Southern Tomato Pie is a popular summer dish that pays homage to sweet, flavorful, vine-ripened tomatoes. Our version updates this iconic dish, adding in more flavor-enhancing ingredients and modifying the preparation method to ensure those juicy fresh tomatoes don’t make the pie soggy!
If you’re not from the South, chances are right now you’re asking yourself “what the heck is Southern Tomato Pie?” Well, first off, it isn’t a pizza – that’s a Northern dish. Southern Tomato Pie is all about celebrating fresh tomatoes. While there are numerous recipes floating around on the internet, they all have the same basic ingredients – fresh tomatoes, cheese, mayonnaise and basil, all baked in a flaky crust. Some are single crust pies with cheese on top, others (like ours) are double crust.
What’s in This Southern Tomato Pie?
Our version of this scrumptious dish starts with the basic ingredients – fresh tomatoes, cheese, mayo and basil and expands from there. Specifically, we’ve added in more flavor-enhancing ingredients:
- Three types of cheese, instead of just one – Gruyère (Swiss), feta and Parmesan. It’s also delicious with Cheddar.
- More fresh herbs – chives and parsley, in addition to basil. You could also use thyme or cilantro.
- Roasted garlic. Many tomato pie recipes call for chopped raw garlic. We prefer roasting it first, which makes it sweeter and milder.
How do you keep Tomato Pie from getting soggy?
Our preparation method addresses a common issue with tomato pies, which is they can become soggy. The culprit is excess moisture in the tomatoes. Here’s how we fix this issue:
- Core, seed and coarsely chop the tomatoes.
The majority of tomato pie recipes call for sliced tomatoes. Removing the seeds takes out a lot of the moisture, without negatively impacting the flavor. While tomato slices make a pretty top to the pie, putting a second crust on top solves that issue!
- Place the chopped tomatoes on paper towel, salt and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
This process draws out even more of the moisture.
- Add cornstarch to the filling.
The cornstarch will soak up any additional moisture from the tomatoes as the pie bakes.
- Brush the bottom crust with Dijon mustard before filling.
The mustard will form a seal as the pie bakes, keeping the bottom crust from getting soggy.
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An updated version of the classic, our Southern Tomato Pie recipe adds in more flavor enhancing ingredients and uses unique preparation methods to ensure it won’t get soggy.
- 1 medium to large whole head garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes (around 6 large)
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere (Swiss) cheese
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Fresh ground pepper
- 2 prepared pie crusts for a 9-inch pie
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Peel most of the paper off the garlic head and slice off the top, exposing tips of the cloves. Place on a piece of foil large enough to wrap completely. Fold up sides of foil. Drizzle oil over top of cloves. Gather foil sides up to enclose garlic head completely. Place directly on center rack in oven. Bake for 45 minutes, or until cloves are very soft when poked with a fork. Remove from oven, open the foil and set aside to cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- While the garlic is roasting, core, seed and coarsely chop the tomatoes. Place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for around 10 to 15 minutes.
- Squeeze roasted garlic cloves (from the bottom) out of their paper into a large mixing bowl. Be careful to remove all paper, as well as any hard, browned bits. Mash garlic with a fork.
- Stir mayonnaise into mashed garlic. Stir in cheeses and herbs. Pat tomatoes dry and gently stir into mixture. Stir in cornstarch. Season to taste with salt and pepper (may not need any salt).
- Line a 9-inch pie dish with one of the pie crusts and brush bottom with Dijon mustard. Spread tomato mixture evenly over crust. Top pie with second crust. Fold the edge of the cop crust over the bottom crust edge, pressing to seal. If desired, make a fluted edge.
- Whisk together egg and water. Brush top of pie with egg mixture. Cut 4 to 6 slits in the top of pie to vent. Bake for around 45 to 55 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with a pie crust shield or foil if it browns too fast.
- Cool pie for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
Make ahead: Pie can be baked earlier in the day, cooled, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving. Can be rewarmed in a 325 degree oven for around 15 to 20 minutes.