We got our first snow a little early this year. Usually, it comes on Halloween, but this year it came the first week of October. Because it was so early, it caught my tomato plants loaded with green tomatoes. So the day before the freeze I took the kiddos out into the garden and we picked the tomato plants clean.
The best part of a counter full of green tomatoes? Definitely this pie.
I’ve made mock-apple pies with zucchini and I’ve made them with soda crackers, but I’ve never made one with green tomatoes. From the reviews at the dinner table, this makes for a pretty tasty pie (though the tomato seeds are a dead giveaway for what it’s actually made of). And the Sweetie Pie assures me that you won’t be fooling anyone with the flavor, anyway. He says that if you tell people it’s an apple pie, they’ll likely be disappointed in your pie-making abilities. But if you say it’s a green tomato pie, they’ll be pleasantly surprised. Honesty–always the best policy.
I confess I used a store-bought pie crust. I used to have time for making pie crusts, and loved doing it. To be honest I kinda turned my nose up at store-bought pie crust. Recently, however, I have found room in my heart for this busy-mother’s-friend and embrace it readily. Thank you, store-bought pie crust. This pie would not have been possible without you.
Chopping all those tomatoes was a little tedious, but only because it didn’t go as quickly as I thought it should. Just approach it with a little patience and you’ll be fine. After that, mixing up the filling takes all of 60 seconds. Don’t be tempted to reduce the sugar. I know it’s a lot. I almost always cut the sugar in recipes in half, replace it with honey, or leave it out altogether. However, when you’re trying to get green tomatoes (which taste more like lemons than tomatoes) to taste like apples, you need a lot of sugar. I used the full quantity and asked the Sweetie Pie if he thought it was too sweet. “Not at all,” he assured me.
So just in case you find yourself plucking all the green tomatoes from your garden in the face of frost, you’ll be all prepared with a tasty dessert. As for me, I still have a green pumpkin sitting out in the garden and have half a mind to call myself Ma Ingalls and try a green pumpkin pie (with a store-bought crust, of course. Sorry, Ma.)
Tastes a bit like apple pie (but the tomato seeds give it away!) Don’t reduce the sugar. You need a lot to make green tomatoes taste good.
Course: Desserts (Pie)
- 1 Basic Sweet Pie Crust recipe follows
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
- 4 cups finely chopped green tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream
- Basic Sweet Pie Crust
- 8 ounces all-purpose flour about 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Make the pie crust and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Divide the dough in half. Place 1 piece of the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to an 11-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Trim the crust with scissors or a sharp knife to within 1/2-inch of the outer rim. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture across the bottom of the prepared piecrust. Add the tomatoes and lemon juice to the bowl with the remaining flour mixture and toss to coat. Spoon the tomato mixture into the pie shell, and dot with the butter. Roll out the remaining crust on a lightly floured surface. Place on top of the tomato filling and tuck the overlapping crusts into the pan, forming a thick edge. Crimp the edges to seal and cut small 1/2-inch long vents in a decorative pattern along the top crust. With a pastry brush, brush the top of the crust with the cream, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Sift the flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Using your fingers, work in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and work with your fingers until the water is incorporated and the dough comes together. Add more water as needed to make a smooth dough, being careful not to over-mix. Form the dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.