Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Classic Southern Tomato Pie

Tomato pie, using simple fresh ingredients - juicy tomatoes and fresh herbs, layered in a flaky pie crust, with sweet onion and cheese. Dress the top with the traditional mayonnaise and cheese mixture, and you've got a classic southern tomato pie.

Classic Southern Tomato Pie

Yes! It really is still summer, I swear. If you don't believe me, c'mon down to the Deep South, and I'll show you what heat and humidity are like in September along the Gulf Coast. We were at the Biloxi Seafood Festival this Saturday with the grandkids, and it was as hot as it has been all summer, though we did have a nice cold front pass through Sunday. Temps have been down in the mid-80s with low humidity for a few days and it has been just gorgeous. Only those of us who live our lives in the South understand that is considered "nice and cool."

Still, I know a lot of recipe websites and food bloggers are anxious to move on to fall recipes once we cross that Labor Day line in the beach sand, but fall really is officially a little bit away yet. Even longer than that here in the Deep South if you're talking temperatures... so I'm still fixated on summer dishes.

Besides, there's only a little more time left to enjoy those summer tomatoes y'all and this savory pie is a great way! Then we'll be back to those mealy, tasteless tomatoes that are picked too early and refrigerated to travel across the country, or even the world. Truth is, I intended to bring you this recipe all summer long, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. Vidalias are all but gone by now, but thankfully, you can find sweet onions year round. Those will have to do.

I absolutely adore this pie and I can make a meal of it for days. I actually have to, since The Cajun isn't must interested in things like tomato pies. Unlike the quiche style tomato pie I also love, this one is the more classic, mayo topped, southern style tomato pie and not the tomato (pizza) pie that some of y'all think of when you hear the words "tomato pie." I just love this country! This tomato pie is the one that has layers of tomato, cheese, fresh herbs, and for me a little onion and bacon, and is finished with a topping of a mayonnaise and cheese mixture.

Make your own homemade pie crust or buy a good commercial crust like Pillsbury brand. Since I got my Ninja blender last Christmas I have been using it for both pizza and pie crusts too. Unlike the heavier food processor that has to be stored and then dragged out of storage, the blender stays on the counter and sure makes it easy to whip up a nice crust in no time. Although I still can't get my homemade crusts to look as pretty as a Pillsbury crust, this blender has really grown on me. Hey... rustic is in anyway, right?

Get this luscious tomato pie in while you still can - or at least save it to your recipe box for next season. It's definitely a winner.

Here's how to make it.

Recipe: Classic Southern Tomato Pie

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Inactive time: 30 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 (10 inch) deep dish pie crust, partially baked
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes, sliced (about 18 slices)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
  • 1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion, quartered and sliced thin (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cups of shredded mozzarella, divided
  • Pinch of granulated sugar, optional
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup of regular mayonnaise (do not substitute low fat or fat free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/8 cup of chopped fresh parsley

Place the uncooked pie crust in a glass, deep dish pie pan, turning the edges under and 1/2 inch over the top of the pie plate to crimp; dock crust with a fork in several places. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is dry looking and just beginning to lightly brown. Set aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with two layers of paper towels. Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and lay them out on the paper towels to drain. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and cover with another layer of paper towels. Let tomatoes rest for 30 minutes while you prepare the bacon and onions. Cook the bacon fairly crisp, remove, set aside and saute the onions in the bacon drippings until tender, but not browned.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add half a cup of the mozzarella cheese to the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Knock excess seeds off of tomato slices and top cheese with half of the tomatoes. Sprinkle lightly with sugar if using, then season to taste with the black pepper and garlic powder. Add half of the basil, top with half of the onions, and half of the bacon. Sprinkle a half cup of the cheese on top. Repeat layers, except omit the last layer of cheese.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, hot sauce, parsley and the remaining 2 cups of cheese; spread evenly over the top. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until bubbly and light golden brown on top. Shield edges of pie crust if it is browning too quickly. Let pie cool to room temperature before slicing, using a serrated knife. Best served warm, but also very good cold. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Tomato pie can be served as a main dish with a garden salad and a side of seasonal fruit, or as a side on a veggie plate, or along with any main dish protein such as pork, beef, chicken or seafood.

Cook's Notes: Times are estimates as ovens vary. Can also use a combination of cheeses - mozzarella, cheddar, swiss, pepper jack, monterey jack, are all good choices to mix. Can also use part Parmesan cheese for some of the cheese in the top dressing. May substitute a teaspoon of dried basil and parsley for the fresh herbs and/or use sliced green onion in place of the sweet onion. May also be made with green tomatoes.

Mini Pie Variation: Mini tomato pies are an excellent party food. Use a biscuit cutter to cut mini dough circles out of pie pastry and bake in mini muffin tins, or use mini phyllo shells on a baking sheet. Pre-bake the crusts until very lightly browned, fill as above, except chop tomatoes after draining. Bake about 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

Ham and Tomato Pie: Substitute 1/4 cup of diced, smoked ham for the bacon.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too!

