With this pie, I served our very own garden green beans (very proud of that!) with brown butter, and sweet basil ice cream with pine nut pralines for dessert. Yes, truly. That supper was the essence of summer for me.
Summer Tomato Pie
Line a 6-quart oval slow cooker with a crust for a 9" pie - bring it up the sides about 2". I don't crimp it and the edges are definitely rustic. Prick bottom of crust with a fork.
Turn cooker on High for 30 minutes with lid propped open or cocked.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
Thinly slice 3 medium-to-large tomatoes. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tsp. salt and lay in a colander or other porous container in the sink. You must draw some of the water out of the tomatoes or your pie will be too soupy. Allow the tomatoes to drain for at least 10 minutes. Blot moisture gently with a paper towel or old kitchen towel.
After the crust has baked for 30 minutes, carefully (the crock will be hot) layer the filling ingredients below in about 3 layers, ending with cheese.
sliced, salted, drained tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup grated nutty cheddar like Dubliner, or freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 cup grated mozzarella
Then, dollop 1/4 cup mayonnaise in tiny dollops around the top and gingerly spread it over the top layer of cheese. Aim to get it distributed as evenly as possible, but don't stress. It's summer!
Put the lid on the cooker (not cocked this time) and keep it on High for 1 1/2 hours. The crust should be crisp where it shows at the sides, the cheese melted, and some tomato juice bubbling. Remove the slow cooker lid and keep it on High for 15 minutes to evaporate some juice. Remove crock from cooking unit and allow pie to set for as much time as you have before you want to eat. The longer it sits, the more it firms up (we ate ours hot about 10 minutes after it was done due to hungry kids, so the second helpings were much easier to serve). Serve warm or room temperature.