Sunrise-032413Spring is here!  And it’s a spectacular Sunday down here on St. Thomas.  I was up early this morning, enjoyed a quiet yoga practice, and captured a gorgeous sunrise.





Vine-Ripe Tomatoes on their way out ...

Vine-Ripe Tomatoes on their way out …

And as I looked into the fridge to see what I might cook up for Sunday Brunch, some beautiful vine-ripe tomatoes jumped out at me.  They were a gift  from some friends who were headed off island, and they were needing to be used up pronto.

What immediately came to mind was a recipe from Southern Living Magazine, which I ran across a number of years ago, while staying with family up in Wisconsin for a funeral.  My dear friend Pam must be nearby me today.
The recipe was from an advertisement for Cabot’s Cheese, and inspired by their participation in A Weekend with Paula Deen.

So you know that it’s going to be rich!

The original recipe called for 2 pounds of tomatoes, but I found my 1 pound was more than sufficient.  I added more fresh herbs, and in place of the 1½ cups of cheese, I blended up some soaked cashews and used a smaller quantity of Daiya shreds.

Be sure to put the top crust in the fridge while the bottom crust bakes, or it’ll fall apart on you.  Spencer asked me why we had to bake the bottom crust to begin with (and why there aren’t cooking instructions on my pie crust recipe).  Well, we don’t always bake the bottom crust first before adding the filling.  We should pre-bake when the filling is going to be juicy, so we don’t end up with a soggy bottom crust.  Pre-baking helps hold the juices in.






In hindsight, I should have tasted the tomatoes for sweetness, and added a small sprinkling of sugar on these to help balance their natural acidity.

I’m looking forward to another slice for lunch someday next week, as the ingredients will have had time to really meld.  If you do end up with leftovers, just be sure to place grandma’s favorite pie plate on the bottom shelf in the fridge where it can’t accidentally slide out.  Yes, that’s happened to me once, and fortunately, I caught it !!  Listening to that little bird on my shoulder this time around ….


Vegan Southern Tomato Pie
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This recipe was inspired by an ad for Cabots Cheese that I found in Southern Living magazine, adapted from Paula Deen. When you come into beautiful vine ripe tomatoes, or you are hankering to put some 'Lowcountry South' in your mouth, nothing does it better than this classic. I think it's even more delicious converted to vegan!
Recipe type: Brunch or Light Dinner
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 4-6
  • 1+½ Grammy's Pie Crust
  • ----------
  • 1 lbs (4 medium) Vineripe Tomatos, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh herbs, (basil, parsley, thyme or favorite combination)
  • ½ cup spring onions, thinly sliced (tops & bottoms)
  • Sprinkling of sugar (optional)
  • ----
  • ¼ cup cashews, soaked 20+ minutes
  • ¼ cup Veganaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • coarsely ground black pepper to taste
  • ----
  • ¼ cup Daiya Cheddar Cheeze
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Begin soaking the cashews.
  2. Prepare pie dough. Divide dough into 3rds. ⅔ will be for the bottom crust, ⅓ for the top crust. Press bottom crust into the pie pan and bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Place top crust in the fridge while the bottom crust cooks. Remove pie crust from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Reduce temperature to 350°.
  3. Meanwhile, slice the tomatos and chop the onions and herbs.
  4. In a Magic Bullet or food processor, blend the soaked cashews (drained of water), veganaise, lemon juice, salt, nutritional yeast & a few grinds of pepper, blending until very smooth. Stir in the Daiya Cheese into the veganaise mix.
  5. Layer tomatoes, herbs and spring onions evenly in pie shell. Spread the creamy veganaise mixture evenly over the tomatoes.
  6. Place second crust over top, crimp edges to seal and use a sharp paring knife to cut 4 steam vents on top.
  7. Bake until top crust is golden (and insides are bubbly), 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes to set before slicing.
Grammy's Oil Pastry Pie Crust
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This recipe was used by my Grandmother, as my grandfather needed to cut back on sodium & lard. I believe it may originally have come from Betty Crocker. But it's a super easy, almost fail-proof crust recipe.
  • 1-¾ cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Cold Water
  • Wax or Parchment Paper
  1. Mix flour & salt. Add oil, and mix with a fork until it looks like meal. Sprinkle with water. Mix with a fork. Gather into a ball, and place between two sheets of wax paper. Roll with a rolling pin into a circle.
The quantity of ingredients is for a two crust pie. I found that the quantities for a one crust pie were not enough. You will likely end up with a little extra crust (so make some sugar & cinnamon rolls, as my grandma used to do 🙂
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