Tomato & Cheese Dill Pie Recipe
September gives us many gifts, with fresh garden tomatoes being one of the best. A good tomato can make just about any day better. And when combined with another gift of the season, dill, and some good cheese, it makes life just grand. Anne Gillespie Lewis combined these three ingredients for this week’s recipe, cheese and tomato pie with a dilled crust.
Anne says of the recipe, “I love dill and toss it into many things. I always keep some growing in my garden. So when the tomatoes finally start coming in, I make this pie.” She adds, “And my husband really loves it.”
Dill is a quintessential Nordic seasoning. The plant, Anethum graveolens, originated in western Asia and spread into Europe and the Mediterranean. The Romans were very fond of dill and brought the plant with them as they marched across Europe and into Britain, which is where it is likely that the Vikings encountered it. Dill is one of the few herbs that do well in a northern climate and it flourished in Scandinavia. Viking food historian Daniel Serra found evidence of dill in Viking cooking. It was eaten as a green in boiled spring greens, used as a seasoning, incorporated into drinks, and was an important herbal remedy. It was also an herb that went well with fish as it is used to this day.
The origin of the word “dill” isn’t certain. However, in Old Norse and northern English dialects, “dill” is also a verb, meaning “to soothe.” In those parts of the world, dill water is a home remedy for calming babies with upset stomachs, so the name is fitting. Dill also has a refreshing quality that highlights other flavors. For this reason, Anne developed a dill pie crust, which complements the cheese and tomato. This crust can also be used for other savory pies with your choice of filling. Please let us know what variations you create.
Cheese & Tomato Pie with Dilled Crust
Makes four large or six smaller servings
For the crust:
1 ¼ c. flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp dill, finely chopped
4 oz. cold or frozen butter, in slices
Approximately 4 tbsp. cold water. (Add more water by the tablespoonful if needed. You want to be able to form a ball with the dough.)
In a medium bowl, combine the flour salt and dill. Cut the butter in, using two knives or a mixer until the mix resembles crumbs. Add water gradually until the dough forms a loose ball. Roll out dough to fit an 8- or 9-inch pie tin and refrigerate the rolled dough for thirty minutes while the filling is prepared.
½ c. half and half
Salt and pepper to taste
2 c. shredded cheese, such as Havarti or Cheddar
2 medium to large tomatoes in half-inch slices
Optional: two tbsp. fine bread crumbs
1-2 tbsp. butter in small pieces
Combine the egg and half and half and salt and pepper in a small bowl, mixing well and add to the cheese. Mix well. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator, place on a pie tin and pour the cheese mixture in. Arrange the tomato slices on top of the cheese in a single layer. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the tomatoes and dot with butter, if using. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for ten minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 and bake an additional twenty minutes or until the cheese is set and firm to the touch. Cool slightly before cutting.
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