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Tomato Basil Pie

Published Jul 07 2019 in Cottage Living, Recipes, Summer

Are you ready for a savory, summer treat? If so, then this tomato basil pie is sure to deliver!

Now, if you haven’t lived in the south, you might be scratching your head at tomato pie. It’s not exactly the first fruit that comes to mind when thinking of pie! 

However, the humid and sunny summers we experience in this region means tomatoes not only thrive but they usually overproduce. I’m not surprised women of decades past had to be creative in using the loads of tomatoes they found themselves with! 

Fortunately for us today, it turns out tomatoes are fantastic when eaten in a pie crust.  My version of tomato pie, with the addition of basil, involves simple ingredients and a few shortcuts employed to keep preparation easy-peasy while still yielding a flavorful, satisfying dish.

A few notes before we get into the recipe though.

Firstly, for this pie (and basically all pies and quiches I make to be honest), I like using store-bought frozen pie crusts.  Walmart’s Great Value deep dish 9” crusts are my favorite because the ingredient list is brief and the crusts don’t contain partially hydrogenated oils like many name-brand crusts do.  They’re also just reliably tasty. 

I’ve also found that I can get away with *not* pre-baking these particular crusts when using them for cooked pies and quiches. I know that’s a baking no-no, but it works for me!

Next, if it’s available in your area, *please* use Duke Real Mayonnaise for this recipe. It’s not sold throughout the U.S., but if you can get it, it’s the preferred mayo for southern dishes. It’s fantastic for tomato sandwiches, pimento cheese, any mayo-based salads, burgers, homemade ranch dressing and more. #notanad

Lastly, the small amount of basil pesto sauce that goes into this recipe provides a punch of herbal flavor that amplifies the tomatoes beautifully.  If you’re inclined to make your own pesto, that’s terrific and always delectable.  However, store-bought also works just fine, especially since fresh basil is also present in the pie.

Okay, enough with the addendums and notes…let’s get to the recipe!

Tomato Basil Pie

9” deep dish pie crust, unbaked
1-1/2 pounds of ripe tomatoes, sliced ¼” thick
1 c. finely shredded cheddar cheese
½ c. grated parmesan cheese, fresh or out of the can will do
¼ c. mayonnaise
3 TBS basil pesto sauce
6 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
1 egg
½ tsp. black pepper
salt

Set the frozen pie crust on the counter to defrost.  Set the oven to 400 degrees and allow it to heat while you prepare the pie.

Slice the tomatoes to ¼” thick. Layer paper towels onto a plate, salt the tomatoes and cover with more paper towels to draw out the excess moisture. Let sit for about 15 minutes.

While the tomatoes rest and the pie crust is defrosting, combine the cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, basil pesto sauce, fresh basil, egg and pepper in a medium bowl.

Prick bottom of the now-room temperature pie crust with a fork.  Spread one-third of the cheese mixture on the bottom of the crust.   Cover the cheese mixture with a layer of sliced tomatoes.

(Feel free to pat any remaining excess moisture from the tomatoes before adding them into the pie.  The riper they are, the more juicy they are so your mileage may vary in how much effort it takes to absorb the moisture!)

Spread a second layer of cheese mixture on top of the tomatoes.  Repeat until you have three layers of cheese mixture and three layers of tomatoes. Tomatoes will serve as the final layer.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes at 400 degrees or until the crust is golden brown and the pie is set in the center. Let stand an hour before serving. 

Ever since enjoying tomato pie for the first time several years ago, it's something I look forward to every summer. Have you ever had tomato pie?  If you have--or if you try this recipe--let me know your thoughts in the comments!

And if you're a fan of the scent of tomato plants, be sure to check out the Tomato Garden candles and melts in the Summer 2019 Collection.  

-Erin

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