Tomatoes are the last true summer crop that I grab from the garden. The shift comes as swiftly as the fall back to standard time: one deep temperature swing makes every green fruit still on the vine inedible. Each fall, I follow weather forecasts, gamble on their accuracy, and try to pluck every fully formed tomato before the first killing frost.
Even if I succeed, the reward isn’t the perfectly red, juicy treats I’ve been feasting on all summer. It’s boxes of hard, underripe tomatoes. Some I’ll eat or preserve while green, but most sit for weeks beside my desk, where I watch them gradually ripen.
These tomatoes never match the bright, sweet bite of sun-kissed midsummer fruit, but I treasure them as the season’s final flush. Rather than eating them out of hand, I’ve found that letting them cook slowly, like in this savory pie, maximizes their maturing flavor.
Learn to make Late-Season Tomato Pie and Herb and Cheese Pie Crust