Tomato Pie is an old-fashioned Southern recipe that is extra delicious come summertime! Layers of gooey cheese, juicy tomatoes, sharp onion, and fresh basil sit in a flaky pie crust to create a truly unique savory treat.
OLD-FASHIONED TOMATO PIE RECIPE
Have you ever heard of Tomato Pie? I honestly hadn’t either before it showed up on a brunch table some years ago. I thought it was a quiche, but was surprised to find layers of ripe tomatoes and cheese inside.
This recipe should not be confused with Sicilian sfinciuni or Philly style pizza. A quick Google search of ‘Tomato Pie’ brings up both, and they are very different.
IS TOMATO PIE A DESSERT?
Some folks would argue that, since tomatoes are technically a fruit, this tomato pie recipe is a dessert. While you can make many delicious desserts using tomatoes, this particular pie is considered more of a side dish based on its savory additions.
There is a more dessert-like version that includes buttered and sugared green tomatoes.
IS TOMATO PIE EATEN HOT OR COLD?
You can eat tomato pie either way. Warm out of the oven is perfect for a dinner side, just as cold leftovers make a great brunch or lunch addition.
WHAT IS TOMATO PIE SERVED WITH?
Tomato pie can be eaten by itself, but it’s best served as either a side or with another side if it’s the main course! Keeping it Southern and summery, I recommend:
HOW TO KEEP TOMATO PIE FROM GETTING SOGGY
There are numerous tips and tricks you can follow to avoid a soggy bottom crust – something Paul Hollywood despises! (Then again, I’m not sure he’d even care for this very American pie!)
- The most basic tip is drying out your tomatoes as best as you can! Tomatoes are mostly water, and when they’re ripe in the summer months, they’re extra sweet and full of sugar – which contributes to water loss. Press them between towels and then salt them and allow them to sit for a while so the excess water is drawn out.
- Use reduced fat cheeses. Skim mozzarella and cheddar (naturally lower fat) are good options, but adding some Parmesan in there helps as well. I promise, it will still taste good!
- Par-bake your crust before filling it. As with many custard-based pies, a partially baked crust helps with the overall structure of the pie. That layer of browned pastry acts as a shield from any liquid that may leak out of the filling.
- Use a dab of mustard. I’m not kidding – a tablespoon of brown mustard spread on the bottom of the crust prior to filling it helps keep the liquids at bay, and adds extra flavor, too!
- Add some extra cheese to the bottom of the crust halfway through its blind bake. A bit of baked cheese on the bottom can also act as a barrier for the naturally watery tomatoes.
HOW TO MAKE TOMATO PIE:
First, place the tomato slices on tea towels or paper towels to remove excess moisture and sprinkle with salt.
Roll out a round of pie crust and press it into a 9-inch pie pan. To keep the pie crust from puffing up as it bakes, you want to first pierce the crust with a fork, then layer on a piece of parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Par-bake (bake part of the way) the crust until it’s lightly browned.
- Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, salt, and pepper for the filling of the Tomato Pie.
Into the par-baked crust, layer sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, basil and the cheese mixture. You should be able to get two layers, finishing with a layer of cheese and breadcrumbs.
Bake the pie for 35-40 minutes until the pie is nicely browned and the filling is bubbling. Allow the pie to cool slightly so the filling can set, before cutting and serving. I like to garnish with fresh basil and maybe a few fresh tomato slices.
MORE GREAT TIPS FOR TOMATO PIE
- Use the freshest tomatoes possible – and make a lot of them during the summer, when tomato season is at its peak.
- This tomato pie can be made ahead of time. Follow the directions up to the baking time, then wrap the pie in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Do not freeze this tomato pie. Tomatoes are made mostly of water, and no matter how much you squeeze out, there will be some remaining. Combined with the mayo-cheese filling, you’ll be asking for a liquidy mess when you try to bake it from the freezer.
- Tomato pie can be reheated! Pop this baby back in the oven if you’re craving a warm slice.
More tomato recipes to try:
- 1 pie crust homemade or store-bought
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes sliced ¼ to ½-inch thick
- 1/2 cup yellow onion thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus more for topping
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese plus more for topping
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves sliced
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs optional
- Place tomato slices on paper towels, and press out any excess moisture. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain and dry on the counter while you prep other ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll out a round of pie crust and press it into a 9-inch pie pan. Pierce the crust with a fork, then layer on a piece of parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned, then remove from oven and set aside to cool. Remove the baking beans when they can be touched.
- In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheeses, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Spread half of the sliced onion on the bottom of the par-baked pie crust. Arrange half of the sliced tomatoes on top, then sprinkle on half of the sliced basil leaves.
- Carefully spread half of the cheese mixture over the vegetables. Repeat layers with the remaining onion, tomato, basil, and cheese mixture.
- Finally, sprinkle the top with more cheese (if desired) and bread crumbs (if using).
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the pie is nicely browned and the filling is bubbling. Garnish with fresh basil and serve warm.