This recipe is inspired by a Better Home and Garden recipe, with extra extra flaky crust(s) and we think it works with heirloom toms or cherry toms! Try it and tell us what you think!
What you will need:
- 6 strips bacon
- 1 15 ounce package rolled refrigerated unbaked piecrust (2 crust) (or see recipe below for making your own crust)
- 2/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes or roasted heirloom tomatos
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced leaf lettuce
- Lemon wedges (optional)
Directions for making the crust (if not buying it right out)
1 cup unsalted butter, cold
2 cups all- purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 to 5 tablespoons, ice water
Directions for making the crust:
1. Cut the butter into 1/2-in/12-mm cubes, and freeze them while you measure and mix the dry ingredients.
2. To make the dough in a food processor: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the processor and pulse three or four times to mix. Retrieve the butter cubes from the freezer, scatter them over the flour mixture, and pulse until the mixture forms pea-size clumps. Add the ice water, 1 tbsp at a time, and pulse to mix, adding just enough water for the dough to come together.
To make the dough by hand: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Retrieve the butter cubes from the freezer and distribute them evenly in the flour mixture, coating them with the flour mixture. Sink your fingers into the mixture and begin pinching the butter and flour together, making thin, floury disks of the butter. Continue working the mixture until the butter is broken down first into floury pea-sized beads and then into a loose mixture that resembles wet sand. Drizzle in 3 tbsp of the ice water and use your hand like a comb to mix in the liquid just until the dough holds together. If necessary, add additional water, 1 tbsp at a time, until the dough comes together in a crumbly mass.
3. Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured work surface or sheet of parchment paper. Gather the dough together in a mound, then knead it a few times to smooth it out. Divide it in half, and gently pat and press each half into a rough circle, about 1 in/2.5 cm thick. Lay wax or parchment paper in two pie pans and lay the dough in each. Wrap in plastic wrap or in the wax/parchment paper and put in freezer for 30 minutes.
Directions for making the Pie
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the pie crusts from the freezer, and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. In a large skillet cook bacon until just done but not crisp. Transfer to paper towel. Reserve 1 Tbsp. bacon drippings in skillet; set aside. Make sure to save that leftover (if any) intoxicating fat for another time!
On a lightly floured surface, stack the two piecrusts. Roll from center to edges to form a 12-inch circle. Wrap pastry around a rolling pin; unroll pastry into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. (Sides should be 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep). Ease pastry into pie plate, allowing edges to form a loose ruffled or scalloped effect. Gently press pastry into the bottom of pie plate. Sides will not lay flat against pie plate.
Prick bottom of pastry. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil; bake 10 minutes.
Remove foil; bake 5 minutes more. Remove, and reduce heat to 375 degrees F.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese over the piecrust.
Place half the bacon slices around the edge of the crust. Set aside.
Cook onion in reserved bacon dripping over medium heat until tender. Drain drippings. Set aside.
Halve 2 cups of the cherry tomatoes, leaving the remaining 2 cups whole. Place the halved and whole tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Alternatively roast heirloom tomatoes (see directions in step 2 of this recipe) and slice to 1/2 inch segments and put in a large mixing bowl.
Add olive oil, 2 Tbsp. of the basil, salt, and 1/4 tsp. of the pepper. Stir to combine.
In a separate bowl beat together cream cheese, mayonnaise, egg yolk, cooked onion, lemon peel, and remaining Parmesan, basil, and pepper. Spoon cream cheese mixture into piecrust.
Top with tomato mixture.
Nestle the remaining bacon slices among the tomatoes, weaving bacon between tomatoes. Gently press tomatoes and bacon into the cream cheese mixture. Bake pie until cherry tomatoes just begin to brown or the crust browns and becomes flakey when you touch it, about 35 minutes. (Loosely cover pie with foil if edges brown too quickly, say 15 minutes.) Let stand 60 minutes. Top with leaf lettuce and serve with lemon wedges for a little bit of zest.