Amanee Neirouz, operations manager at  Ms. Rose’s Fine Food & Cocktails, has recently featured  by The Local Palate for her Black Pepper Tomato Pie.  The Cincinnati native puts her own twist to the creation of pie crust by incorporating the use of Dixie Black Pepper Vodka in her recipe. Amanee elaborates on her use of vodka by insinuating that due to the fluid’s low boiling temperature, “vodka, when baked, evaporates faster than water which in turn leads to flakier a crust”. Black Pepper Vodka holds its significance with this creation of pie crust due to the left behind remnants of black pepper notes once the pie crust has been baked. This addition of black pepper as well as flakier crust serves as a unique staple point to Amanee’s second to none tasting pie crust. 
 
Black Pepper Tomato Pie Recipe by Amanee Neirouz of Ms. Rose’s Fine Foods, Charleston, South Carolina:
For the dough:
½ cup butter
 
½ cup shortening or lard
 
2 cups flour
 
2 teaspoons salt
 
1 teaspoon sugar
 
1 cup Dixie Black Pepper Vodka
 
Ice Water
 
For the filling:
 
⅓ cup instant mashed potato flakes
 
½ Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
 
4 large, ripe tomatoes cut into wedges
 
Salt and pepper to taste
 
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
 
1 cup pimento cheese
 
 
Directions:

1.  Make the dough: Grate butter and set aside in freezer with shortening. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and sugar. Once butter and lard are frozen, use a fork or pastry blender to incorporate into dry ingredients. Slowly mix in vodka until dough just comes together. (You may not need all of the liquid. If dough is still dry, use ice water as needed.) Divide dough into two disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerated for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

2. Make the filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out chilled dough and press into a pie dish. Sprinkle instant mashed potato flakes into bottom of pie shell. (This will help absorb excess liquid from tomatoes.) Next, layer in sliced onion and tomato wedges and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine parsley and pimento cheese and spread onto tomatoes. Bake until brown and bubbly on top, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.