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Fresh Tomato and Apple Pie

From Apple Pie Perfect: 100 Delicious and Decidedly Different Recipes for America's Favorite Pie

"... Be thoroughly delighted when you discover for yourself how good [this pie] tastes," raves Haedrich. "And that's not just me talking. I've actually served this pie at gatherings, intentionally not divulging the secret ingredient (fresh tomatoes), to see how people respond. If someone asks what 'the red pieces' are, I simply say, 'Take a guess.' And guess they do, including fresh currants, raspberries and strawberries.”

1 recipe Best Butter Pie Pastry, refrigerated (see note)

2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, sugar
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
7 cups peeled, cored and sliced Granny Smith apples
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh lemon thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch


1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Yields 8 to 10 servings


On a large sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the pastry into a 13-1/2-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Center it, then peel off the paper. Tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and sculpt the edge into an upstanding ridge. Place the pie shell in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, 1/2 cup of the sugar and the lemon juice and zest. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Add the apples and thyme to the tomato mixture and toss well. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the cornstarch in a small mixing bowl. Add to the fruit and toss well. Turn the filling into the frozen pie shell, smoothing the top of the fruit with your clean hands. Place the pie directly on the center oven rack and back for 30 minutes.

While the pie backs, make the topping. Put the flour, sugar, salt and nutmeg in a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Remove the lid and scatter the butter pieces over the dry mixture. Pulse the machine repeatedly, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Dump crumbs into a large mixing bowl and rub them together with your fingertips to make large, buttery crumbs. Refrigerate.

Remove the pie from the oven and place it on a large, dark baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F. Carefully dump the topping in the center of the pie and spread it evenly with a knife over the surface, tamping it down lightly. Put the pie on the baking sheet back on the center rack and bake until any juices—visible near the edge of the pie —bubble thickly, another 30 to 35 minutes.

Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Note: After preparing the pastry, it should be refrigerated until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.




(Updated: 10/28/08 SN)

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