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.
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.

Check out more of my southern favorites on Pinterest!


Recipe: Classic Southern Tomato Pie

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Inactive time: 30 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time: 1 hour 15 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, optional
  • 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, if using, 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 with cheddar, swiss, pepper jack, monterey jack, are all good choices to mix, but always use majority mozzarella. May 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.


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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

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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