This free-form pie is one of the easiest to make – no tins required!
4 roma tomatoes (400g), cut into 1cm rounds
1 tblsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tblsps olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Extra thyme leaves, to garnish
Cream Cheese Pastry
1½ cups plain flour
100g cold butter, chopped
100g cold cream cheese, chopped
2 tsps cold water
1 tblsp olive oil
2 brown onions, thinly sliced
1 tblsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tblsps brown sugar
2 tblsps red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 To make caramelised onions, heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onions and thyme. Cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until soft and opaque. Add sugar and vinegar. Season. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until onions are caramelised. Transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate until cold.
2 To make cream cheese pastry, place flour, butter and cream cheese in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine crumbs. With motor operating, add water until combined. Turn out mixture onto a clean bench. Bring pastry together with your hands. Shape into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3 Roll out pastry between two sheets of baking paper into a circle, 30cm in diameter. Using paper, lift pastry onto a pizza tray. Discard top sheet.
4 Spread cold caramelised onions over pastry, leaving a 5cm border.
5 Combine tomatoes, thyme and half the oil in a large bowl. Season. Toss to coat. Arrange tomato mixture, slightly overlapping, over onions in a single layer.
6 Fold pastry up and over to partly cover filling, slightly pleating, to create an edge. Brush pastry with remaining oil. Season.
7 Cook in a moderately hot oven (190C) for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is browned and cooked.
8 Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with extra thyme.
Try these variations:
Onion, feta and zucchini pie
Follow method for making Tomato and Onion Pie. Replace tomatoes with 1 zucchini, thinly sliced diagonally. Roll out pastry into a 20cm x 30cm rectangle. Place on an oven tray. Arrange zucchini mixture over cold onions. Top with ½ cup drained, bottled fire-roasted capsicum strips and 50g crumbled feta. Serve with mixed salad leaves.
Follow method for making cream cheese pastry. Divide into quarters. Roll out each portion into a 15cm circle. Line four greased 12cm loose-base flan tins with pastry. Trim edges. Line with baking paper. Fill with dried beans. Cook in a moderately hot oven (190C) for 20 minutes. Remove paper and beans. Cook for 5 minutes. Cool. Cut nine asparagus spears in half lengthways. Cut into 7cm lengths. Stir 1 egg into a 300ml tub sour cream. Season. Divide among cases. Arrange asparagus over top. Cook in a moderate oven (180C) for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until set.
New Idea Food Director Barb Northwood says:
- The best tomatoes to use are firm but ripe roma tomatoes as their flesh is dry and when cooked they don’t give out as much juice as other varieties.
- Pastry can be made up to two days ahead. Keep, covered, in the fridge. Remove from the fridge
30 minutes before using.
- For a quick and easy way to slice onions thinly, use a V-slicer, mandolin or slicing blade in a food processor. Available from kitchen shops or large department stores.
- Ensure onions are cold before spreading over pastry to prevent base of pie becoming soggy. For a non-vegie pie, sprinkle salami or ham over onions.
- Caramelised onions can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two months. Heat gently and serve with any grilled meats.
- This pie is best made on the day of serving. It can be served hot, warm or cold.