Dive into a savory pie bursting with the freshest of tomatoes, an irresistible mix of mozzarella and sharp cheddar, all rounded off with a hint of garlic and basil. This Southern Tomato Pie promises a delightful culinary experience!
I can’t think about this Southern Tomato Pie without a rush of nostalgia. Growing up in the South, summers meant family reunions, sipping sweet tea, and being sun-kissed. But one memory shines above the rest: Grandma’s famous tomato pie. Every time she’d pull that pie out of her antique oven, the aroma would fill her warm kitchen and I’d be first in line, plate in hand. Years later, I’ve tried to capture the magic of those sun-drenched days in this recipe. Trust me, one bite, and you’ll be transported right back to those lazy summer days.
Ah, the beauty of the Southern Tomato Pie! Here’s what sets this recipe apart:
- Freshness Factor: Unlike many pies that can be heavy, this one banks on the freshness of juicy tomatoes.
- Cheese Galore: An indulgent combo of mozzarella and sharp cheddar that brings a tangy yet creamy element.
- Cracker Crunch: The butter cracker crumbs on top? That’s our secret weapon for that added crispiness!
- Balanced Flavours: While tomatoes bring in the tang, basil adds a herby freshness, and the garlic, well, who doesn’t love garlic?
Ingredients for Southern Tomato Pie:
- Pie Crust: While a store-bought 9-inch pie crust is quick and convenient, you can always make your own if you’re feeling fancy.
- Tomatoes: Roma or beefsteak are the way to go, but ensure they’re ripe yet firm.
- Cheeses: Mix and match! While mozzarella and cheddar are classics, feel free to toss in some parmesan or gouda for a twist.
- Cracker Crumbs: Butter cracker crumbs like Ritz add a golden touch. But in a crunch? Use regular breadcrumbs sprinkled with melted butter.
How To Make Southern Tomato Pie:
- Crust Prepping: Start by preheating your oven to a friendly 350°F. Place that lovely pie shell on your counter. The parchment paper is your crust’s BFF here; line the pie with it. Those dried beans or pie weights? They’ll prevent the crust from puffing up. Into the oven, it goes! Once it’s golden (not sunburned!), about 20 minutes, get it out and let it cool. Think of it as giving your pie crust a little sunbath.
- Tomato TLC: Those tomatoes need some attention! Lay them out on paper towels like they’re sunbathing (notice a theme here?). A sprinkle of salt not only seasons them but draws out excess moisture. Give them 10 minutes, then pat them down, just like applying sunscreen.
- Layer Up: Grab that cooled pie shell. Alternate layers of tomatoes and the aromatic chopped basil. Save some tomato slices for the grand finale.
- Cheesy Goodness: Mix mayo, that delightful garlic, our cheese duo, and black pepper in a bowl. Feel free to dance a bit; this is the fun part! Slather that mix onto your tomatoes.
- Final Touch: Crown your pie with cracker crumbs. Those reserved tomato slices? Place them on top, like the jewels they are. Into the oven again until everything’s bubbly and looking like a golden sunset, typically 40-45 minutes.
- Patience is a Virtue: I know it’s tempting, but let the pie rest for 15 minutes. This lets the flavors meld. Slice, serve, and brace yourself for the applause!
If by some miracle you have leftovers, wrap your pie in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. For a fresh-out-of-the-oven feel, reheat in the oven at 325°F until warmed through.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Veggie Delight: Feeling adventurous? Add thinly sliced zucchini or bell peppers for extra oomph.
- Cheese Adventure: Swap one of the cheeses for feta or goat cheese for a tangier profile.
- Spice it Up: Add some red pepper flakes to the cheese mix if you’re looking for a kick!
- Crust Options: Gluten-free? There are many great gluten-free pie crusts out there to suit your needs.
Hope you enjoy the pie as much as I do! Here’s to making memories, one slice at a time! 🍅🥧
Southern Tomato Pie
- One 9-inch pie crust not pre-baked.
- Four to five tomatoes of the Roma or beefsteak variety cut into slices.
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- 1/4 cup of freshly chopped basil leaves.
- Two cloves of garlic minced finely.
- 1 cup of mozzarella cheese grated.
- 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese grated.
- 3/4 cup of mayonnaise.
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper ground.
- 1/2 cup of crumbs derived from butter crackers such as the brand Ritz, equating to approximately 12 crackers.
- Initiate the preparation by setting the oven to preheat at a temperature of 350°F (175°C).
- Take the unbaked pie shell and line its inner surface with parchment paper. Proceed to fill this shell with either dried beans or specific pie weights to prevent the crust from rising. Bake this in the preheated oven for an approximate duration of 20 minutes or until a light golden hue is achieved. Once baked, remove from the oven, discard the parchment paper and beans/weights, and allow the crust to cool.
- In the interim, position the tomato slices on a dual layer of absorbent paper towels. Evenly sprinkle the salt over them. Let these slices rest for a span of 10 minutes. Following this, absorb any residual moisture by patting the tomatoes using another set of paper towels.
- Once the pie crust has cooled, begin the layering process. Intermittently layer the pie shell with tomato slices and the freshly chopped basil leaves, ensuring a few tomato slices are reserved for the final layer.
- In a separate, smaller mixing bowl, amalgamate the mayonnaise, finely minced garlic, both varieties of grated cheese, and ground black pepper until well combined. Spread this mixture uniformly over the layered tomatoes in the pie shell.
- As a finishing touch, evenly sprinkle the pie’s surface with the butter cracker crumbs and adorn with the previously reserved tomato slices.
- Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for a duration ranging between 40 to 45 minutes or until the pie manifests a golden-brown appearance with a slightly bubbly surface.
- Once baked to satisfaction, remove from the oven and let the pie rest for a quarter of an hour before it is segmented and served.