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Farm Fresh: Pie is a great way to use season's last tomatoes

Thursday, October 19, 2000

Tested by Marlene Parrish

Green tomato pie tastes a lot like an old-fashioned tart apple pie. Pick baseball-size green tomatoes before the frost gets them. And when you slice into them, look for just a tinge of blush in the seedy pulp. When baked, a criss-cross pastry top lets you peep through the squares to admire a juicy filling of golden raisins and green and coral tomatoes. If you like a wedge of Cheddar cheese with your pie, this is a perfect pairing. A scoop of vanilla ice cream couldn't hurt, either.

Green Tomato Pie

1 9-inch pie shell with lattice crust, unbaked
6 medium-size green tomatoes
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt, scant
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons butter
Confectioners' sugar, optional

Line the 9-inch pie plate with pastry and chill. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Wash the tomatoes and cut them into 1/8-inch thick slices, and cut the slices into half moons; discard the stem ends. Put the tomato slices in a large mixing bowl and add the raisins, lemon zest and juice, and vinegar. Stir and set aside.

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of this mixture over the chilled pie crust, and toss the rest with the sliced tomatoes. Turn the tomato mixture into the pie crust and dot with butter. It will be runny.

Cut the remaining pastry into 1/2 inch strips to make a criss-cross design over the filling: Place 5 strips evenly over the pie filling; and place 5 more strips over them on the diagonal. Flute the edge of the pastry.

Place the pie on a pizza pan to catch the drips. Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 50 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

Let the pie cool completely before cutting; the hot filling is very liquid as it comes from the oven. However, it will be of good cutting consistency when served a few hours later at room temperature. If desired, dust the top of the pie with confectioners' sugar immediately before serving. Serves 6-8.

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