Good Ol’ Tomato Pie with Country Ham & Shrimp
Oh my…. tomato pie!
When it comes to must-haves in the summertime, tomato pie is right up there at the top for us. Our backyard gardens and local farmers’ markets overfloweth with these jewels of the season and there’s no better way to enjoy them than in pies, except perhaps in a simple tomato sandwich! We like to use a variety of ‘maters, some sweet and some tart… and a variety of colors as well, because not only will the pie taste good, but it can look “purtie” too. Easy to personalize and with more ways to cook them than one can imagine, you likely won’t find a recipe with our twist… the freshest of shrimp tucked in and, of course, the surprise of Rays Country Ham. Our lightly salted bites of ham pairs nicely with the tomatoes and shrimp… a medley of textures and flavors that complement one another. Add a glass of your favorite cold bubbly and enjoy… it’s time for pie on the porch y’all!
(Don’t let the length of this recipe scare you. It’s really quite simple, much can be done a day ahead, assembles quickly and well worth the reward.)
3-4 large tomatoes, cut into 1/3” slices
2 slices center cut Rays Country Ham
2-3 tablespoons cooking oil
3-4 tablespoons butter
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 8-ounce block Havarti dill cheese, divided
1 cup mayonnaise (Duke’s preferred)
1 small sweet onion, finely minced (about 2/3 cup)
1/3 cup fresh dill plus a bit for garnishing
1 refrigerated pie crust
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
several turns freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup canned crispy fried onions
There are a few steps to prep for assembling your pie. All can be done a day ahead of baking.
Prepare tomatoes. Cover baking pan with several layers of paper towels. Lightly salt both sides of tomatoes and put onto tray in a single layer. Cover with a thick layer of paper towels, gently pressing onto slices. Let stand at least 30 minutes (this removes moisture for “meaty” tomatoes). Do not skip this step or you will have a soggy pie.
Prepare ham. Put ham slices in a bowl of water and soak 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Set aside.
Cook ham and shrimp. Put oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add pieces of ham. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring about, until just done. Remove with slotted spoon into bowl. When cool, cut into bite-size pieces.
Add butter to ham drippings and increase heat to medium-high. Toss shrimp with Cajun seasoning and add to skillet, searing 1-2 minutes per side. Test for doneness being careful not to overcook to avoid tough dry shrimp. Tis best to do in 2 batches as the shrimp will steam and not sear if crowded. Combine in bowl with ham.
Havarti cheese: Remove 2 ounces (1/4) off the block of cheese. Cut the remaining chunk into thin slices.
Combine mayonnaise, onions and dill.
When ready to cook… Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare crust. Put pie crust into your favorite 8-9” pie dish. (Use a thawed frozen pie crust if preferred.)
Prick bottom and sides of pie crust with a fork. Bake for 12 minutes.
Cover bottom of partially cooked pie crust with parmesan cheese.
Cover parmesan with half the ham and shrimp. Dollop with half the mayonnaise mixture. Top with half the Havarti slices, then half of the tomato slices. Dust with black pepper. Repeat layer.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes. (Shield crust edge with foil if it starts getting too brown.) Remove pie from oven. Grate the 2 ounce piece of Havarti over top of pie and scatter with fried onions. Return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes until cheese melts and onions are lightly browned.
Let sit about 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh dill. Slice and serve warm.