Tomato Pie

While the pie was a rousing success, I failed totally on getting a picture of it with my “real” camera. In my defense, I feel that I did well to bake a pie on a workday and still make it to work without forgetting shoes or the baby. I guess I’ll be forced to bake another one for photography purposes…

When I joined my CSA, I immediately began pinning recipes to try with my newfound vegetable wealth. And I knew from the start that Tomato Pie would be one of them. I’d never actually eaten Tomato Pie but I have a friend who loves it and I’d seen the recipe before in a magazine. I chose to use Paula Deen’s recipe. When I’m looking for a good ole Southern/country recipe, I start with my mom and if she doesn’t have the answer I turn to Paula. I don’t consider myself a Paula fan really but in her early years of Food Network, before she became so orange and loud and over the top with the butter and the accent, she was just a good ole country cook that I enjoyed watching. I’ve tried and loved many of her early recipes.

I lightened this recipe up a little and I can’t say that it suffered any. It was gobbled up in a half hour by my co-workers and me. Tomato Pie was a new experience for them as well and reviews were positive. I did neglect to notice though that I was supposed to peel the tomatoes. It didn’t hurt the taste any to have the peel on them but it did make it a little more awkward to slice.

I used tomatoes and green onions from my CSA.

Tomato Pie

Ingredients

4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1 tsp dried basil)
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 (9-inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup grated reduced fat sharp cheddar
¾ cup light mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes. The salt will help bring out the liquid in your tomatoes. Pat dry with paper towels. If your tomatoes are too wet, your pie will be soggy so don’t skimp on the patting.

Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.

Adapted from this recipe by Paula Deen.

Paula Deen’s Lemon Blossoms

To me, these Lemon Blossoms are the perfect Easter dessert. Super sweet and bright yellow, they are everything you want to find in your Easter basket!

This is probably my husband’s favorite dessert that I make, and if I have such a thing as a “most requested” recipe, this is it. I have made these for a bridal shower, as a birthday present, for Christmas and for cookouts. Obviously, they are delicious for every season but again, I think they are perfect for spring.

This is not a complicated recipe but it does have a couple of quirks. Please see my notes at the end of the recipe.

Lemon Blossoms

18.5 oz box of yellow cake mix
3.5 oz box of instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Glaze:
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray miniature muffin tins with cooking spray. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil and blend well with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour a small amount of batter into each muffin tin, filling halway. (MINDA’S NOTE: You can not POUR this batter. It is very thick. You will need to spoon it in.) Bake for 12 minutes. Turn out onto a tea towel.
To make the glaze, sift the sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 tablespoons water. Mix with a spoon until smooth.

With fingers, dip the cupcakes into the glaze while they’re still warm, covering as much of the cake as possible, or spoon the glaze over the warm cupcakes, turning them to completely coat. Place on wire racks with waxed paper underneath to catch any drips. Let the glaze set throughly, about 1 hour, before storing in airtight containers.

Makes 48 mini-cakes.

Notes:

*The most time consuming part of this recipe is sifting the confectioners sugar for the glaze. It’s tempting to skip this step but it’s important that you don’t. Sifting makes the sugar even finer which makes for a smoother glaze with fewer lumps. I usually do this first before I do anything else with the recipe.

*The cake batter will be really thick. That’s ok! Do not add more liquids to it. If you have a stand-up mixer, I recommend using it to mix the batter.

*You can use bottled lemon juice and omit the lemon zest but real lemon juice truly is better. To get 1/3 cup of fresh juice, you need two large lemons. Roll them on the counter prior to cutting them for squeezing to get their juice flowing. I use a Pampered Chef zester but OXO makes one very similiar that you can find here (affiliate link).

*Let the cakes sit in the pan for a minute or two before trying to flip them onto a tea towel. You also might want to run a butter knife around the edges of them to make sure they are loose. Nothing is more frustrating than a stuck blossom.