Southern Tomato Pie
My husband and I lived in the South when we were first married, young, dumb, broke, and in love. I’ll never forget the first time I went to the local grocery store, Winn Dixie, and Jim Bob was paged over the intercom. The accent was so thick I could hardly understand the words. I stood there in the middle of the produce section, trying to decide if I should laugh or cry.
I came home and told my husband, “I think we moved to a different country.” And we had. And we loved (almost) every minute of it.
We ate hush puppies and apple dumplings, okra, sorghum, buttermilk biscuits. We plucked a friend’s chicken and sat around the dinner table eating it an hour later. It was easy to find pork rinds, tough to find flour that wasn’t self-rising.
I never once ate a tomato pie in the South, but this recipe originally ran in the Oregonian back in 2009, compliments of Sassafras Catering and winner of the 2008 Portland Pie-Off. I love the simple steps, seasonal ingredients, and southern twist on a savory dish (think quiche – eggs). I made it three times in two weeks. Then for some dumb reason, I never made it again (I do that a lot).
Between the 50-pound bag of sweet onions in my garage and the 40-pounds of ripe tomatoes on my dining room table, this recipe popped into my head again. I dusted it off, and every bite was as good as I remembered it.
So grab some beautiful Northwest tomatoes and tuck them into a delicious Southern pie.
Southern Tomato Pie
adapted from a Foodday recipe
This pie can be frozen and baked (unthawed) if you use sour cream instead of mayo. Also, I used fresh chopped basil in place of the dried herbs.
2 T. butter
1 1/2 large sweet onions, sliced in 1/4-inch rings
5 large tomatoes, cored and cut in bite-size chunks
1-2 c. shredded cheese
1/4-1/2 c. mayonnaise or sour cream
1/2 t. freshly cracked black pepper
1 10-inch pie crust (step by step instructions to make your own crust here!)
1 t. sugar
1/4 t. dried basil
1 T. dried spice mix (Italian herbs or other favorite seasoning)
- Melt butter in a skillet and add onions. Cook at medium-low for about 45 minutes until caramelized, stirring every few minutes to avoid burning. (you can also make caramelized onions in the slow cooker!)
- Meanwhile, place tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt; drain for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix cheese with mayonnaise or sour cream and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and set aside.
- Line pie shell with parchment paper or foil and fill with beans or pie weights (to avoid bubbles) and bake for 15 minutes.
- Gently squeeze tomatoes to remove some of their liquid.
- Remove pie shell from oven and carefully remove paper or foil and pie weights.
- Add the tomatoes to pie shell and sprinkle with pepper, sugar and basil. Lightly combine with your fingertips.
- Spread cheese mixture atop tomatoes. Sprinkle spice mix on top of cheese. Add caramelized onions to the top of the pie in an even layer.
- Bake pie for 30 minutes. Cover with foil if the crust starts to brown too much.
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