I love cooking tomatoes. It reminds me of my childhood, the summer season in France as well as my vacation with my two grandmothers and the pleasure to cook and preserve foods together. I am from Burgundy, France and I grew up on a farm. My two grandmothers were amazing cooks, in a different way. Grandmother Lucie was like Julia Child, a lot of butter, cream and eggs. She went to culinary school and cooked for a wealthy family before WWII. Grandmother Adele was a goddess for preserving and canning the taste of summer. Impressive heritage!
This means that I have a passion for good ingredients and tasty foods. When combine together, they can create a surprising alchemy that will titillate our taste buds. This is the kind of comfort food I like. My partner calls this pie, the French tomatoes pizza pie. I take this as a compliment!
The secret… use local, organic (if possible) and fresh products. For the crust, go creative! Use a combination of locally produced (or not) whole-grain flours. It will taste nutty with a deep and spicy aroma, which will work perfectly with mustard, tomatoes, fresh herbs and cheese. It will taste so good that you will think there is bacon or some sort of meat sauce inside… not at all. This is the secret of good alchemy!
Ready for a new experience, it is time to cook now…
This is the recipe for a 9- to 11-inch pie. First, we will start with the crust and then we will assemble the different ingredients to create this gorgeous French tomatoes mustard pie. Our late-summer heirloom tomatoes pie, when it still possible to taste the gifts of summer.
Pie crust recipe
This is my grandmother Lucie recipe; I keep the same proportions for flour and fat (2 for 1) and I go creative. I like to experiment new combinations to improve the taste as well as the nutritional value.
250 g flour (I used for this pie a mix of 50 g all-purpose organic unbleached flour, 125 g of red fife flour and 75 g of barley flour)
125 g of butter, cubed and very cold
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
75 ml very cold water, plus more is needed
Whisk together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture, and cut it using a pastry cutter (rubbing it in with your fingertips also works in a pinch). Keep working the butter into the dough until in coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces.
Scrape off any residual butter-flour mixture from the pastry cutter, and drizzle in the water.
Gently work the water into the dough with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until it becomes a shaggy but relatively cohesive mass. Give the dough a few kneads with your hands (fewer than 10) so that it forms a rough ball. Try to work these steps as fast as you can. This is one of the secrets for a flaky crust.
Wrap the ball in plastic wrap, and chill for at minimum one hour or overnight. This allows the water to fully hydrate the dough, making for a more cohesive product that’s easier to roll out.
The tomatoes mustard French pie
100 g of mustard (I used a combination of artisan grainy brown mustard and Maille Dijon Originale mustard)
3 large or 5 medium ripe heirloom tomatoes (like candy’s old yellow, green zebra, cavern…)
100 g of grated artisan cheese curds (I like Monforte Dairy here in Toronto)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of fresh herbs of Provence (a combination of marjoram, rosemary, thyme and oregano)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Fit the pie crust into a 11-inch pie dish (or smaller size like a 9-inch). With a fork, poke holes into the bottom of the crust.
Precook the crust for 5 min. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into slices 3-5 mm thick. Lay the slices as on paper towels to remove excess water content in tomatoes if needed.
Remove the crust from the oven.
Mix together the two kinds of mustard. Spread it over the bottom of the pie crust in an even layer. Cover the mustard with slices of tomato, overlapping in a spiral from the edge to the center. They will slightly shrink while cooking. Then, don’t be afraid to put tomatoes.
Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes, and sprinkle the tart with the herbs of Provence. Cover with cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes at 450 degree F then cover with aluminum paper for an additional 20 min. After those 20 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 5 minutes open oven door.
Remove from the oven and let it to rest for 15 min.
It is delicious with a green salad. Bon appetite!