Summer may have waned and a slight brisk penetrates the air, but the plus to living in South Carolina is that the growing season is long. It is not too late to find vine-ripe local tomatoes to layer in a substantial and richly flavored pie that serves as the main entrée or as an accompaniment to meat dishes, including barbecue and grilled meats. Fall in Columbia is an ideal time to host dinner parties out of doors with this dish as the main affair. This is a favorite recipe that has proven quite popular!
Heirloom Tomato Pie
5 large heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced
Salt, as needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
1 cup (6 ounces) grated mozzarella cheese
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
Parmesan cheese for topping, freshly grated
Fresh basil for garnish
Par-bake crust of choice: preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Bake until crust begins to brown, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. While the crust bakes, arrange the tomatoes on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each tomato slice lightly with salt, then place more paper towels on top. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes to remove excess moisture.
In a medium pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, whisk the mascarpone, mozzarella, egg, and egg yolk to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble the pie, place the par-baked crust on work surface. Place a layer of tomatoes in the base, then top with a layer of onions. Continue layering, ending with tomatoes.
Pour the mascarpone mixture into the center of the pie, and spread into an even layer –– nearly to the edges. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake until the crust is golden brown, the tomatoes are bubbly, and the topping is golden. Garnish with basil leaves and let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.