My mother-in-law Henny introduced me to Tomahto Pie (I spelled that phonetically, because it’s pronounced a little differently here in the midwest). I would actually spell it TomAHHto Pie, because it was so good you couldn’t help but sigh. This was a few years back, and just as I do with many recipes I get excited about, I wear it out and then put it away to rest for a while.
Well, it’s been more than a while, and I had a pie crust and I had tomatoes, mayonnaise and cheese. I know how to add — one plus one equals tomato pie! The recipe was a little different from the one I used in the past, but not very different. When I looked up Tomato Pie recipes online, I wasn’t surprised to see that they were all pretty similar, and many stated that it’s the best tomato pie recipe ever.
The basic ingredients of baked pie crust, tomato, cheese, and mayonnaise were present in all of them. The variations were in the type of crust (some included cornmeal, others whole wheat flour, others just a basic store-bought crust), but all pre-baked; the type of tomato (some heirloom, some slicers, some romas, some salted and drained, some not); the type of cheese (some just cheddar, some mozzarella or parmesan, some a combo, so use what you have and what you like); additional flavorings (some add bacon, pesto, herbs like basil, or thyme or dill, some add onion or garlic or fennel); and the method (some layer the tomato and herb and top with cheese, then spread with mayo, some put the cheese and mayo on the bottom and top with tomatoes, some mix the cheese and mayo and spread that over the tomatoes, but it all ends up in the crust).
You pretty much can’t go wrong when you are using good ingredients, so adjust to your liking and keep experimenting while tomatoes are in high season and plentiful in the shares.
Here’s my latest version. It was so goopy that it didn’t look like a piece of pie, and pretty much required a spoon. Nom nom nom:
1 pie crust baked for about 8 minutes at 375–be sure to pierce it all over the bottom and sides with a fork and check it while baking to make sure it isn’t puffing up.
2-3 large tomatoes (or as many you need to almost-fill the pie crust), sliced in 1/2-3/4 inch slices, salted and drained in a colander
2c. grated cheese pick one or a combo. I’m going with Marcoot Scamorza and Hatch Pepper.
Herbs, pesto, onion, garlic, bacon, or other flavorful additions (I used onion, garlic and basil this time)
Salt and Pepper
Bake your pie crust or you will have mushy dough rather than cooked pie crust, which is likely to be pretty mushy anyway because of all the tomato juice. You’ll want to salt the tomatoes before you put them in the crust so they release more juice which you can collect for your bloody Mary and keep it out of your pie. Layer your tomatoes and other additions, sprinkling each layer with a little more salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix the cheese and mayonnaise together and spread it over the tomatoes. Bake in a 375F oven for 30 minutes or until cheese mixture is brown and bubbly.
This is the one I would want if someone offered to make it for me. It has a homemade crust, heirloom tomatoes, lots of herbs, and good cheese. It would probably look a lot like the beautiful one that Lindy and Colleen made above:
This is the one I made so often I committed it to memory and adjusted with abandon each time I made it (I’m pretty sure I posted it here before, but in case you didn’t try it, here’s another reminder):
1 9-inch deep dish pie crust
3 large, ripe tomatoes, thickly sliced
basil, salt and pepper to taste
1 c. mayonnaise
1 cup grated sharp cheese
Bake crust at 350F for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Layer tomatoes in crust and sprinkle with scallions, basil, salt and pepper. Repeat layers until crust is full. Mix cheese and mayonnaise together and spread over top. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.