French Tomato Pie (tarte à la tomate)

tarte a la tomate

“I had a steel band, food made with love, and an entire roast pig to look forward to!”

Hello darlings,

I went to the most fabulous brunch last weekend. It was a rare escape from boring small talk and dry conversations about work, commutes, and Burning Man. Instead, this brunch was a joyful celebration of birthdays, anniversaries, and dear friends moving on to their next great adventure (to LA…sigh).

brunch1

Not that any of this mattered much to me, I had only met most of the party-goers a few weeks ago.

I was there for the dancing, the food, the promise of homemade buttermilk biscuits.

brunch4

My love and I had some fresh tomatoes from my mother’s garden, so we decided to bring a simple French classic from Lyon — a tomato pie. I wish I had more pictures to share, but I had no idea the pie would be received so beautifully by the party-goers. People were practically fainting over the rich, buttery flavors of the pie crust paired with the luscious, ripe tomatoes. The contrast was made even stronger with the layer of dijon mustard coating the bottom of the pie. We tossed in some onion caramelized with butter, et voila — a masterpiece.

So please, darling, put your fresh tomatoes to use in this very easy, very popular tarte à la tomate. Best served outside, with a cocktail in your hand, and followed by dancing with your neighbors.

Until next time!

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Tomato Pie with Mustard
tarte à la tomate

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

Pie Crust
1 1/2 c. of flour
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 c. of unsalted butter (one stick)
1/8 to 1/4 c. of cold water

Pie Filling
1 tb of butter
4 oz of French Mustard
3-4 large, ripe tomatoes
Half an onion
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Prepping the Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Grease pie pan (we line ours with parchment paper to keep it clean).
  3. In the bowl of a food processor or a stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  4. With machine running, add cold water in a slow, steady stream. Keep mixing until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to over process. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  5. Roll out your dough on a floured surface. (Flour the rolling pin too!)
  6. Drape the crust into your pie pan, and prick the bottom lightly with a fork. (This prevents the crust from ballooning up while you pre-bake it.)
  7. Bake your pie crust for 5 minutes — this helps the crust stay nice and flaky. (Tip: bake the pie on the lowest rack in your oven to get the bottom to toast up nice and evenly.)
  8. Take the crust out and let it cool while you prep your pie filling.

Pie Filling:

  1. Slice the tomatoes whole and lay flat on a lined baking sheet.
  2. Bake tomatoes in the oven with your pie crust (about 5 minutes). This removes some of the water in the tomato so the pie doesn’t get soggy, and deepens the flavor of your gorgeous tomatoes.
  3. Chop your onion in half rings. Heat up butter in a sauce pan on medium-low.
  4. When butter is fully melted, toss in onions and cook until softened (and a little brown). Should take about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Spread the bottom of pre-baked pie crust with dijon mustard and cover with sliced tomatoes.
  6. Top with caramelized onions, herbes de provence, salt and pepper.
  7. Bake at 375° for about 20 minutes.
  8. Serve warm or room temperature.

Bon appetit!

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