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Southern Tomato Pie
This Southern tomato pie recipe is made from peak-season tomatoes that are layered in a flaky pie crust with a cheese-and-mayo filling. It's the taste of summer in the South, perfect for outdoor brunches and casual summer suppers served with other Southern classics like fried okra and Mississippi mud pie. Oh, and don't forget the pitcher of sweet tea for sipping alongside the pie. (Looking for a boozy pairing instead? Go for tequila-spiked sweet tea or sweet tea sangria.)
Fillings for Southern tomato pies always includes tomatoes, mayonnaise, plenty of cheese, and Dijon mustard, but this version's got a flavorful upgrade: chopped pimiento peppers, which lend the filling all the delicious richness of pimiento cheese dip.
Blind-baking the pie dough before adding the filling is essential since tomatoes are full of moisture that they release while baking. To help avoid the dreaded soggy crust, you'll start by salting the tomatoes, which allows them to release some of their moisture and happens to concentrate their flavor, too.
While homemade pie dough is delicious, we won’t blame you if you want to use store-bought crust as as shortcut—just make sure to bake it first according to the package instructions.
ripe red tomatoes (such as vine-ripened, Campari, or Roma), sliced a scant 1/4" thick
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Easy Pie Crust (omit the sugar)
thick-cut bacon slices, chopped
small onion, finely chopped
cloves garlic, finely chopped
apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
shredded sharp cheddar (about 2 1/2 c.)
(4-oz.) jar chopped pimento peppers, drained
chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Arrange tomatoes in an even layer on paper towels; season with 1 1/4 tsp. salt. Cover with another layer of paper towels and drain, pressing with palm of your hand occasionally and switching out paper towels when they become saturated, about 45 minutes, draining as much water as possible.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 11" circle. Unfurl into a 9" pie pan. Trim, leaving a 1" overhang, then tuck overhang under edge of pan. Crimp if desired. Freeze 15 minutes.
- Using a fork, poke holes across bottom and up sides of chilled pie dough. Line pan with parchment. Fill with pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake until edges are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove parchment and weights. Continue to bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.
- In a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Drain fat, leaving about 1/2 tsp. in skillet.
- Return skillet to medium heat. Cook onion and a pinch of salt, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape into a small heatproof bowl and let cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk egg, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, paprika, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper until smooth. Stir in cheddar, pimento peppers, basil, bacon, and onion mixture.
- Spread one-third of egg mixture in bottom of crust. Top with one-third of tomatoes. Repeat layers 2 times. Bake, tenting with foil if crust is darkening too fast, until filling is set and top is slightly puffed and golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool at least 45 minutes or to room temperature before slicing. Garnish with basil.