If I had to choose one southern dish that I especially love, it would be tomato pie. I had never eaten tomato pie before moving to North Carolina, and was a tiny little lunch place within walking distance of my house that served it when we first moved here. I was immediately hooked. What is not to love about pie crust filled with flavorful, fresh tomatoes and cheesy filling?
This is not a light dish… It is comfort food for sure. Flavorful tomatoes make or break it, so it is best in the summer when you can get garden or farm tomatoes. I couldn’t quite wait though and made it for Easter. I made sure to let my tomatoes get nice and ripe on my counter before making it. It still wasn’t as good as mid summer, but I will take it.
There are many variations on this pie. One of my favorites is from the Deep Run Roots cookbook, because it has roasted tomatoes in addition to fresh, which really increases the flavor. I decided to go with a more traditional recipe this time though from The Pioneer Woman website. You need to salt the tomatoes a bit ahead of time so that they release a lot of moisture, so you don’t get a soggy pie. I also recommend blind baking the crust for this pie, even if your recipe doesn’t say to. It ensures you get a nice crisp crust.
The filling for this version of tomato pie is a combo of mayo, eggs, hot sauce, cheddar, blue cheese (can you see why I wanted to try this one :)), scallions, parsley and dill. Like I said, not a diet food 🙂
We think tomato pie is best served warm. Some recipes call for room temp, but with all the cheese, the flavor just comes through so much more when it is warm. I used the pie crust recipe that was mentioned in the recipe but really regretted that I didn’t use my favorite pie crust instead. This recipe was all shortening and I much prefer my butter and shortening recipe.
For the crust:
- 3/4 cup crisco
- 1 1/2 cup AP flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 1/2 tbsp ice water
- 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the pie:
- 1 recipe pie crust
- 2 3/4 lbs ripe tomatoes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1 large egg plus one yolk
- 2 tsp hot sauce
- 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar
- 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 4 scallions sliced
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornmeal
For the crust:
- Whisk flour and salt well. Add the crisco and work it in with your hands until you have rough clumps. Mix the water, egg yolk and vinegar and add the to flour and toss with a fork. Gently work it together.
- Dump onto a lightly floured countertop and use a bench scraper to scoop the clumps and press them down into the mass of dough. Do this until you have a cohesive lump of dough. If you can see some spots of fat that is good. Shape into a round and cover with plastic wrap and put into the fridge overnight.
- The next day, flour a counter top and roll out a round to fit your pie pan. Place the dough into the pan and trim and shape the edges. Place into fridge for 1 hour. Fill crust with parchment and then pie weights or beans and blind bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Remove parchment/weights and bake another 5 or so minutes until crust looks mostly set but not browned. Cool fully.
For the pie:
- Slice the tomatoes crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. Push out the seeds. Lay on a paper towel lined tray and sprinkle with a little salt. Let drain for 30 minutes and then pat dry. Heat oven to 375. Whisk the mayo, egg, yolk, hot sauce in a bowl.
- Add the cheddar and blue cheese and the scallions and herbs as well as some black pepper. Sprinkle the cornmeal in the bottom of the crust.
- Place 1/2 of the tomatoes in the bottom and top with 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Add remaining slices and remaining cheese mixture. Bake for 15 minutes and then remove the pan and wrap the crust in foil to prevent burning. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until the filling is puffed and set in the center.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then serve.