Ever have far too many green tomatoes after your final harvest? I definitely did this season. It was a great year for tomatoes in my neck of the woods; I let the tomatoes go for as long as I could and was rewarded. Then the frost came and wiped everything out. Still, I’m already planning my garden for next year.
So what did I do with all my tomatoes? My first step was to make tons of green tomato relish. I tried out the best rated recipe on AllRecipes and one that I found in Emeril’s book Farm to Fork for Green Tomato Piccalilli. I’ll let you know what I think in a couple of weeks (pickles take time so I’m supposed to wait, right?). After that, I still had several pounds of tomatoes left, though. Fortunately most are turning and I’ll roast them for my last home-made roasted tomato sauce of the season. Others are taking a bit more time (aka I bumped them around a bit) and I wanted to make sure to use them up so when I spotted a recipe for a green tomato pie, I jumped on it. A bit of research showed that it was a bit tarter than normal and a few people mixed apples and tomatoes. Perfect!
Since home-made crusts and I tend to get into some serious disagreements I used a pre-made crust. I preheated my oven to 375F (probably 360F-ish for everyone else) and set the dough out while I prepped the tomatoes and apples. I ended up with a mixture of about 1:3 firm green tomatoes to apples. Anything that wasn’t firm was reserved for roasting. The tomatoes were seeded and diced. For the apples I used multiple types of apples to give the flavor depth. A couple Jonagold, an unknown heritage and one Cortland. These were diced to match the size of the tomatoes. I added a tablespoon of flour, 2 Tbsp of sugar, a pinch of salt and cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg to taste. I go pretty heavy with my spicings but I tend to stick with a Tbsp cinnamon and a teaspoon of whatever else I put in. Allspice is the one you need to go especially light on if you don’t love a spicy pie. If I had ginger, it would have been added – 1 teaspoon. Everything was mixed up and the bottom of the crust was placed into a buttered and floured cake pan before being half forked to death (I tend to over-do this step). Next up: the filling was poured in and topped with a crust that refused to stay together so I went with it – rustic is in right now – and folded the bottom crust’s edges up and over to create a bit of a seal to help keep the filling in. When the top crust doesn’t fall apart, I carve an apple or bird to the top of the pie with a knife before throwing it into the oven for 45-60 minutes. You know its done when you can hear/see the liquid from the apples coming up through the vent holes. The only thing to do after that is let it cool so that the crust and filling liquids set a bit.
Now, the pie is on the tart side. To some degree this could have been countered with more sugar. Here’s the thing: I loved the flavors that the tomatoes added. It was unique and now I want to try out an apple pie with cranberries to experience that version of tart. After all, my beau and I loved the pie so I feel like I got the perfect results.