This Tomato and Goat Cheese Pie features roasted tomatoes, a layer of fresh basil leaves, a cheesy goat cheese and Parmesan filling all atop a thick biscuit crust.
When I started out on this little pie adventure, I had intended to make a Southern Tomato Cheese Pie – the classic pie with a biscuit crust, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and a topping involving more cheese and mayonnaise. I have no doubt that it’s a fabulous pie, but somewhere along the way to making that pie, I made this pie. While definitely inspired by the classic, it is decidedly different, but a still wonderfully delicious tomato pie :)
So I decided to call it Northern Tomato Cheese Pie, with a tongue-in-cheek nod to my north-of-the-border spin on the southern classic. I kept the biscuit crust, because … biscuit crust!! On top of that is a cheesy filling, with chunks of goat cheese, Parmesan, a couple of eggs to hold it all together (but not so much egg that it became a quiche), a touch of cream and lots of pepper. Then there’s a layer of fresh basil leaves. Topping it all of is a generous layer of fresh, thick-sliced roma tomatoes.
This pie is pretty much all my favourite flavours all together in one slice and it was everything I imagined … and more! The biscuit crust bakes in to a generous base, that pairs beautifully with the tangy cheese and rich, roasted tomatoes. This would be a great meatless dinner served with a side of fresh greens, a delicious and pretty brunch dish or a lazy weekend breakfast treat.
Make this in a skillet or use any deep-dish pie plate and enjoy it warm or at room temperature.
Cook’s Notes for Northern Tomato and Cheese Pie
Be sure to leave your goat cheese in nice-sized chunks, as there is possibly nothing nicer than finding those big puddles of warm goat cheese in your pie later :)
Don’t skimp on the tomato layer. As you can see from the “slice” photo (below recipe), the biscuit layer cooks up nice and thick, so you want to keep your topping in balance. I did one layer of over-lapping tomatoes, starting from the outside, then added another ring around the outside.
The top, exposed edge of the biscuit crust browns quickly. Check your pie around 20 minutes in and place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over-top if edge is brown enough already, to prevent further browning.
Even though it’s the height of fresh tomato season, with lots of great tomatoes available, for my money, nothing beats a roma/plum tomatoes for this type of dish. They release less moisture, they hold their shape well when roasted and they keep their awesome rich red colour.
Fresh basil leaves are a really nice addition to this pie, so if you can use them, I’d highly recommend that. If unavailable, a generous sprinkling of dried basil leaves would work.
Don’t forget the finishing salt. While I do add salt and pepper to the top of the pie before baking, I love to finish with some Maldon salt crystals. It’s a small touch that make a big difference in the finished dish.
Tomato and Goat Cheese Pie
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (less if using fine salt)
- 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (or make your own buttermilk by adding 2 tsp. lemon juice or white vinegar to 3/4 cup regular milk)
- 1 1/2 lbs roma tomatoes, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
- 1 cup crumbled goat cheese (don't crumble too fine - leave quite chunky)
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan (I use the large holes on my box grater)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup heavy 35% whipping cream
- Freshly ground pepper
- 6-8 leaves Fresh basil, whole or torn a bit if really large)
- Additional Parmesan for sprinkling on top of tomatoes
Make the crust: Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk well to combine. Add cold butter cubes and use your fingers to rub the butter in to the flour until they are pea-sized-ish pieces. Add about half of the buttermilk. Using a fork, stir to combine. Begin adding a bit more buttermilk while you continue to mix with a fork, adding only enough to bring the dough together into one mass. Remove to a piece of plastic wrap. Press in to a 1-inch thick disc, wrap tightly and refrigerate for one hour.
While the dough is refrigerating, place slices of tomatoes on a triple-layer of paper towel to drain. Be sure to allow them to sit on the paper towel for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare filling by combining all the filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to combine, but don't break up any large chunks of goat cheese. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 F.
When dough has chilled, remove to a well flour surface and using a rolling pin, roll in to a large enough circle to just fit your skillet or pie plate (bottom and sides). Place rolled dough in pan and press to fit. Pinch the top edges a bit to make it a little pretty, if you like.
Pour filling in to pie shell and spread to an even layer. Top filling with basil leaves. Arrange tomatoes on top by making over-lapping rings, starting from the outside and working your way in to the center. Go back and add a few more in a ring around the outside edge, so you have a nice layer of tomatoes. Season the tomatoes with a generous bit of salt and freshly ground pepper and sprinkle with an additional tablespoon or two of grated parmesan, if you like. If your side crust is extending well above your filling, push it down a bit, to within about 1/2-inch of the filling level, just so it doesn't over-brown as it cooks.
(I didn't have any issues with needing a baking sheet underneath in my skillet, but if your pie seems really full in your baking dish, you may wish to bake it on a baking sheet, just to be sure).
Bake in preheated 425 F. oven for about 30 minutes, checking top edges of crust after 20 minutes. If already browned nicely, loosely place a sheet of aluminum foil over-top for the last 10 minutes of baking. Check pie by inserting a butter knife in the centre to confirm the filling is set (there may be a little bit of moisture on top from the tomatoes, but the filling may still be set well underneath).