Tomato Pie is a classic southern American dish of a pastry crust stuffed with fresh tomatoes and cheese, cheese, cheese. Tomato chutney is a staple of the table in Southern India. In this recipe, I combine the two classics to create a southern inspired tomato tart that is bound to be loved in any part of the world.
20 minutes + overnight + 20 minutes
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbs oil
- 1 large shallot minced
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1/2tsp paprika
- 1/2tsp turmeric
- 1 lbs tomatoes sliced thin
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
- Salt to taste
- Chile to taste
- Pie plate
- 5 quart sauce pan
- Morter and pestle
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
I am, admittedly, lazy when it comes to pie crusts so I use a premade pie crust or puff pastry crust but I wholeheartedly encourage you to make your own! The puff pastry crust needs to be pre-baked, called “blind baking”, so the bottom of the crust is crispy before we add the moist ingredients of the filling. Serve immediately as the crust will get soggy over time. I recommend that you make the filling and bake the crust the day before and then combine only when ready to do your final bake before serving. If you’d like the pie crust to stay firm for multiple days then I recommend using a shortcrust pastry instead. The shortcrust will also need to be blind baked but will be sturdier than puff pastry.
Puff Pastry Crust:
- Preheat oven to 428f/220c
- Cut puff pastry to a circumference that is 2 inches wider than the pie plate remembering that the puff pastry will shrink as it cooks.
- Press puff pastry into the pie tin and prick the bottom. Cover the bottom of the puff pastry with a thick layer of dried beans.
- Bake under the dried beans for 20 minutes or according to the box instructions.
- Remove from oven and cool in pie The bottom should be flat, not bubble, and crispy to the touch.
- Add 1tablespoon of oil to the pan. Heat to medium. Add all the spices to the oil and stir to coat the spices. Gently toast the spices in the oil until the oil is aromatic. Don’t walk away as this process will not take long and it is easy to burn the spices.
- Add diced shallots to the spices, and stir to coat the shallot in the oil. Saute until the shallot is translucent.
- Add fresh sliced tomatoes to the pan, stir, and slowly cook uncovered, until the liquid of the tomatoes has been released but isn’t 100% dry. The goal is to achieve the consistency of a fruit jam. This will take about 15 minutes on medium heat.
- Once you have achieved the desired consistency, remove bay leaf.
- Stir in fresh cilantro
- Transfer to a bowl to cool and sit overnight allowing the chutney flavors to meld.
- Preheat oven to 325f/150c
- Taste the tomato filling and add salt and/or chili to taste.
- Pour the tomato filling into pie crust (cooled) and spread until it evenly covers the bottom of the crust
- Lay with fresh sliced tomato on top of the mixture and drizzle with the remaining oil. This will keep the tomato “crust” from drying out while baking
- Place pie in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Turn the oven up to broiler and move the oven rack to 3- 4 inches below the broiler unit.
- Using either a kitchen torch or oven broiler set on high, toast the tomato crust until it is caramelized but not burnt. This will only take 3-5 minutes so don’t walk away! The tomatoes should turn a dark red as though they have been on the grill. If needed, cover the edges of the pie crust with foil to keep from burning.
- Once done, remove from the oven and let the pie cool in the plate. The pie filling will thicken as it cools. Serve warm or at room temperature.