Cheddar Heirloom Tomato Pie Recipe

When most people think about pie, they think of ones that are filled with fruits and served as desserts. But, sometimes, vegetables also want to join in on the fun. This recipe combines the excellent taste of heirloom tomatoes, a homemade pie crust, a layer of mayonnaise and cheese mixture, and some fresh herbs. This pie is oh-so-fresh and oh-so-delicious, and there's no doubt that it will leave your guests wanting more.

Recipe developer and food photographer Jennine Rye came up with this delicious and innovative pie recipe that we're sure will make your recipe rotation. "The tomato flavor is so good! It might sound a little silly, as you'd expect tomato pie to taste of tomatoes, but, as they are oven roasted beforehand, it really sweetens them and brings out the flavor," Rye says. She also likes that this recipe is easier than it may seem, explaining that "it's very forgiving and can be done in stages, so, although it seems quite long winded, it doesn't actually eat up much of the day."

Gather the ingredients for this cheddar heirloom tomato pie

For this recipe, you will need quite a few ingredients from the store. Be sure to pick up flour, unsalted butter, cheddar cheese, ground pepper, dried thyme, heirloom tomatoes, garlic, fresh thyme, salt, olive oil, bacon, onion, mayonnaise, eggs, fresh chives, fresh basil, and breadcrumbs.

Make the shortcrust pastry

To make the shortcrust pastry, you will need a food processor and a few of your ingredients. Toss the plain flour, the diced butter, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, black pepper, and the dried thyme directly into the food processor. Put the lid on and pulse the mixture in small bursts. Continue pulsing until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

Once it looks like breadcrumbs, keep pulsing until the ingredients form into larger clumps. If you are having trouble, you can add a tablespoon of water to help get the larger clumps. Once the dough forms, you can stop pulsing. Remove the dough from the food processor and form it into a ball. Then, wrap the ball in cling wrap and pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

"I think that the shortcrust pastry is what makes this pie special," Rye says. "It has such a delightful herby cheesy flavor that it adds so much flavor and elevates the whole pie, where oftentimes the pie crust I can just be a bland receptacle."

Roll the dough and place it into the pie dish

When your timer goes off, that means you can remove the dough from the fridge. Pick a clean surface on your counter and add a little flour. Unwrap the dough and place it on the floured surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough until it's about ⅓-inch thick.

Pick up the dough and place it into a 9-inch pie dish. Use your hands to shape the dough into the pie dish and trim any overhang. Place the pie dish into the fridge for about 15 minutes to chill. 

"You could definitely use pre-made dough to make this recipe easier and quicker," Rye notes. "The dough tastes amazing with the cheese and thyme throughout, but I imagine it's just as tasty with ordinary pre-made dough, because the filling is so flavorful in it's own right."

Preheat the oven and bake the pie pastry

Since you need an oven for this recipe, preheat yours to 400 F. Line the pie crust with baking paper and add pie weights on top. Pop the pie tin into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Use oven mitts to remove the pie weights at the 20-minute mark and then continue baking for another 10 minutes. When the crust is set and lightly colored, that means you can take it out. Place it in a safe spot on your counter and allow it to cool. Then, reduce the temperature of the oven to 300 F.

Prep the tomatoes

Grab your tomatoes, and be sure to wash them if you haven't. Then, take out a cutting board and sharp knife and cut the tomatoes into ½-inch-thick pieces. Add the tomato slices to a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Next, layer on the sliced garlic and fresh thyme stalks.

Pop the tomatoes into the oven for 30-40 minutes, helping to remove any excess liquid. When they finish cooking, remove the tomatoes from the oven and let them cool. "I chose to use heirloom tomatoes rather than regular tomatoes because heirloom tomatoes tend to be grown for their flavor, which really lends itself to this pie. They also add visual appeal with their different colors and sizes," Rye says. "This pie would work just as well with regular tomatoes though, if you can't find heirloom tomatoes." 

Fry the bacon and onion

For this step, you will need a frying pan. Place it on your stove and add the diced onion, bacon, and one tablespoon of olive oil. Turn the heat on and gently fry until the onion turns translucent and the bacon gets crispy and golden around the edges. Once it does, turn the heat off and let the onion and bacon cool.

