Before moving to the South, I thought I knew all about pie. On the sweet side, you have your fruit pies, your chocolate and coconut cream pies, your lemon meringue pies, and your pecan pies. On the savory side, you've got what some people call pizza pies. (I just call them pizzas.)
One pie I’d never heard of, however, was the tomato pie. When I first came across recipes for this Southern-style summer pie, all I could think was, “Is it pizza?” To those of you wondering the same thing, let me clear up the confusion. Tomato pie is definitely not the same thing as pizza.
Tomato pie is pie crust filled with fresh chopped tomatoes, sweet caramelized onions, and ribbons of fresh basil. That alone would be plenty delicious. But this is a Southern dish, so of course it needs a little richness. That richness comes in the form of a thick topping made of shredded cheese, mayonnaise, and hot sauce. Sounds weird I know, but go with it. (If you’re familiar with pimento cheese, another Southern favorite, that’s essentially what we’re talking about here.) The cheese gets browned and bubbly and seals in the tomato filling like a top pie crust.
All together, this pie tastes like summer. It is fresh and juicy and rich and decadent. It’s certainly not healthy, but it’s a delicious treat and a great way to use some of summer’s best produce.
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Tomato PieAdapted from Simply Recipes
1 9-inch pie crust
1 T. olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 to 4 tomatoes, chopped and squeezed to remove as much juice as possible
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, etc.)
3/4 cup mayonnaise (reduced fat is fine)
1 tsp. hot sauce (I like Frank’s)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the pie crust in a pie plate. Prick a few holes in the crust with a fork. Freeze the crust for a few minutes to firm it up, then bake it for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 20 minutes, until lightly caramelized.
Sprinkle the bottom of the pie crust with the cooked onions.
Pile the tomatoes on top of the onions, and top with the basil.
In a medium bowl, mix together the cheese, mayonnaise, hot sauce, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Spread the cheese mixture over the pie.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.