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Music – “Green Tomatoes” from 50’s & 60’s Wild Guitar Instrumentals by Pat & the Wildcats. Released: 2013
In deference to Dr. Seuss, famous author of “Green Eggs and Ham”, I did not set out to make green eggs and ham. Rather, I opted to make “Green Tomato Pie”
Gardeners at this time of year begin to lament the waning daylight hours and cooler temperatures, casting a wary eye on their tomato plants, which are loaded with luscious tomatoes…. green tomatoes. As the days grow shorter, these tomatoes won’t ever take on the early pink tinges that signal ripening. No, these tomatoes will remain green and hard. Very hard.
Enter a recipe for “Green Tomato Pie”. I have several, from a variety of cookbooks, but went with one I had used previously, from Southern Living’s “The Pies and Pastries Cookbook”, published in 1972. The pastry recipe I used was from “Farm Journal’s Complete Pie Cookbook”, published in 1965.
Green Tomato Pie
1 and 2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
3 ½ cups thinly sliced green tomatoes
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons grated lemon rind
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
pastry for a 2-crust pie (see below)
Combine the sugar and flour in a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients (except the butter and pastry). Place in pastry lined pie pan and dot with butter. Add the top crust and cut slits in the center. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes longer.
For the Pastry:
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup vegetable shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or with two knives until mixture is the consistency of coarse cornmeal or tiny peas. Sprinkle on the cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing mixture lightly and stirring with a fork. Add water each time to the driest part of the mixture. The dough should be just moist enough to hold together when pressed gently with a fork and should not be sticky.
Shape dough into a smooth ball and roll (if not ready to make the pie yet, refrigerate the dough in waxed paper). Makes enough for a two-crust 8 or 9 inch pie.
I should point out that while green tomatoes may never have a chance to “mature” like their red counterparts, they are also popular as “fried green tomatoes”. In fact, they made a movie around green tomatoes (“Fried Green Tomatoes”).
Come to think of it, they made a movie around red tomatoes too, the infamous shlocky “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”. But in the latter, the red tomatoes are the bad guys. Did you ever see a green tomato go bad in “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”? I think not.