Cheesy Tomato Pie

June  3, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by Kyle Orosz
  • Makes one 9-inch deep dish pie
Author Notes

This is a riff on the traditional Southern tomato pie - but it's not-so traditional! My version, made in partnership with Real California Milk, starts with an all butter pie crust with the addition of a healthy amount of cheese. Heirloom tomatoes, onions, and garlic are layered inside, then the whole thing is finished with a layer of mascarpone, eggs, and shredded cheese - some of this creamy mixture melts into the filling, the rest becomes golden and crusty on the surface. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • Pie Dough
  • 1 3/4 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) finely grated dry Jack cheese, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) ice water, plus more as needed
  • 1 (1 1/2 ounces) large egg white
  • Filling + Topping
  • 5 large heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • salt, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  1. Make the pie dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt to combine. Add the butter, tossing the cubes in the flour to coat. Rub the butter into the flour until it is the size of walnut halves. Add 1 cup of the Jack cheese and stir into the dough.
  2. Make a well in the center, and add the water a few tablespoons at a time and mix just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a 1 inch thick disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled (at least 30 minutes).
  3. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Transfer it to the springform and trim the edge so there is 1/2-inch overhang all around. Chill the dough inside pan for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Towards the end of chill time, preheat the oven to 425° F.
  4. Dock the chilled dough with a fork on the base and sides. Line the crust with parchment paper and pie weights, and bake until the crust is beginning to brown at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and pie weights. If the base looks visibly wet or under-baked, return the crust to the oven without the pie weights for another 5 minutes.
  5. Brush the base of the pie dough with egg white and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Jack cheese on top. Return to the oven for 2 more minutes. Use scissors to cut the excess crust so it's flush to the edge, then cool the crust to room temperature.
  6. While the pie is cooling, make the filling: Arrange the tomatoes on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each tomato slice lightly with salt, then place more paper towels on top. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes - you're removing lots of the excess moisture so the pie isn't too wet inside!
  7. In a medium pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature.
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk the mascarpone, mozzarella, egg, and egg yolk to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. When you're ready to assemble the pie, place the par-baked crust on your work surface. Place a layer of tomatoes in the base, then top with a layer of onions. Continue layering, ending with tomatoes.
  10. Pour the mascarpone mixture into the center of the pie, and spread into an even layer - nearly to the edges. Bake until the crust is golden brown, the tomatoes are bubbly, and the topping is golden. Let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. (The pie is best when you let it cool COMPLETELY - you can reheat individual slices on a baking sheet, wrapped in aluminum foil at 325°F for 10 minutes.)
  11. To unmold the pie, run a knife all around the edge of the crust, then unhinge the outer part of the springform pan. The pie should release easily. You can use a large spatula to remove the pie from the base, or leave it on the base for slicing and serving (sometimes it can be difficult to remove from the base while still warm).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Barbara Salz
    Barbara Salz
  • Jenny
  • Alex Bianco
    Alex Bianco
  • Catherine Lee
    Catherine Lee
  • Erin Jeanne McDowell
    Erin Jeanne McDowell
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

