Southern Tomato Pie with Fried Onions

Juicy tomatoes baked up in a cheesy Southern style pie
Classic Southern comfort in the form of a ripe tomato pie topped with everybody's favorite --- fried onions!

Making Southern Heirloom Tomato Pie

Does your dad send you articles?  My dad has been sending me articles ever since I left home.  At this point the envelopes from him with the carefully folded newspaper clippings and scanned magazine articles are some of the only snail mail I get.  Usually it’s fatherly advice stuff like ‘the 10 habits of financially secure people’ or a list of the safest cities in America…sometimes it’s cautionary stuff like how my cell phone might explode in my ear type of thing — he usually circles the title of those to make sure I get the point — but lately he’s gotten into sending me recipes, and I love it.  I adapted this Southern Tomato Pie with Fried Onions from his latest.

Good old fashioned Southern Tomato Pie with fried onion topping!

This pie is based on the classic Southern dish where thickly sliced ripe tomatoes are set into a single pie crust, covered in a slurry of mayo and grated cheese, and then baked into a bubbling cauldron of pure comfort.  The recipe my dad sent was topped with a can of fried onions…I took it a step further and made my own Vidalia onion strings.  Not much extra trouble and well worth it.

Mixed heirloom tomatoes

I collected a mixed group of heirloom tomatoes for a colorful change from plain reds.

Draining heirloom tomatoes for tomato pie

Allowing time for the sliced tomatoes to drain is key — tomatoes contain a tremendous amount of moisture, and you’ll want to get rid of at least some of it before you add them or you’ll wind up with tomato soup instead of pie!

Juicy tomatoes baked up in a cheesy Southern style pie

I lined a 10-inch tart pan (the kind with the removable bottom) with a ready made pie crust for convenience.  In first go the paper thin slices of raw Vidalia onion, (use that mandolin slicer!) and then the tomatoes on top.

Tomato Pie ready to bake

It all gets topped off with a cheesy mayo mixture.  It doesn’t look like much in the raw state, but it’s really scrumptious after it has baked.  Kind of like your favorite hot cheesy dip.  The recipe calls for a good amount of fresh dill to be blended in with the topping and although I forgot to pick some up, I recommend you add it.  I used assorted herbs instead.

Classic southern tomato pie topped with French fried onions

Southern Tomato Pie with Fried Onions

Ingredients

  • I un-baked pie crust
    fillling
  • 3-4 ripe heirloom tomatoes (or regular red tomatoes) cut into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced very thinly, 1/8 inch
  • 1 tsp salt (fro draining the tomatoes)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
    onion topping
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion sliced in 1/8 inch slices (use a mandolin slicer)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Put the tomato slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes. Blot the surface well with paper towels afterwards.
  2. For the fried onion strings, whisk together the flour, cornmeal and salt in a shallow bowl.
  3. Heat several inches of vegetable oil in a pot to about 340F.
  4. Cut the onion slices in half and then toss them in the flour mixture. Work in batches.
  5. When the oil is hot, drop a handful of the onions in and fry until golden and crisp. This should take 2 minutes or so. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  6. Mix the mayo with the shredded cheese, and stir in the dill. Set aside.
  7. Set the oven to 350 and line a 10 inch tart pan with a ready made crust. You can use a regular pie plate for this, too, but you may need to adjust the amount of tomatoes you put in. Prick the crust all over with a fork and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Cut the raw onion slices in half and scatter across the bottom of the crust. Layer the tomatoes over them. Season everything with black pepper and a touch of salt.
  9. Spoon the cheese mixture over the tomatoes and spread to cover. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is starting to turn golden and bubbling.
  10. Scatter the fried onions over the top of the pie and let cool for a bit before trying to slice. Serve warm.

Notes

recipe adapted from Our State magazine

http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/southern-tomato-pie-with-fried-onions/

tips:

  • Drain drain drain!  The more moisture you get out of tomatoes ahead of time, the less soggy your pie will be.
  • This is a delicious pie, but I don’t recommend it for a dinner party.  It does not cut ‘cleanly’ and it is more of a family dinner type of thing.

Southern Tomato Pie with Fried Vidalia Onion String Topping

As you might expect, the delicate fried Vidalias add that extra special touch.

heirloom tomato pie

Thanks for the inspiration Dad!  Even though sending articles through the mail is definitely a dying art,  I do carry on the tradition virtually.  I just sent my oldest a link to ’18 Unbearably Cute Baby Animals Yawning’…I’m sure she loved it ;)

 

28 Comments

  • Reply
    Susan
    July 29, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    I love that your dad sends you articles :) This looks absolutely wonderful, Sue, and when my tomatoes ripen will be a must try indeed.

