It has finally happened. I’ve not only tried multiple recipes to get the best one, but I’ve completely fallen for Southern Tomato Basil Pie.
Years and years ago our two friends, Dave and Sarah told us a crazy story about a tomato pie and a trip to Hawaii. I’m going to spare you every detail, but I do want to tell you that our one conversation about Southern Tomato Pie sparked an interest in me that has been going on for years and years.
On the one hand, the way that Dave and Sarah talked about Southern Tomato Pie made me want to try some asap. And I mean, like who has it because I need some RIGHT. NOW. But on the other hand, a pie crust filled with mayonnaise and tomatoes sounded awful. I don’t mean to ruin it for you before you ever try it, but it does sound weird, right?
You just need to trust me on this, because until you’ve had tomato pie you do not know the goodness yet.
Actually, try thinking about Margarita pizza. Do you just love that pizza? I know that margarita pizza is not a mayonnaise based dish, but I promise that the flavors are more similar than you could ever realize. It’s those fresh tomatoes, cheese, basil and that flaky crust. My goodness, it’s so good!
What is Southern Tomato Pie?
I’ve gotten a bit distracted in telling you how good tomato pie is that I actually haven’t taken the time to explain what is Southern Tomato Pie.
Tomato pie is a savory pie that is filled with tomatoes and cheese and a good sprinkling of fresh basil. It’s a dish that can count for brunch, an appetizer, side dish or we even will eat it as a main dish with a side of fruit.
How to Make Easy Southern Tomato Pie
Tomato pie is a basic pie crust that is blind baked with a light sprinkling of cheese on the bottom. The cheese is not only good, but it actually helps to create an additional layer between the mayo and tomatoes so the crust does not get soggy.
Next, you’ll layer tomatoes, a mayonnaise and cheese mixture and fresh basil, repeating layers until you get to the top of the pie. At this point, sprinkle a healthy dose of cheese on top and leave the fresh basil for once you’ve pulled the pie out of the oven.
The mayonnaise and cheese mixture becomes one and tastes like a delicious cheese sauce in the pie. It does NOT taste like mayonnaise.
How to Make Tomato Pie Not Soggy
There are a few things that you can do to ensure that you make a tomato pie not soggy.
- Slice the tomatoes and place them on a paper towel with a sprinkling of salt. Salt draws liquid out of veggies, and then the liquid is absorbed by the tomatoes.
- Blind bake your pie crust to crisp everything before wet ingredients are piled into it. When you blind bake for a tomato pie make sure that you are docking, or in other words, pricking the entire bottom of the pie crust.
- If your tomatoes look especially juicy, brush the pie crust with an egg white before baking. This will seal the pie crust.
Can You Make Tomato Pie Ahead of Time?
Tomato pie is one of my favorite recipes to make up to 1 whole day ahead of time. Just be sure that you save the pie in the refrigerator and then you can serve it cold, or reheat it.
You can also prep the pie to be made by baking the pie crust, cooling it and then setting it aside with plastic wrap until you’re ready to bake it.
The tomatoes should not be sliced until you’re ready.
The cheese can be grated and stored in a sealable bag, but we prefer to chop the basil right before using as it will wilt.
How to Serve Tomato Pie
Tomato pie can be served a few different ways. I like my tomato pie to be served room temperature. Because there is mayonnaise and cheese in it you don’t want to leave it out for hours, but you can certainly leave it to cool a bit or stick it in the fridge until the temperature is more like barely warm.
Many people like to eat their tomato pie warm, so just waiting a few minutes after baking it is best for them.
Finally, tomato pie, especially when served as an appetizer or brunch can be served cold.
How Long Will Tomato Pie Keep?
- How to Store Tomato Pie- Tomato Pie is to be stored with plastic wrap or foil wrapped over the pie. It creates quite the mess to attempt to remove slices and store them in containers.
- How Long Can Tomato Pie Sit Out- Tomato pie is great at room temperature. If the entire pie isn’t consumed you should store the leftovers in the fridge overnight.
- How Long Can You Store Tomato Pie? – Tomato pie can be stored for up to 2 days in the refrigerator or frozen.
Can Tomato Pie be Frozen?
You actually can freeze tomato pie. There will be some more liquid once you’re reheating. Because it’s mayonnaise and not a cream base it holds up pretty darn well.
Once the pie is cooked and cooled, just place it on a cookie sheet. Next, flash freeze for 20 minutes. Once that is done, wrap in saran wrap. Keep in a container in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.
How to Reheat Tomato Pie
When you want to eat one of the pies that was frozen, unwrap and microwave on high for one minute. If it is just a pie from the refrigerator, do 30 seconds.
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Southern Tomato Basil Pie
- 1 1/3 Cups Flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Butter cold and cubed
- 6 Tablespoons Shortening cold
- 3-4 Tablespoons Ice Water
- 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese divided
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese divided
- 4 Large Tomatoes
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 3/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
- 1/3 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
- 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
- Prepare the pie crust by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl.
- Add the cold butter and shortening and using a pastry cutter (trust me, it's worth the couple of bucks) cut the fats into the flour mixture until it resembles small peas.
- Using a tablespoon, add a little water to the flour mixture at a time, using a fork to stir everything together until the dough just comes together. It should not be smooth and soft like cookie dough, but instead a little more flaky until you squeeze it together.
- Place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap, shaping it into a ball.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a circle.
- Place in a pie dish and trim any overhanging dough leaving a good inch around the lip. Crimp this dough and prick the bottom and sides of the pie crust.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella and place in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven to cool while you prepare the filling.
For the Filling
- Slice the tomatoes thin and place on a double layer of paper towels
- Lightly salt tomato slices and leave them for 10 minutes. The salt will pull out excess water which the paper towels will sop up so you don't have a wet pie.
- Combine 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Sprinkle tomato slices with the garlic powder, oregano and black pepper to taste. Layer 1/3 of the tomato slices, 1/3 of the cheese mixture and 1/3 of the basil. Repeat layers.
- In a small bowl combine remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Dot over the final layer of tomatoes.
- Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes. Cool before serving.