Not surprisingly, I don’t talk much about high school on this blog. After all, I graduated seven years ago and way before I started this blog. For my junior and senior years of high school, I attended a New England boarding school, which was an amazing experience. I met people from around the world and was surrounded by ridiculously smart and talented people. The school was tucked away in the Northwest corner of Connecticut in a very small town called Lakeville. The name alone tells you that it was more a village, than a town. There wasn’t much outside the school’s campus, but there were a couple tasty restaurants. One of my favorites was a cafe called Chaiwalla that looked and felt like you were a guest at the chef’s house. It was run by a couple with no additional staff other than their children who helped out. The family served up no-fuss meals, amazing chai tea, of course, and baked goods displayed on a table for you to drool over and then pick your poison.
One of my absolute favorite dishes at Chaiwalla was the tomato pie. The crust was flaky and crispy and stuffed with a creamy tomato filling. It was one of those things where each time I went to Chaiwalla I wanted to try new dishes but I just couldn’t deny the tomato pie and ordered it every time I went.
I still dream about that tomato pie and have only attempted to make it one time since graduating high school. Today is my second attempt, and it won’t be the last. Although I can’t claim that this recipe is as melt-in-your-mouth as Chaiwalla’s, it’s a pretty good stand-in.
This month’s Recipe Redux theme is to share a sweet or savory pie recipe. My mind immediately went to the tomato pie, especially because it’s a great way to use those fresh summer tomatoes and basil.
The crust is pretty standard and easy to make, but I think next time I’ll just buy a crust at the store to save time and dirty dishes. With a store-bought crust, this pie would come together in no time.
Here’s to another reason to buy those summer tomatoes!
- 1 and 1/2 cups white flour
- 3/4 stick of salted butter (6 tablespoons), cold
- 3 t baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk but you could use skim or 2%)
- 2 lbs. fresh tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped (or two 28 oz cans plum tomatoes)
- 3 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Add flour through milk to a bowl or food processor and process (or mix with hands) until mostly combined (it's okay to still have large chunks of butter).
- Press crust into a pie dish using your fingers to make an even layer.
- Bake for 8 minutes and remove.
- Add chopped tomatoes to a large bowl and pour out any excess liquid. Mix with chopped basil and 1 cup grated cheddar.
- Fill crust with tomato mixture and cover with remaining 2 cups grated cheddar.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve hot.
Recipe adapted from Chaiwalla.
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