My friend Todd Bear shared his recipe for tomato pie.
Pretty excited about it, Todd said: “Have I got THE tomato pie recipe for you. It’s the best you’ll ever have.”
I thought, “Oh no, tomato pie — not a favorite.”
While considered a classic Southern dish, the time I sampled a version, it left me unimpressed. Laced with mayonnaise, the pie was soggy and lacked flavor.
But, with great enthusiasm “Bear” started waving his arms and reciting his recipe.
“First, you layer some onions — VI-DAL-I-YA onions,” he said with a slow, Southern drawl. “Then cheese — a good cheddar, and then tomatoes. And then, do it again and again. Oh, and don’t forget to add some bacon.”
Bear also recommended using different color tomatoes to take the pie “over the top” and make it more attractive.
Most importantly, he said the baked pie has to sit and cool before serving it at room temperature.
His enthusiasm overcame my skepticism and convinced me that I had to try it. While Bear didn’t give me exact measurements, I came up with this recipe. I’ve tried it several times with incredibly good results.
I truly appreciate that Bear shared this recipe that he enjoys so much. It has forever changed my opinion of tomato pie.
1-½ to 2 pounds of tomatoes (varied in color and size)
1 Vidalia onion
12 ounces of shredded New York Cheddar cheese
6 slices of bacon, cooked crisply
¼ teaspoon of dried basil
¼ teaspoon of dried oregano
Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. Prick the piecrust with a fork and bake for 10-15 minutes. As the crust bakes, cook the bacon and slice the tomatoes ¼-inch thick. Drain both on paper towels. Slice the onion as thinly as possible. Using a mandolin helps tremendously.
Once the pie shell is pre-baked, start layering the ingredients. Begin with the onions, then cheese, bacon and then the tomatoes. Sprinkle with seasoning after the first layer. There will be three layers in all, with a little cheese to finish. Bake for 30 minutes and then let it cool for an hour or two — it needs to be served at room temperature.