Traditional in the U.S. South—especially the Carolinas, where it’s a survivor of early-19th-century English cooking—tomato pie is one of those comforting old fashioned things that always takes people by surprise. You start by making a flaky pie dough and prebaking (that is, baking “blind”) with pie weights. The filling is a mix of chopped and drained fresh tomatoes, sautéed onion, fresh herbs, and a mix of mayonnaise and shredded orange cheddar cheese. Fill, bake, and cool, then slice into wedges and serve.
- Yield: 6 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr 30 mins
- Active: 35 mins
- Pie dough for single crust pie
- 3 cups cored, seeded, and chopped fresh tomatoes (about 6 tomatoes)
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a round about 12 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough and crimp the edges decoratively. Freeze for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the dough with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil, and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the crust starts to set, about 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and continue to bake until the crust is dry and very lightly brown, about 10 minutes more. Remove to a wire rack and set aside.
- Put the tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle them with a little salt. Let stand for 30 minutes then press out as much liquid as possible using the back of a large spoon or a rubber spatula.
- In a frying pan, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 8 minutes. Scrape into the pie shell and spread into an even layer. Add the tomatoes, spreading into an even layer, then sprinkle with the herbs.
- In a bowl, stir together the cheese and mayonnaise. Dollop it over the top of the tomatoes, then spread it into an even layer with your hands or a spoon.
- Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let stand for at least 20 minutes before serving.