I didn’t believe it when I heard it. Green tomato pie is a treat equal to almost no other. It tastes like apple pie, but it’s so much better because, well, it’s a surprise. You’re not expecting it to taste so GOOD!
This all started when my mother’s tomato harvest was excedingly late this year (2013). She got several beautiful red ripe tomatoes, but autumn came and a freeze was imminent. She harvested many green tomatoes before the freeze and began searching for recipes to try to use them so that they would not go to waste. She found the Green Tomato Pie recipe from A Taste of Home. She made a few pies, and I was the happy recipient of a few pieces of them. The pie was so good, and the idea so intriguing I decided I needed to try the recipe myself and share it with you all.
One of the things I like best about this is the fact that the green tomatoes are so much more easy to prepare than apples. Apples need to be cored and are much harder to slice. The Taste of Home recipe doesn’t call for peeling the green tomatoes, but I decided to do it because the peels in my mother’s pie bothered me, and I thought it would be better without them. Once the tomatoes were peeled, they simply had to be thinly sliced and tossed with flour, sugar and spice (and everything nice)! Speaking of everything nice, I added somthing nice to my version on the green tomato pie, a tablespoon of boiled cider my mom purchased from King Arthur Flour. It adds a burst of apple flavor to any apple dish, so I decided to give it a try here, even though this isn’t technically an apple dish.
I started this recipe by peeling the green tomatoes. Green tomatoes are much easier to peel than ripe tomatoes. Once they were peeled I decided to peel a couple of apples to add to the pie. I ended up with about 3 cups of green tomatoes and 2 cups of apples. I was planning to make a deep dish pie, so if you’re making a regular pie I suggest you cut all of the ingredients by about 1/4. I tossed the apples and the green tomatoes together, and I must say, I thought they looked quite pretty.
Next I combined the dry ingredients, white sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt and pumpkin pie spice. You may be wondering why I used pumpkin pie spice in an apple themed pie. Well, pumpkin pie spice and apple pie spice are very similar, but pumpkin pie spice has a couple of extras that I really like, even in my apple dishes! McCormick Apple Pie Spice, for instance, contains cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Their Pumpkin Pie Spice has cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice! I love the ginger & like to include it, even in my apple preparations.
Next I tossed the apple cider vinegar and the boiled cider in with the tomatoes and apples after which I tossed the dry mix in and stirred it to combine. At first there seemed to be quite a bit of the dry mix, but it turned out to be just the right amount, there was a nice thick sauce when I poured it into the crust.
Now, just so you know, I know how to make pie crust. I’m actually pretty good at it. But I don’t like to do it. One of the biggest reasons is that it takes so much counter space – you know, for the rolling and all – and I’m not long on counter space in my kitchen. So I often purchase refrigerated or frozen pie crust. This time I had a frozen bottom crust (because I wanted deep dish) and a refrigerated top crust (because I wanted to be able to work with it right out of the refrigerator) I thought about trying a lattice top, but I have never done one before, and just wasn’t feeling that adventurous. So I poured my green tomato/apple mixture into the deep dish crust and dotted the top with some butter.
Then I spread the top crust across the top.
Now comes the part where I pinched together the edges “fluting” them, and cutting off any excess. Of course, I cut some slits in the top of the pie so that stea could escape during baking. I also baked my pie on a foil covered cookie sheet. It’s a good thing too, because even with the slits in the top there was pie juice all over the pan after it baked.
I made a quick egg wash with 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water and brushed it over the top of the pie. Then I sprinkled the top with some more pumpkin pie spice, not a necessary step, but I think it looks pretty. And it was almost ready to pop into the oven.
There’s nothing I hate more than going to all the trouble of making a pie and having the edges over-browned, so I wrapped the edges in aluminum foil. I should have wrapped it more loosly, some of the crust got pulled off when I took the foil off 10 minutes before the pie was done baking, but I do hate burnt crust (at least that’s what I’m telling myself to make myself feel better about ruining my beautifully fluted edges)! After 50 minutes in the oven I removed the foil and allowed the pie to bake for 10 more minutes, at which time I took it out and started it cooling on a cooling rack. Even with the edges ruined, it looked pretty yummy.
It even looked pretty good inside.
I served this pie with some Creamland Ice Cream, a local dairy here in New Mexico. They name their ice creams after cities in the state. This one was called White Rock Vanilla Bean, which I felt was just the right flavor to go along with the warm pie.
- Pastry for double crust deep dish pie (9”)
- 1 cup white sugar
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 Tbsp. Pumpkin pie spice
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 3 cups green tomatoes, thinly sliced and peeled
- 1 cup gala apples, thinly sliced and peeled
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. boiled cider (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- (if not doing a lattice top crust)
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp. water
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Combine sugars, flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a small bowl and mix. Add tomatoes, apples, vinegar and boiled cider (if using) and toss together to coat.
- Prepare bottom pie crust (by lining deep dish pie plate with crust, or if using store bought follow package directions for preparing bottom crust, not pre-cooked). Add filling. Cut butter into small cubes and dot around the top of the tomato/apple mixture. Top with a top crust, which you may do as a lattice if you choose. Trim, seal and flute edges. If not using the lattice design, make sure to slice several 1” cuts into the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking. Whip egg and add water. Brush egg wash onto top crust with a pastry brush. Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil, if desired (to prevent over-browning). Remove aluminum 10 minutes before pie is finished baking so that the edges can brown.
- Bake 1 hour and remove to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.
- Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, or just PLAIN!
- Store in the refrigerator.
I was so intrigued by the Green Tomato Pie being so good, I did a little research and found the following other green tomato recipes I thought sounded interesting:
Tomato Pie - This savory one calls for a mixture of red and green tomatoes
Green Tomato Apple Pie – Just what it sounds, green tomatoes and apples together in the pie
Green Tomato Quick Bread – This recipe says it tastes almost the same as zucchini bread
Green Tomato Ketchup – Interesting!
Green Tomto Cake – Like a spice cake
So, just in case you have a large harvest of green tomatoes anytime in your life, now you know one (or more) way(s) to use them! They say necessity is the mother of invention!
UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .
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