38 Reviews

Corj February 25, 2018
I made this for a brunch and it was delicious. However I found it to be much more labour intensive and longer to prepare than suggested by the recipe. Thankfully I had prepared my pie dough, sauteed my onions, de-watered my tomatoes and assembled my cheese filling ingredients the day before. Every baking step took a good 25% longer than stated. I made the following modifications: *I used a mixture of full-fat cream cheese+greek yogurt+splash of heavy cream to replace the $$$ mascarponne (I found this online & it worked like a charm). *I took as much of the water out of my tomatoes by replacing my paper towels several times and keeping my tomatoes on paper towels overnight in the fridge. *I layed my cold sauteed onions on paper towels *I lined my blind-baked crust with chopped-up sundried tomatoes (not oil packed) *I added a light sprinkle of parmesan on the top before baking. I ended-up baking it for over 45 minutes at 450 (I have a propane stove, I find it tricky) and finishing off at 475 for 5 minutes to brown the top evenly. I had to protect my crust edges but still managed to get some overly browned spots. I left it to cool at room temp for almost 1 hour. The crust edges were tricky to slice through but my pie held beautifully and I would make this again knowing its a bit of a time gobbler. I wonder if it could be made a day in advance without going soggy.
Jonathan August 20, 2017
Made it! Used Parmesan cheese instead of dry Jack. Used cream cheese and sour cream instead of marscapone. Delicious! Took three hours start to on the table and eating! Way too long for something that should be rather simple. Will,keep searching for an easier and better tomato pie recipe!
Eileen August 26, 2016
If this helps, other tomato cheese pie recipes I looked at, bake the crust at 450 , let it cool, make the filling and layer it in the crust. Bake at 350 for thirty minutes. Maybe this would work?
Barbara S. August 26, 2016
Oven temperature and approximate baking time for assembled pie [step #10]?
Eileen August 19, 2016
Hey Susan, that would certainly enhance the flavour. Good idea.
Susan C. August 19, 2016
Thanks for making some of the corrections in this recipe. Have you ever thought about pre-roasting or dehydrating the tomatoes after slicing and before assembling ? They are full of moisture and the end result is so full of juice that it compromises the crust. with the additional liquid pulled out they would be just as sweet and delicious and even more flavorful...just a thought
Jenny July 21, 2016
Thank you Erin for the recipe. I used some left over galette dough and make a tiny 5 inch pie. I also added some leftover tomato sauce at the bottom and used Parm instead. It was so juicy and filling.
Alex B. July 17, 2016
There is no temperature or baking time listed for the final step, unless you're assuming we have left the oven at 425 for the entire time that the crust is cooling and the filling is being made. Also, great to cook until bubbling, etc., but still would like an estimated baking time.
Tanya July 14, 2016
Hi Erin, this looks amazing and I want to make it for a Pie and Beer Day (Utah holiday actually name Pioneer Day) picnic next week. However the picnic is on a Thursday and I have to work. Can steps 1-8 be done the day before? Maybe with the exception of removing the excess water from the tomatoes? Thanks!
Pegeen July 14, 2016
Love this recipe - so grateful for ideas for less-than-perfect tomatoes, in addition to sauce and salsa.
In step 5, perhaps the order could be changed to trim the crust earlier in the paragraph.
M July 12, 2016
Looking forward to trying this one. Although I'm thinking I will use the springform ring on a double layer of parchment on a baking sheet without the base. Once the pie is baked and cooled a bit, unmolding would be a snap and the pie could then be easily transferred off the parchment to a serving plate without the hassle of trying to remove the pan base.
Dennis July 11, 2016
I was confused too, even after reading it several times. Glad I checked the comments.
Toddie July 11, 2016
Still not sure about that crust! Can you please correct the recipe so we can all stop guessing? It sounds delicious.
Erin J. July 12, 2016
Glad you think it sounds good - the recipe has been tweaked to remove the confusion in step three! Thanks!
Eddie July 11, 2016
Step 3 seems scrambled. How about:
"3. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Transfer it to the springform and trim the edge so there is 1/2-inch overhang all around. Chill the dough inside pan for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator."
Eddie July 11, 2016
Also, please add instructions for when and how to unmold the pie.
Erin J. July 12, 2016
Hi Eddie, thanks for pointing out that confusing step. It's been tweaked, and I added a bit at the end about unmolding the pie! For the record, you can also serve it straight from the pan, like a traditional pie (but I love unmolding it since it looks so impressive with the straight sides)!
Eddie July 12, 2016
Thanks Erin, the step makes perfect sense now. You read my mind about unmolding the pie--I bet it looks fabulous.
Carol July 11, 2016
What is dry jack cheese? What could I sub for that?
Erin J. July 12, 2016
Hi Carol, you could substitute any harder, salty cheese - like Parmesan!
goodcook July 11, 2016
If you do a Google search on Erin McDowell Tomato Pie, there is a video that show exactly how the pie is made. I agree that the written recipe is very confusing when actually the pie seems very easy to make. Hope this helps everyone!
Eileen July 11, 2016
I think I'd just blind bake in pie plate and take it from there.
Erin J. July 12, 2016
You can absolutely do that! Make sure you use a deep dish pie pan (at least 2 inches) to accommodate all of the tomatoes. That's why I use the springform, but a deep enough pie plate will work smashingly.
Catherine L. July 11, 2016
Sounds delicious but makes no sense at all.
Kym L. July 11, 2016
VERY CONFUSED!! Does the pie crust stay in the pan? Where does the SECOND springform pan come into play? If the crust is partially baked, How do you cut the excess off with a scissor? Looks delicious, and I adore tomatoes and cheese, but I just may have to adapt this recipe so it makes sense!
DrGaellon July 11, 2016
It looks to me like a) the last sentence of step 3 should be the first sentence and b) once the crust has cooled, you take the crust out of the springform and transfer it to a plain baking sheet. The par-baked crust, since it won't be fully baked, should still be soft enough when hot to cut with a scissor; if not, you can use a serrated knife.
Erin J. July 12, 2016
Kym's right - there was some confusing wording in that step, and Dr. Gaellon was spot on - I've altered the wording! Thank you!
Biffcook July 11, 2016
I agree with Corinne. Step 3 still doesn't make sense.
Erin J. July 12, 2016
Hi Biffcook - I've altered the confusing step - thanks for pointing it out!