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  • By Alex Hitz for Quest Magazine

Heirloom Tomato Pie

You’re discerning, worldly, stylish, and savvy. You get it. You know that late August and September are the ULTIMATE season for tomatoes, and even though you’re accustomed to seeing them all year long, you---the connoisseur---wouldn’t dream of serving them any other time. To paraphrase Mr. Wilde…“Your tastes are simple. You are always satisfied with the best.”

The glory of this scrumptious, gorgeous pie lies in its versatility. Make it ahead and serve it warm or cold. Mix the varieties of tomatoes if you’re not stuck on heirlooms: cherries with grapes with vine-ripes with yellows with greens with Beefsteaks—whatever! The tomatoes that provide automatic variety in size, color, and deliciousness are the Heirlooms, which are why I call this dish what I do, but honestly, there’s simply no way to go wrong here. You’ll see what I mean.

And now a secret: I make pies, quiches, and tarts, in rectangular sheet pans instead of those hard to deal with and awful—at least for me as I’m a bit of a klutz on the baking front---round pie plates. This simple adjustment has transformed me into a pro, and I know it will you, too. Just double the crust and fillings from any 8 or 9-inch pie recipe and you’ll have the proper quantities for a 9x13 quarter sheet pan. Then, when you go to cut your scrumptious whatevers, use cookie or biscuit cutters for any-size elegant rounds, a knife for squares, or “fingers,” and PRESTO!!! Just like that you’ll transform sheets of savory or sweet pies, quiches, or tarts into sumptuous first courses, magnificent side dishes, or decadent passed hors d’oeuvres and desserts. All at the drop of a hat. See how easy that was?

I’m going to recommend you make your own mayonnaise here because it’s always better, and pie crust, but if not this dish will still be delicious. Here’s my recipe “Pate Brisee.” Try it because there’s really nothing to it, but if you’re not swayed, go ahead and buy a pre-made dough that you can roll out. Just make sure it’s all natural and made with only butter, please. And always remember: the better the ingredients you start with, the better any dish you make will be. The best recipe in the world? Quality plus tender loving care. That’s one I stand behind 500% percent.

-- Alex hitz

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