Is it dessert? It’s sweet, lemony, and has cinnamon and nutmeg in it. Is it a side dish? It’s made with tomatoes and it went very well with chicken fricassee. I know, I know: tomatoes are technically a fruit, but we don’t usually eat tomato sauce for dessert.
Phyllis Wardwell in Bucksport sent me this recipe last week after reading about fried green tomatoes. She wrote, “You didn’t mention the best of all — Green Tomato Pie. Made exactly like an apple pie – but so much better!” Her note triggered an old memory of mine about a family I lived with while I attended Clark University in Worcester. Susie Hutchins was a very good cook, and we had green tomato pie for supper one night, and it was our main course. I recall liking it, but can’t remember if it was sweet or not.
So I gave Phyllis’s recipe a try this weekend, and we liked it a lot. We had it warm with the fricassee, and our neighbor John, baching it for a couple of days, joined us and liked it well enough to have seconds. Then we ate it cold the next day and found it was very good that way, too. Probably, this iteration of green tomato pie veers toward the dessert side of the aisle. As with so much of what I write about here, I think you ought to suit yourself.
The recipe called for the tomatoes to be cut in half-inch slices, and I think the next time I try this, I will cut them a little thinner. Just for the heck of it, I think I will also try making it with light brown sugar. Toby opined that it could be a little less sweet, but that, too, is a matter of taste. If you follow the recipe below, you will end up with a perfectly delicious and satisfying pie. If you serve it room temperature or cold, the filling holds together very nicely.
Green Tomato Pie
Pastry sufficient for a double crust nine inch pie
4 cups sliced green tomatoes
Juice of one lemon or ¼ cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons tapioca
3 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the tomato slices and lemon juice. Whisk together the sugar, tapioca, flour, and spices, and toss with the tomatoes. Line the pie plate with pastry and put the filling in, and top with the remaining pastry. Bake for forty to forty-five minutes.
Makes one nine-inch pie.