Sunday, April 30, 2006

Not Quite Apple

This mystery pie was baked to take to a neighbours pre parade party. Without revealing the filling, we asked everyone who tasted to identify the fruit. The responses went like this. “Not quite apple, mango, peach, star fruit, guava?” No. Then there was one guy who upon close scrutiny identified the tomatoes by the colour, texture and seeds then went on to deny his conclusion, “ but its not a tomato pie.” And so it went with every guest who tasted it. This is the way Susan Purdy introduced the recipe, as she was put to the test the first time she tasted a green tomato pie.

adapted from “As Easy as Pie” by Susan G. Purdy.
Advance preparation: The pastry can be prepared ahead and frozen. Complete unbaked pies can also be frozen, though the texture is best when freshly baked.

Special equipment: 9 inch pie plate; pastry brush; large saucepan; colander; aluminium foil strips or frame
Baking time: 425 degrees for 20 minutes; 375 degrees
for 35 to 40 minutes.
Quantity: One 9 inch pie.
Unbaked pastry for 2-crust, 9-inch pie made with Basic All-Purpose Flaky Pastry or Cheddar Cheese Pastry Variation or Whole Wheat Pastry

Peeling the tomatoes is easy to do. Cooks note: I made an “x” on the bottom of each tomato before plunging it into the boiling water for one minute or a little longer. No ice bath necessary. Rest in a colander for a few minutes, core and peel. Some of my tomatoes were a blush color instead of green, but it did not seem to effect the flavour of the pie.

Green Tomato Pie
  • Egg glaze: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons crushed corn flakes or Rice Krispies cereal
  • 4 cups peeled, sliced green tomatoes,
    (5 to 6 medium-large tomatoes)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • Juice and grated zest of I lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 5 tablespoon flour plus I tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca

    1) Prepare your favourite pie pastry as directed. Note: when you choose a pie pastry I would not advise one that adds sugar as the crust browns very quickly with this pie baking technique. Roll out half of it, and line the pie plate. Refrigerate the remaining dough. Trim a 1/2 inch overhang on pie plate. Brush the lower crust with moisture-proofing egg glaze and sprinkle with cereal crumbs. Chill the pastry-lined pan in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
    2) To peel the tomatoes, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut a cross shaped slit in the skin at the bottom of each tomato. Immerse the tomatoes in the boiling water 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, then cut around the stem ends and peel the skin. Quarter the tomatoes, then cut them in 3/8 inch thick slices and drain them thoroughly in a colander. Put the slices in a bowl.
    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
    3) Add to the tomatoes the sugar, grated zest and juice of lemon, the spices, flour and tapioca. Stir gently. Note that while tomatoes vary greatly, they all contain a lot of water. For this reason, sufficient thickener must be used or the pie will
    be too runny.
    4) Fill the pastry with the prepared tomato mixture. Brush egg glaze around the rim of the lower crust. Roll out the top crust and fit it over the fruit. Trim a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold the top edge under the bottom crust overhang and pinch together to seal, making a raised rim all around. Flute the edge as desired. Cut vent holes in the top. Brush egg glaze over the pie top and sprinkle lightly with a little granulated sugar.
    5) Set the pie in the lower third of the preheated oven and
    bake 20 minutes.
    Reduce the heat to 375 degrees, raise the pie to the centre
    of the oven, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Check the pie after half the baking time and add a foil edging if necessary to protect the crust from over browning. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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