  • Reply
    grace
    July 27, 2015 at 11:08 am

    your tomatoes are beautiful and i love the frizzled onions…i just wish there wasn’t so much mayo involved! i’d still sample a slice, though, don’t worry. :)

  • Reply
    Toni | Boulder Locavore
    July 26, 2015 at 3:45 am

    I discovered a version of tomato pie 4-5 years ago and never imagined I’d like it. After making it however I can’t imagine summer without it. I love this recipe and feel another summer staple coming on!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 26, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      I know what you mean, I never thought I’d like it either, now I can’t get enough!

  • Reply
    Dom
    July 26, 2015 at 1:00 am

    what a lovely, simply and tasty idea. That topping looks so good. I do wish we could get all those heirloom tomatoes over here in the UK. We have great toms, don’t get me wrong but the colours are not as exciting!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    July 25, 2015 at 5:45 am

    Great pie! Those heirloom tomatoes are so pretty. I could stare at them all day. And love the combination with swiss cheese and fried onions :)

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 25, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks Jennifer! I rarely use Swiss cheese these days, but this had a nice, old fashioned feel to it.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    July 25, 2015 at 5:05 am

    My husbands aunt used to make this all the time but she also added bacon. I love the idea of the onion strings and being baked in a tart shell is brilliant! Those are some of the most beautiful tomatoes ever and the photos are magnificent! Pinning and sharing!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 25, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks Tricia – I think bacon is always a welcome addition, I’ll have to jot that down for the next one :)

  • Reply
    Julia@Vikalinka
    July 25, 2015 at 1:56 am

    This pie looks so gorgeous, Sue! I love anything with heirloom tomatoes and pastry! My mom sends me article links all the time! :-)

  • Reply
    Cathy
    July 24, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    This looks so good! I was born in Iowa and we had a farm in the family, so fresh vegetables are something I really love. Now, being way down in the Caribbean, at times it can be hard to get good fresh tomatoes, depending on weather. While we still have some, I would love to make this, and it gives me idea’s to make it Italian with a pesto and mozzarella or more. I like the bacon one person mentioned or proscuitto?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 25, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      How interesting that you used to get better produce in Iowa than in the Caribbean!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    July 24, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Now this is the way to use up my garden tomatoes! And that fried onion topping is irresistible!

  • Reply
    Royce
    July 24, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Hey,
    Just tried a recipe last night for tomato pie cooked by a guest on The Chew. She was from North Carolina and it was major simple to make but she used canned tomatoes, raw onions, cornbread stuffing,etc. It was good but your recipe looks very interesting. Will give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Hmmm, sounds interesting, but canned tomatoes? Not sure about that ;)

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    July 24, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I’m a born and bred true southern gal from Tennessee. When we make this it always has to have BACON in it. But then we are pork-a-holics too. Too much sodium i know.

  • Reply
    Terry Covington
    July 24, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Oh! A question. I loathe mayonnaise. Is there anything you think might substitute for it? Would vegan mayonnaise work? I’ve never tried it, but maybe it would taste “off” or separate too much?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 24, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Hmmm, don’t really know. I think anything that you could substitute in a baked cheese dip would probably work, and don’t forget that you don’t taste the mayo once it is baked up with all that cheese ;)

  • Reply
    Terry Covington
    July 24, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Too hilarious! Maybe our dads were related? My dad passed away a couple of years ago, but he sent me clippings starting in college. The same kinds of things your dad sends, but never recipes. It really made me smile to read about your dad, and remember mine. And the pie looks great!

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's+Recipes
    July 24, 2015 at 11:29 am

    This looks amazingly delicious! I love all the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    July 24, 2015 at 10:52 am

    This is so fun Sue. A love these old timely southern recipes but I also love that you have given it a brand new twist!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 24, 2015 at 11:26 am

      What is it about Southern food, they seem to have the comfort thing down to a science!

  • Reply
    Sara
    July 24, 2015 at 10:34 am

    This looks amazing, the tomato plants in our garden haven’t done that well this year but I’ve been buying plenty at the farmer’s market to make up for it. I love the addition of the fried onions!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 24, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Tomatoes seem to take their time every summer, I’ve finally started seeing great ones recently.

  • Reply
    Abbe+@+This+is+How+I+Cook
    July 24, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Your dad has good taste! This looks scrumptious and I will be making it when the in laws show up in the RV next month! My MIL is from the South and I think she will drool over this! Thanks, Sue!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 24, 2015 at 11:27 am

      Thanks Abbe!

  • Reply
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor
    July 24, 2015 at 9:29 am

    This tomato pie reminds me of something my grandmother used to make in the summer with fresh tomatoes from her garden. I have so many tomatoes in my garden right now and definitely need to attempt making a pie like this. It looks incredible!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 24, 2015 at 9:56 am

      I didn’t grow up with tomato pies, but discovered them a few summers ago, I bet your grandmother’s was amazing.

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