Nothing says summer to me like home-grown tomatoes. Growing up, I used to eat sliced tomatoes with salt for lunch. I'd even eat peanut butter and tomato sandwiches! I know, it sounds disgusting, but I promise it's delicious and I would never lie to you.
My mom and I are always trying new tomato pie recipes. She has combined several recipes over the years, most recently using this one from Southern Living. I've never attempted one myself, but wanted to try something a little different. I, like all resourceful cooks, took to Pinterest. (Seriously though, how did people ever cook, decorate, or plan a wedding, without Pinterest?? Those must have been some dark times). The recipe I found was really simple and I had it baking in the oven about 20 minutes after I got home from work. I've changed the recipe a bit (it was originally suggested to serve it cold - I thought that was weird). I do suggest adding some fresh herbs (chives, parsley, basil, etc.) to give the pie a little extra. But the addition of the bacon and panko is really what makes this dish.
adapted from Vanilla Sugar
1 (9") deep dish pie shell, frozen
4-5 large tomatoes, thickly cut
Freshly cracked sea salt & black pepper
A light sprinkling of sugar
1 c. good quality mayonnaise
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup cooked bacon, crumbled
2 tbsp. fresh herbs (chives would be delicious in this)
½ - ¾ cup of panko crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice up the tomatoes in rather thick slices and place them on paper towels to absorb some of the excess moisture. Also place paper towels on the top.
2. Get pie crust from freezer, place sliced tomatoes over crust; do a double layer of sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with a very light layer of sugar, a little bit of salt, then freshly cracker black pepper.
3. In a bowl combine mayonnaise with shredded cheddar cheese, and the chopped up bacon. Spoon over tomatoes; try to get it spread evenly over the tomatoes, but don’t push down.
4. Then sprinkle on the panko crumbs just before baking, push them down a bit into the topping.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, based on preference for crust.