Tomato, Basil and Cheese Pie
This was is a frequent favorite during tomato season. Don't be intimidated by having to make a tart crust; they aren't actually that difficult. After all, you do most of the work in the food processor.
- One 10-inch tart crust (see below), prebaked
- 3 lg tomatoes, sliced 3/8 inch thick (1½ pounds)
- 1 c fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
- ½ c small-curd cottage cheese
- 2 lg eggs
- ½ c mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated or chopped
- ½ c Parmesan cheese, grated
- Oil, for brushing tomatoes on top of the pie
- Prepare the tart crust and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Lightly sprinkle the tomato slices with salt on both sides. Set the slices on paper towels to absorb the liquid as the slices drain. Set aside.
- Place the basil, cottage cheese, and eggs in a food processor and blend until well combined. Add the mozzarella, Parmesan, and ½ t salt and continue blending until well mixed.
- To assemble the pie, pat the tomato slices dry and line the bottom of the pie shell with the end pieces. Spoon the cheese mixture over them and spread to smooth. Arrange the remaining tomato slices in one overlapping layer over the top of the cheese mixture. Brush the top layer of tomato slices with a little oil and place the pie in the oven.
- Bake until the edges of the crust are crispy and golden and the cheese mixture is firm enough that a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove and let cool for about 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cover and store in the refrigerator and serve the next day.
Easy Tart Crust
- 1½ c all-purpose flour
- ¼ t salt
- 8 T (1 stick) butter
- 2 to 2½ T water
Note: The dough can also be mixed by hand. You will need slightly more water with this method.
- Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Cut in the butter and pulse several times until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Continue to pulse while adding the water 1 T at a time until the dough adheres to itself when pinched.
- Gather the dough into a ball and set the ball on a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and roll the dough into an 11- to 13-inch circle. Remove the top shet and turn the dough into a 10- to 12- inch tart or pie pan, pushing gently into the corners and up the sides. Place in the refrigerator to chill before baking, up to overnight. If chilling overnight, remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.