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Paula Deen’s Tomato Pie  Print

This recipe (adapted from Food Network’s version) appeared in Do As I Say, Not As I Did! on 30 Aug 2010
 

Tomato Pie4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 (9–inch) pre–baked deep dish pie shell
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (my addition)
Salt and pepper
 

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes.

Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and top with grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

To serve, cut into slices and serve warm. This pie is best eaten the day it is made. Mine didn’t reheat very well days later.

 
Helpful tips & suggestions to preserve your tomato pie sanity:

Use any variety of fresh, good quality tomatoes you’d like. Roma’s are supposedly the best ones to use (only because their flesh is firmer and they aren’t as juicy as other tomatoes), but any tomato will work in this recipe. Why limit yourself to one variety?

Peel the tomatoes (I’m not a fan of tomato peels in cooked food). But if you don’t mind the peel–party sensation in your mouth, then by all means, leave them on. This article demystifies the peeling process and offers various methods to achieve perfectly peeled, non–mushy tomatoes.

Salt and drain the tomato slices to help alleviate soggy crust syndrome. You don’t need to use a lot of salt (1/2 to 1 teaspoon should do it). Let them drain in the colander for 15 minutes (for average–sized tomatoes) and up to one hour (for larger tomatoes). Pat and dry the drained slices on paper towels to absorb any remaining moisture, scraping the seeds from the pulp if they have loosened enough. Remember, the drier and less seedy your tomato slices are, the better the pie texture.

Brush the bottom of the unbaked pie crust with some slightly beaten egg white before baking it and after you remove it from the oven. This will prevent a soggy crust. Another option would be to cover the bottom of the baked crust with sliced cheese (before adding the tomato slices) to retain a crisp crust. Whatever method you choose, I think using a pre–baked crust is the way to go. Every version of this recipe I found on the internet (and in Paula’s book) called for using a pre–baked crust.

Use mayonnaise, not salad dressing. They contain completely different ingredients and should not be confused for one another in this recipe. Using Miracle Whip would completely change (and ruin) the flavor of this recipe.

Flavor options: The flavor of this pie is reminiscent of a BLT. Go ahead and sprinkle some chopped, crispy bacon pieces on top of each slice before serving for another layer of flavor. Feel free to experiment with other herbs or another kind of onion (like red or Maui). Even the cheese choices can be swapped out (maybe Fontina or Monterey Jack). Use your favorite combinations!

Calorie options: Check out Paula Deen’s son Bobby’s version for a less caloric tomato pie recipe.

WI wine recommendation: Try a crisp acidic white with some flavor, such as a Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, or Pinot Gris. If you prefer reds, stay with a lighter, less tannic red, such as a Pinot Noir, Barbera or Grenache.