegrown for her) and 1 little pie (with homegrown for me), because the pie crusts I'd bought were just a touch too big for my pie pans, so I put the extra to good use.
Until I started eating these homegrown tomatoes, I couldn't tell the difference between them and store bought by taste. Now, the store bought ones taste so mealy and mushy.
Don't get me wrong, the store bought tomatoes still made a good pie but just not as good as it could have been. And the homegrown tomatoes bake up in the pie shells a lot juicier than the store bought ones. You could easily see the difference between the two. I had to carefully drain some of the juices from those pies before doing anything with them.
Plus, one good thing to point about the homegrown tomatoes and this recipe: it's a good way to put some ugly produce to good use. "They may not be pretty, but they're still perfectly tasty and nutritious. And there are lots of efforts to keep these cosmetically challenged foods (think gnarled carrots, or funky, misshapen apples) from landing in the landfill because they don't meet retailers' beauty standards."
Sam says to slice the tomatoes. I think the next time, I'll just cut them into wedges and then mix the goat cheese throughout it, instead of putting it just on the top.