I stir the cream of tomato cake while humming summer is ending, an old Italian song from the 1980s.
I’m in my kitchen overlooking the red rooftops of Bologna, the windows wide open, while I’m preparing a tasty and easy-to-make pie. The redskin tomatoes I’m using will give it a fullness of flavor that I already anticipate.
My greeting to summer.
Late summer is a mid-season suspended between summer and autumn.
It is a time to carefully fold summer memories before storing them in the drawers of memory. And to cook the last summer production and the first of autumn.
Late summer is also one of the plentiful seasons for fruits and vegetables. And these are the ingredients that, at my place, fill the refrigerator and pantry.
By family tradition, these are the days I dedicate to bottles of late passata, jars of melon, watermelon, and plum jam, and the first rustic pies with black grapes.
But it is also time to reduce to powder the sun-dried tomato peels that I will keep in a jar, and to do the same with the aromatics, also dried in the country sun. Finally, I need to decant the flavored vinegar I prepare following an old grandmother’s recipe.
The warm sun these days still gives sweet, juicy tomatoes. It is still early to harvest the green tomatoes that will not have enough sun to become fully ripened. Those I will transform into jam jars.
For now, I still make tomato, basil, and boiled new potato salads, tomatoes stuffed with rice and eggplant cream, and this tomato pie with a local variety from sustainable farming.
Agribologna Redskin tomatoes.
This recipe comes from a collaboration with Agribologna, an Italian and local consortium of farmers.
With these tomatoes, I made the second recipe in collaboration with Agribologna’s “I did it” project.
Redskin savory tomato cake.
To make this recipe, I used tomato pulp and skin in two different ways.
I made the cream using the pulp. With the skin dried in the oven, I flavored the base of my savory pie.
Drying tomato peels is less complicated or time-consuming than you might imagine. On the web, many recipes say you’ll have to keep the oven on for hours. But, trust me, I’m sharing a different temperature cooking to reduce the time.
Buona cucina, Monica
Cook with me
The first recipe I made for the I did it project is an unusual rifreddo where green beans and mortadella are the stars. Find the recipe HERE.
Stay in the know!
To receive unpublished recipes, tips, and food stories, sign up for the Tortellini&CO newsletter. You can disable it anytime.
Keep in Touch
Tomato cake recipe
round pan, 15 cm diameter
List of the Ingredients
ripe tomatoes, 500 g
mascarpone cheese, 250 g
crackers, 100 g
butter, 80 g
oregano to taste
a few pickled capers
olive oil and salt to taste
Wash the tomatoes, score the base with a knife, make a cross, and cook them into unsalted boiling water for 3 minutes.
Scoop out the tomatoes with a skimmer and let cool before peeling.
Dry the peels with kitchen paper and let them lay flat and air for a few hours.
Line the oven tray with paper and place the skins. They do not overlap and bake at 180C degrees in a preheated oven, static function, for 5 minutes.
After this time has elapsed, turn the peels over and lower the oven temperature to 80C degrees.
Cook for ten more minutes, checking that they do not burn, then turn off and let cool in the oven with the door half open.
Put the tomatoes in a saucepan with olive oil, salt, oregano and a few capers.
Bring to the stove and cook for a few minutes. Then turn off the stove, reduce to a puree with a blender, return to the stove and cook over medium-low heat until the sauce is thick cream. Let cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the cake base.
Finely chop the crackers with the tomato skins. If you want, keep some skins aside for the final decoration.
Melt the butter and pour it over the chopped cookies with the peels, add a pinch of salt and mix with a spoon.
Line a baking pan with wet and squeezed baking paper, pour in the base, and even out the bottom with your fingers so that it has no edges. Place it to rest in the refrigerator.
In a bowl, mix the mascarpone cheese with 120 g of the sauce you made, add salt and olive oil and reduce to a smooth cream using the immersion blender. Also, add the egg and incorporate it while stirring.
Pour the cream over the base and bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees, static) for about 25 to 30 minutes.
Let cool completely before removing the tomato cake from the mold.
Spread some of the tomato sauce on the surface, and decorate with the dried peels and basil.