Nonnie's Tomato Pie

April 19, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

My mom has been making this pie for years, and I have to say, there are few better uses for the abundance of farm fresh tomatoes that we have in late summer, than to make this delicious treat. That said, I wish my mom had taken a picture of my face, when as a child, she first told me that she was cooking a tomato pie. I bet it was a gaze that combined shock, horror, and the kind of look you get when you're feeling nauseous, and your mom is chasing you around the house with a bottle of cod liver oil. Tomato in a pie? Pies are for apples, and pumpkin, and mincemeat...... stop talking crazy, woman!

When I started writing my blog, I compiled a list of recipes that resided somewhere in my network of family and friends, and that I knew I wanted to teach my kids. This tomato pie recipe was at the top of the list. - Oui, Chef

Oui, Chef

Food52 Review: This is not a dish for the faint-of-tomato-heart. If you like just a few cubes of tomato scattered about a salad, or a thin slice on a sandwich, this is more tomato than you can handle, because it explodes into a huge tomato taste extravaganza, bathed in the richness of the mayo-cheese topping and punctuated by the crunch of the bacon and the zing of the onions in your mouth. It's summer in a pie plate. Draining the tomatoes for an hour allows the pie filling to set up nice and solidly, and not get the crust soggy. The oregano stirred into the topping provides a zippy little counterpart to the sweet-tart of the tomatoes. As much as I love tomatoes, next time I would be inclined to use fewer tomatoes or a larger dish, so as to spread them thinner, and to add a little half-and-half to thin down the mayo to allow it to spread over the pie filling more smoothly. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the pie crust; tender and flaky, with just the right amount of "give" to the tooth. I can also testify that pie weights or dry beans are an absolute must here; I didn't use them, and had to flatten out the bottom of my crust after the pre-bake step. It was a pleasure to test—and taste! - KaybThe Editors

Serves: 8
Prep time: 3 hrs
Cook time: 1 hrs


Pie Crust

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons AP flour
  • 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small cubes
  • 2/3 cup water, very cold
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the pie filling

  • 4 to 5 large, ripe tomatoes, sliced and blotted dry
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup shredded, sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 large, sweet onion, sauteed
  • 1/2 pound thick cut bacon, cut into lardons, and cooked till crisp
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
In This Recipe


  1. For the crust: In a bowl, combine the ice water and salt, stir to dissolve, and keep very cold. In the bowl of a food processor, pour the flour, and toss the butter pieces over the top.  Pulse briefly until the butter is reduced to pieces the size of peas. Add the water and pulse a few more times, until the dough starts to come together and form a ball, but is still rough and shaggy. Dump the dough onto a well floured work surface, gather together in one piece, and then separate into 2 equal balls. Press each ball into a disc about 1" thick, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 2 hours, or overnight.
  2. To form your crust, take a disc from the fridge, and place it on a lightly floured surface, roll to about 1/8" thick, rotating the dough every few passes with the pin to assure even thickness.  Transfer the dough to your tart pan or pie plate and finish the edge as desired. You may either freeze the second disc of dough, or better yet, double the filling recipe and make TWO pies! Chill the shell in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour before baking.
  3. To blind bake the shell: Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Line the pastry shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the surface under the paper looks light brown. Remove the paper and weights and return the shell to the oven for another 5 minutes or so, until drier and a more golden brown. Remove the shell to a rack, and let cool completely before proceeding with baking your pie.
  4. Slice the tomatoes and place them on a large cooling rack covered with paper towels. VERY lightly sprinkle the slices with kosher salt to help pull moisture from them, and cover them with another layer of paper towels. Let them sit like this for at least an hour.
  5. Finely mince the onion and sauté until golden brown in a little olive oil and butter, if desired. Cook bacon lardons until just crisp, and let drain on a paper towel. Mix mayonnaise, grated cheese and oregano in a bowl and set aside.
  6. Set oven temp to 350°F. Assemble the pie by roughly chopping the tomato slices and spreading the pieces evenly into the pie shell. Generously cover the top with freshly ground black pepper, sprinkle with the onions and bacon, and, finally, top with the mayo-cheese mix. Place the pie in the oven and bake for about 1/2 hour, or until the top is nicely browned and the pie is bubbling. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool for at least 1/2 hour before cutting and serving.

More Great Recipes:
Pie|American|Cheese|Mayonnaise|Oregano|Vegetable|Tomato|Bacon|Make Ahead|Serves a Crowd|Summer|Side

Reviews (22) Questions (1)

22 Reviews

Bevi March 2, 2018
I love the sound of this. Every August I make this pie's cousin, the Laurie Colwin/James Beard hybrid pie, featured on Smitten Kitchen's blog. Fresh corn is the cameo role in that pie. I will be making this soon!
jonilynn March 1, 2018
Have you ever tried this without the bacon? Perhaps sub in smoked cheddar?
Author Comment
Oui, C. March 2, 2018
Make it without bacon occasionally and it’s still great. Love the idea of smoked cheddar, will have to try that this summer!
Annelle April 20, 2010
Oh my---can't wait to taste this! So pretty!
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 21, 2010
Thanks, Annelle!
Fabulous F. April 20, 2010
OMG this looks incredible - I hope you never do a calorie count, though.
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 21, 2010
A calorie count.....what's a calorie count? ;-)
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 20, 2010
Thanks, Suzanne. Tomato chutney, huh? I don't suppose the recipe is on Food52 yet? If it's yours, it's gotta be good!
TheWimpyVegetarian April 21, 2010
I haven't put it up yet, but will at some point. It was a big Christmas gift item for me this year. Thanks so much for the encouragement. And it's really nice to see your recipes on here again!
Lizthechef April 19, 2010
Oh boy, all I had to do was to look into those beautiful eyes - what a gift you have given us, to share this recipe. Thumbs up!
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 20, 2010
Yeah, she's a very generous woman, glad you like the recipe.
Bevi April 19, 2010
This looks so good that I want to make it now with store boughts!
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 20, 2010
Thanks. You certainly could make it with store boughts, but it will be OH-SO-MUCH better with fresh from the garden tomatoes.
Jennifer A. April 19, 2010
I cannot wait to try this one. The baked mayo/cheese topping looks and sounds delicious.
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 20, 2010
The topping IS a bit of a heart stopper, but it is so stinkin' good! Thanks for your vote of confidence!
WinnieAb April 19, 2010
Yum! And your mom is SO cute...
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 20, 2010
Thanks, Winnie. She is a's a shame I got my looks from my Dad ;-)
gluttonforlife April 19, 2010
Oh, I hope our tomatoes don't succumb to the dreaded blight again this year! This looks divine and so does your mom.
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 20, 2010
Thanks! Last year was a lousy year for my tomatoes too, this year HAS to be better.
MrsWheelbarrow April 19, 2010
Oh, this looks good!! Makes me ache for August and my garden full of warm tomatoes. I'm making this with the first ripe Brandywines this year.
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 20, 2010
I hear you, Mrs. Wheelbarrow....August can't come fast enough for me.
TheWimpyVegetarian April 19, 2010
This looks fantastic! We had a bazillion tomatoes last year and plan to again this year. I usually make tomato chutney when more ripen than we can possibly eat, but now I'm reserving some for this. Great recipe.