Some of us are tomato snobs – we only eat fresh tomatoes grown in our gardens or sourced from local farms. And once you start eating this way, there’s no going back. If your tomato plants are heavy with sun ripened Roma, Wisconsin 55 and Better Boy varieties, then you’ll want to try this tomato recipe from the Cream Pitcher B&B in Blue River, Wisconsin’s Southwest “Driftless” area.
Heirloom Tomato Pie
1 cup flour
¾ cup yellow cornmeal
¾ tsp salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter cheese (cut into ½-inch pieces)
¾ cup, plus 3 Tbsp shredded Manchego cheese
4 Tbsp ice water
dried beans (as weights)
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2¼ lbs. mixed heirloom tomatoes
¾ cup shredded mozzarella
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
freshly ground pepper
Pulse the flour, cornmeal and salt in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and 3 tablespoons Manchego. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter. Drizzle in 4 tablespoons of ice water and pulse until the dough comes together. Add 1 more tablespoon ice water if necessary. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
Put the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll into a 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9½-inch deep-dish pie plate. Fold the overhang under itself and crimp the edges. Pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Line the crust with foil, then fill with dried beans. Bake until the edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking until golden all over, 10–15 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
For the filling: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Meanwhile, thinly slice the tomatoes. Toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a colander. Let drain about 30 minutes, gently tossing occasionally.
Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Combine the remaining ¾ cup Manchego, mozzarella, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons each chives and parsley, thyme, ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper and the sautéed onion in a bowl. Spread in the crust. Arrange the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with pepper. Bake until the tomatoes are browned, about 50 minutes. Top with remaining 1 tablespoon each chives and parsley.
A ‘long and winding road’ leads you to the Cream Pitcher B&B, in Blue River. Situated among the hills in Richland County (southwest Wisconsin), this unglaciated area offers awesome beauty as well as outdoor activities in every season. There are more than 3 miles of hiking trails through the 100 acres of woodland. Watch deer, turkeys and other wildlife; see and hear many species of birds. Enjoy the creek that flows close by…and the warm hospitality of innkeepers Diane & Vern.