Quiche Style Tomato Pie
How to Preserve Tomatoes in the Freezer
Old Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie

Posted by on September 11, 2012
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  1. The pie looks delicious and I have never eaten a tomato pie. Be thankful you have an abundance of tomatoes. I bought a few over the weekend from an Amish produce stand in SE Ohio and they were 70 cents each so my use of them is quite limited..

    1. I still have some growing in the garden but at the end of the season they do tend to get a little more costly as they become less available. Depending on what size those are, they might actually be a bargain at 70 cents! Since you've never tried a tomato pie, I hope that you'll save this recipe and give it a try next season. If you love tomatoes, you'll likely enjoy the pie! Thanks for stopping by Nana and for taking the time to comment. Hope that you visit with us again soon.

  2. I have never eaten tomato pie either, but I sure want to now. We have had such a drought here this summer that the last 2 weeks that I went to the farmer's market there were no tomatoes. I'm going early tomorrow, so if they have some I'll make your pie! Looks so delicious Mary and the picture looks like it belongs in a magazine.

    1. Oh goodness Lynda, thanks!! I just happened to catch some good light I think LOL, because you know I'm no photographer. I have exactly one window & a very short window of time for picture taking.

      I adore this pie Lynda & hope that you do give it a try - let me know if you do!

  3. I am requested to make Tomatoe Pie for family functions....it's almost a demand. I use Tomatoes, Purple Onion, Basil, Dill, Goat cheese for the middle layer then repeat. Have put bacon inside as well as cooked squash. I use a variety of cheeses but do mix the cheddar/jack with the mayo for the topping and sprinkle parmesan cheese on the top before baking!!! Yummmmy!

    1. Thanks for sharing your version Debbie - sounds fantastic too!

  4. Any suggestions for someone who detests mayo and runs at the sight of it? :)
    Omit it? This recipes sure sounds awesome..until that part. :D

    1. The classic topping is mayo but you can certainly just top the pie with the remaining cheese Mike!

  5. Looks delicious Mary and we've become tomato pie fans this summer.

  6. As someone who just moved back to Biloxi this weekend after being in Charleston, SC, for 16 years, I totally understand what you mean about the heat vs. "nice & cool"!! It's good to be back though! Have to tell you, the tomato pie is a charleston staple, so I've had (and made!) many many many of them, and yours looks as good as the best of the bunch!

    1. Thanks so much Tricia & welcome home!! These past few days have just been beautiful but... I heard our weatherman say yesterday the humidity will be returning today. Guess we'll have to wait for the next cold front to pass by for another cool blast!

  7. I'm afraid to try this. Every one I've made has been too watery and messy. Have you any remedies for this? Thanks.

    1. Hey Ceil! I'd have to see the recipes that you tried before and how they were done, but this pie isn't at all watery - just follow the instructions to a T with no variation and you shouldn't have that problem. The primary things are to drain the tomatoes on the paper towels when you salt them and then cover them with more paper towels. That absorbs a lot of the excess moisture. I also knock out most of the seeds as I stack the slices in the pre-cooked pie crust. Those two things and the little bit of cheese that you put in the bottom of the crust are my biggest ways to counter that watery mess!

  8. I'm afraid to try this. Every one I've made has been too watery and messy. Have you any remedies for this? Thanks.

  9. I love tomato pie so much that one of my first blog posts ever was about this treat! Your recipe looks so very, very good. I'll have to try it before the summer supply of tomatoes runs out!

  10. I could be all over that pie, Mary. I remember when it was hard to get sweet onions except in the late spring/early summer. I'm so glad you can get different varieties all of the time now.

    1. Yeah, but I still miss the Vidalias - sure wish they had a longer growing season!

  11. This is my first summer down south and I have been enjoying the weather so much! We moved to Alabama nine months ago and I've been hooked on to southern food since. So glad I stumbled upon your blog.you have been bookmarked :)

  12. Mary, I grow tons of tomatoes and have never heard of this, but I know what I will be making this weekend! This sounds amazing!

  13. I wanted to come back here to tell you that I made this as a side dish with some grilled chicken and everyone loved this dish! I didn't have any vidalias, so I just used other sweet yellow onions, but it was still pretty good. I also mixed in fresh parmesan and a touch of havarti for some extra punch. Vidalias will be just enough to push this over the top. I have only recently found your site and I am loving it. Thank you.

  14. Thank you for this recipe my mother used to make this for me long ago and forgot all about it. She passed this past Dec and with this recipe I can keep her memory alive. thank you

    1. Aw, you're so welcome and I'm so sorry for your loss. {{{HUGS}}} My Mama also passed in the month of December back in 1997 - about a week before Christmas - which makes the month of December a little rough even though it's now been many years. Do all of these little things that remind you of her and you will continue to feel her spirit with you. I hope this tomato pie helps!


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