I created this recipe for the August 2013 Better Homes and Gardens issue. This is such a family favorite during summer, I wanted to share it here, too. The crust is extra thick to hold the creamy parmesan filling. The pie bursts with piled high, juicy cherry tomatoes with crispy strips of bacon woven throughout. I like to make a couple extra pieces of bacon and push the crispy bits into the pie crust before baking for extra flavor. Make the bacon and the filling ahead of time to save a few steps the day you plan to serve.
- 6 strips bacon
- 1 15-ounce package rolled refrigerated unbaked piecrust (2 crust)
- 2/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 egg yolk, lighlty beaten
- 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced leaf lettuce
- Lemon wedges (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large skillet cook bacon until just done but not crisp. Transfer to paper towel; drain. Reserve 1 Tbsp. bacon drippings in skillet; set aside.
- Let piecrust stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, stack the two piecrusts. Roll from center to edges to form a 12-inch circle. Wrap pastry around a rolling pin; unroll pastry into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. (Sides should be 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep). Ease pastry into pie plate, allowing edges to form a loose ruffled or scalloped effect. Gently press pastry into the bottom of pie plate. Sides will not lay flat against pie plate. Prick bottom of pastry.
- Line pastry with a double thickness of foil; bake 10 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes more. Remove, and reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese over the piecrust. Place half the bacon slices around the edge of the crust. Set aside.
- Cook onion in reserved bacon dripping over medium heat until tender. Drain drippings. Set aside.
- Halve 2 cups of the cherry tomatoes, leaving the remaining 2 cups whole. Place the halved and whole tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, 2 Tbsp. of the basil, salt, and 1/4 tsp. of the pepper. Stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl beat together cream cheese, mayonnaise, egg yolk, cooked onion, lemon peel, and remaining Parmesan, basil, and pepper.
- Spoon cream cheese mixture into piecrust.Top with tomato mixture. Nestle the remaining bacon slices among the tomatoes, weaving bacon between tomatoes. Gently press tomatoes and bacon into the cream cheese mixture.
- Bake pie until tomatoes just begin to brown, about 35 minutes. (Loosely cover pie with foil if edges brown too quickly.) Let stand 60 minutes.
- Top with leaf lettuce and serve with lemon wedges.