Green Mater Pie
You know that urgency you feel when all of the tomatoes come in–but won’t ripen fast enough? Me, too. As the hubby is allergic to apples, this recipe satisfies his craving for tart/sweet/cinnamony goodness and my need to harvest something early:
5 or 6 green tomatoes, cut in wedges (or, if small: enough to fill a pie shell. Around 3
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 heaping tablespoons Arrow Root (see cook’s note)
A Southern pinch of cinnamon, orange zest, nutmeg and a smidge (around a quarter
teaspoon) salt *
2 or three tablespoons butter (chilled)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Place mater wedges in bowl and toss with vinegar. In another bowl, sift sugar, arrow root, spices and salt. Drain maters and plop into dry ingredients for coating, carefully lifting and turning until covered. Either make your pie shell or pull an Aunt Earl and grab one of those Pillsbury roll-out numbers and affix it proper in a pie plate. Layer those dusted maters nice and high (they will cook on down) in the shell and dot (tiny pieces) with butter. Cover with pie crust and slice in an X to allow for bubbly goodness. Plop on a baking sheet and bake at 350 until golden brown.* Serve warm but set: with ice cream.
Cook’s note: In the Deep South, there’s an ongoing debate over thickeners for pies. Flour usually wins, but corn starch, tapioca and arrow root (and some gels) show up from time to time. For acidic fillings, arrow root is the only way as it freezes without becoming gummy or opaque and has less of a flavor interrupting your business. However, if you do go with flour, use a 1/4 cup.
*I’ve added ground clove a time or two. Play with ‘yor spices like Big Momma intended her babies to do.
*For perfect pie, rim that crust with tin foil. Remove in the last few minutes for browning.