Southern Tomato Pie with Fried Onions ~ this classic tomato pie is gussied up with pretty heirloom tomatoes and crisp onion strings, who could argue with that?
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.
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.
I collected a mixed group of heirloom tomatoes for a colorful change from plain reds. Heirloom tomatoes star in so many of the summer recipes here on the blog ~
- Tomato and Basil Salad
- Heirloom Parmesan Tomatoes
- Basil Marinated Mozzarella with Summer Tomatoes
- Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
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!
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.
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.
As you might expect, the delicate fried Vidalias add that extra special touch.
- 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.
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 😉
Southern Tomato Pie with Fried Onions
- I un-baked pie crust
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- For the fried onion strings, whisk together the flour, cornmeal and salt in a shallow bowl.
- Heat several inches of vegetable oil in a pot to about 340F.
- Cut the onion slices in half and then toss them in the flour mixture. Work in batches.
- 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.
- Mix the mayo with the shredded cheese, and stir in the dill. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Scatter the fried onions over the top of the pie and let cool for a bit before trying to slice. Serve warm.
Don’t forget to pin this Southern Heirloom Tomato Pie!
Questions and Reviews
Thanks for sharing. Sue! Tomato pie is a family favorite and this variation will be a welcome addition. I love that you still have a dad. I lost mine 17 years ago and I miss him every day. Happy Father’s Day to the men in your life!
Thank you Tracie. This is an older post, and actually I lost my Dad a few months ago ~ this is my first ‘fatherless’ Father’s Day…so hard <3
I love that your dad sends you articles 🙂 This looks absolutely wonderful, Sue, and when my tomatoes ripen will be a must try indeed.
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. 🙂
Experiment with exchanging mayo for yogurt or even cottage cheese.
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!
I know what you mean, I never thought I’d like it either, now I can’t get enough!
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!
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 🙂
Thanks Jennifer! I rarely use Swiss cheese these days, but this had a nice, old fashioned feel to it.
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!
Thanks Tricia – I think bacon is always a welcome addition, I’ll have to jot that down for the next one 🙂
This pie looks so gorgeous, Sue! I love anything with heirloom tomatoes and pastry! My mom sends me article links all the time! 🙂
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?
How interesting that you used to get better produce in Iowa than in the Caribbean!