Make the filling

There is still one more step to take before you can assemble the pie. In a medium-sized bowl, begin your pie filling. Simply add the mayonnaise and egg to the bowl and mix until combined. Once thoroughly mixed, toss in the onion and bacon mixture, followed by the cheddar cheese, fresh chives, and fresh basil. Mix again to combine and voila, you have your pie filling. 

Assemble the pie

Set the oven to 375 F, and take out the cooled pie crust, tomatoes, mayonnaise mixture, and breadcrumbs. Begin to assemble the pie by adding half of the mayonnaise mixture to the base of the pie, making sure to spread it in an even layer. Then, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the breadcrumbs on top, and layer half of the tomatoes on top of the breadcrumbs. Repeat the same steps with the remaining ingredients. The tomatoes should make up the top layer of the pie.

Bake and let the pie cool

Pop the tomato pie into the oven for 40-45 minutes. Be sure to check it occasionally, so the pie crust doesn't brown too much. If it does, just cover the it with foil for the duration of the cooking time.

Once your timer dings, remove the pie from the oven and let it sit for about 30 minutes. If you opt to use the herbs, you can add them now. "This tomato pie is great served either warm or cold," Rye shares. "It's great on it's own, or delicious as part of a larger meal, a pot luck dinner or as a picnic option. It tastes great with other fresh flavors like salads and coleslaw, and cooked vegetables like broccoli, peas, green beans or kale. Boiled new potatoes or fries also make delicious sides." 

We hope this cheddar heirloom tomato pie hits the spot. 

Cheddar Heirloom Tomato Pie Recipe
5 from 44 ratings
Make a gorgeous cheddar heirloom tomato pie that your guests will never forget.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
1.75
hours
Servings
8
servings
slice of tomato pie
Total time: 2.08 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 ⅓ cups plain flour, plus a little extra for sprinkling
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 3 cups mature cheddar cheese, grated, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 ½ lbs heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 bacon slices, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Directions
  1. To make the shortcrust pasty, place the plain flour, the diced butter, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, the black pepper, and the dried thyme into a food processor. Pulse the mixture in short bursts until it begins to resemble breadcrumbs. Keep pulsing in short bursts until the ingredients begin to form larger clumps. It may be necessary to add a tablespoon of water if this does not happen. As soon as the pastry begins to form, stop pulsing, remove the pastry from the food processor and form it into a ball.
  2. Wrap the ball of pastry in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden.
  3. Remove the pastry from the fridge, coat a clean surface with little flour, unwrap the pastry and place it onto the floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out until it is roughly ⅓-inch thick.
  4. Carefully lift the pastry and place it into a 9-inch pie dish. Press it into the shape of the dish and then trim the edges. Place the pastry back into the fridge for 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line the pastry with baking paper and add pie weights, then bake the pastry for 20 minutes. Remove the pie weights and the parchment paper, and continue to bake the pastry case for another 10 minutes until it is set and lightly colored. Place to one side and allow to cool.
  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 F.
  7. To prepare the tomatoes, slice them into ½-inch thick pieces and place them onto a large baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with the salt, and add the sliced garlic and the fresh thyme stalks to the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. This will help to remove some of the excess liquid in the tomatoes.
  8. When the tomatoes are ready, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature.
  9. On the stove, using a medium-sized frying pan, gently fry the diced onion and bacon with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until the onion is translucent and the bacon is turning crisp and golden around the edges. Leave the mixture to cool.
  10. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and the egg until they are combined. Then, stir in the cooled onion and bacon, 2 cups of cheddar, the fresh chives, and the fresh basil.
  11. To prepare the pie for baking, preheat the oven to 375 F. Gather together the cooled pie crust, the tomatoes, the mayonnaise mixture, and the breadcrumbs. Begin by spreading half of the mayonnaise mixture onto the base of the pie crust. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs on top of the mayonnaise, and then layer half of the tomatoes on top. Repeat the process with the other half of the ingredients, first the mayonnaise, then the breadcrumbs, and finally the remaining tomatoes.
  12. Place the tomato pie into the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure that the pie crust isn't browning too much. If it is, cover the pie with tin foil for the remainder of the cook time.
  13. Once the pie is ready, remove it from the oven and let it sit for 30 minutes, then optionally top with more fresh chives and/or basil before serving.
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