Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Four and twenty tomatoes (well, almost that many) baked in a pie

A very special adult son’s visit to his parents’ house called for a dish beyond description. Fresh tomatoes from the garden and an enticing new recipe for tomato pie was just the combination.

We wanted our son, in town on a business trip, to enjoy some of the yield of our overpoweringly fertile tomato vines. Gorgeous red tomatoes were starting to line our window-ledges and countertops as Hubby marched them in from the garden rows. They got a home in this Old-fashioned Tomato Pie after the July 2012 issue of Southern Living featured some new, creative ways to work with tomatoes that are just-ripened.

In a flaky pie crust and garnished with fresh herbs and filled with a delicious cheese mixture, the pie was devoured in a hurry. The straight-from-the-vine tomatoes first were laid out on a paper towel, salted (salt substitute was used), and left to stand for 10 minutes to rid them of excess water so the pie wouldn’t be soggy.

We had quite a celebration; this pie of pies easily could have been the dessert course, since the tomatoes represented such sweet goodness.

Old-fashioned Tomato Pie

2 1/4 pound assorted heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided (I used salt substitute)
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup assorted chopped fresh herbs (such as chives, parsley, and basil)
1/2 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 
1/4 cup mayonnaise
pie crust recipe of your choice (source furnished one, but I used my own tried-and-true version)

Line prepared crust with aluminum foil; fill with pie weights or dried beans to keep the crust from bubbling up or shrinking. Place on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove weights (or beans) and foil. Bake 5 minutes or until browned. Cool completely on baking sheet on a wire rack (about 30 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile sauté onion and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in hot oil in a skillet over medium heat 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Pat tomatoes dry with a paper towel. Layer tomatoes, onion, and herbs in prepared crust. Season each layer with pepper (1 teaspoon total). Stir together cheese and mayonnaise; spread over pie. (I sprinkled a little extra grated cheese on top.) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. As you bake, shield edges with foil to prevent excessive browning. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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