This project was started to educate ourselves as well as residents and visitors to the region about how we are all connected to this place through the foods we grow, cook and consume here. I was expecting to learn lots of interesting facts about lots of interesting people, influential people, people who lived lives that no one today can really imagine. What I was not expecting was to learn about my own great uncle, and re-discover an old family recipe in the process.
We received an email from a couple named Ben and Susan who recognized the photos of my great-grandmother that ran in an article a while back. Ben’s father was my uncle Arthur (called Art)’s best friend. I drove up the coast to visit them and had a wonderful time learning about a relative who I have always known of but never knew much about. Art died almost a decade before I was born, and he doesn’t come up in conversation often. Art used to make a Green Tomato Pie, and Art had written a copy of the recipe for Ben and Susan. In case you can’t read it from the picture, Here is the recipe as written:
Green Tomato Pie
Peel and slice green tomatoes and let drain while you make the crust.
Mix 1 cup sugar with 2 heaping tablespoons flour.
Fill pie about 1/2 full and put part of the sugar and flour over it.
Fill the rest of the way and put the remaining flour and sugar on top.
Then put one tablespoon vinegar and one or two teaspoons of lemon extract over the sugar.
Put on top crust, bake same as apple pie.
My notes: I used 12 large green tomatoes, but I think the important thing is to fill the pie crust so it’s heaping. I peeled them with a vegetable peeler and that worked well. To slice them, I cut the peeled tomatoes in half and thinly sliced them like you would for apple in an apple pie. I used apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of lemon juice. I baked it for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees but if you have a better apple pie baking system, use that. For pie crust, I cheated and bought the frozen stuff, which worked just fine.
So how was it?! It was delicious. It tasted like rhubarb-apple, and it was a great way to use my friends green tomatoes, that this late in the year were very unlikely to ripen.