Tomato pie

I used Vivian Howard’s recipe for tomato pie as a starting point. I don’t make my own crust and I have modified it a little bit.  Thyme is too subtle a flavor and I can’t taste it with all the other stuff.  So, I leave it out.

Filling and topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, halved and cut into julienne with the grain
2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 ½ pounds tomatoes, cut into ½-inch dice,
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon black pepper
⅓ cup picked basil leaves  (3 Tbsp dried)

¼ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup grated Fontina
⅓ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Blind-bake your crust for for 2/3 of the time required by your crust recipe (or box directions) until it is slightly underdone.

In a medium saute pan or skillet, heat the oil and add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook the onions over medium-low heat till they are deeply caramelized. This will take about 40 minutes. If your onions get away from you and burn a little, add ¼ cup of water to the pan, scrape up the over-browned bits, and keep going, In the end, you’ll have a scant ⅓ cup caramelized onions.

Toss the tomatoes with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon sugar. Set them over a colander and let them drain while you get everything else ready, at least 30 minutes.

Once all the individual components are done, stir together the onions, the tomatoes, the salt and sugar, black pepper and basil. In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, Fontina, and Parmesan.

Spoon the filling into your blind-baked crust and crown it with mayo-and-cheese topping. Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 30 – 45 minutes at 325ºF until the top is a nice golden brown. Let cool a while (30 minutes?) before you serve it.

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If you want to, you can freeze fresh-from-your-garden tomatoes in a gallon bag, cut in quarters.  Thaw them and drain them and continue from there.  Whichever way you prepare the tomatoes, get them as dry as you can before you put them in the crust.

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Fig Jam

4.5 cups of quartered figs (from our bush),
4.5 cups sugar,
1/2 tsp vanilla extract,

Brought to 220ºF for a minute. Made 2 pints in an hour or so.

I need to remember to use a pot that is twice as deep as the volume of fruit and sugar.

(If you have never made jam, my Nanny told me to get new lids every time because the rubber around the top may be damaged from previous use and not seal adequately. But, you can reuse jars and rings. Close them up and turn them upside down so that the heat of the jam causes the rubber on the lid to soften and seal.  When it is well sealed, the button in the middle will pop down and stayed popped until you break the seal.  If it pops up and down, it hasn’t sealed.  Wait until it is completely cool to decide if it’s truly sealed.)