I have been drooling over tomato pie recipes for about a week now, trying to decide just which combination of ingredients would work the best. There are so many recipes out there on Pinterest, and I just want to try them all. But that wasn’t the only thing holding me back from actually making this recipe. My biggest obstacle was trying to find a good recipe for a gluten free pie crust. I think there may be a song out there for us living the GF life called “A Good Crust is Hard to Find” — but the one I did find and use was pretty good and I know the next time I make it, it will be great with just a few minor tweaks!
The crust recipe I used as a guide was something I found on Pinterest — It was one of those recipes with stunning photos, but it had very little direction on how to make it and bake it off. Therefore, I winged it and did my best. The recipe called for coconut oil or butter — I opted for coconut oil, but the next time I want this for a savory pie, I will definitely use butter instead. I love coconut oil, don’t get me wrong. It just gave the crust a sweetness that I didn’t want. If I were to make this crust for a dessert, I’d stick with the coconut oil (my mind is already conjuring up images of peanut butter and coconut cream pies). I doubled the crust recipe, too. The original called for one egg white, and I used a whole egg. I think the crust would hold together more if it used two eggs (next time…next time). Either way, it turned out pretty good, but the star of the show was what was in the pie.
Tomato pie is reminiscent of a good deep dish pizza, but with a more tomato-like flavor and tang. I’ve made tomato pies in the past with very little cheese and just layered onions and tomatoes with spices, but this pie has extra layers of a gooey cheese mixture packed with flavor. Soo good! One slice for dinner was enough for myself and my husband though, so if you are making tomato pie, make sure you have people to share it with.
I can’t think of a better way to share the bounty of the summer growing season from your backyard garden, if you have one. If you don’t garden, some grocery stores have amazing heirloom tomatoes that would work perfectly for this recipe. You want a nice, not overly ripe, juicy tomato for this that has a lot of flavor. Those hot-house tomatoes that are in the store year round just won’t cut it. Trust me!
What do you need to make a tomato pie:
Gluten free crust recipe (see below) or your favorite pie crust for the bottom
4-5 large, ripe tomatoes
1/2 Cup of mayonnaise (good, real mayo makes all the difference)
1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese, plus about 1 Tbsp for sprinkling on top
1-2 Tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper (about 1/8 tsp)
a couple dashes of hot sauce
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/2 of a medium sweet onion sliced in half moons (about 1/2 Cup total)
With a very sharp knife, slice tomatoes to about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly salt the tomatoes and let sit on a paper towel or in a colander for 20-30 minutes. This helps remove a lot of the water in the fruit.
While the tomatoes are draining, work on your crust. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and either use your favorite wheat flour crust or make this gluten free variety:
Add 1 1/2 Cups of almond meal, 6 Tbs of coconut flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 Cup of coconut oil or butter (melted and cooled), and 2 eggs to a food processor and pulse together until a ball is formed. Press the crust into the bottom of your pie pan with your fingers or a flat bottomed glass. I used a sheet of plastic wrap and a small ramekin to help get an even crust and form the crust up the walls of the pie dish. Bake crust for 5-10 minutes until it just starts to puff up on the bottom and become golden.
After the crust is formed and in the oven pre-baking, mix together your cheeses with the mayo, 1/4 tsp salt, basil, thyme and fresh ground black pepper.
After your crust is prebaked, layer your onions on the bottom, then spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture on top of the onions. It won’t be an even layer, so just do the best you can. Layer 1/2 of the tomatoes on next, covering the cheese and onions completely. Add the other 1/2 of the cheese mixture and spread as evenly as possible, then layer with remaining tomatoes.
Sprinkle with 1 Tbs of parmesan cheese and a little extra black pepper and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes. If your crust begins to brown too much, cover the edges of your pie with foil to prevent burning.
Allow pie to cool completely before slicing. This is best served warm.