I have been making tomato pie for over 3 decades. It is a wonderful marriage of everything we all like with tomatoes: cheese, basil, salt and pepper but made a bit fancier with it all baked together in a pie shell. My recipe is a bit different that the hundreds that seem to be popping up on the internet. One, I caramelize the shallots and two I use grated Gruyere instead of ordinary Cheddar. The secret is to make sure you squeeze as much excess juice out of the chopped tomatoes as possible, so the pie doesn’t become soggy. And make sure you use a deep dish pie shell rather than a regular. Bon Appetit!
Yield: 8 servings
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
1 (9-inch) deep dish pie shell
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored and cut in half horizontally
1/4 cup sliced basil (around 9 large leaves)
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Place the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the shallots and cook until they begin to brown. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until the shallots are caramel in color.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With a fork, prick the pie crust all over the inside. Place on a baking sheet and bake 9-10 minutes or until lightly browned. While the crust prebakes, squeeze as much juice and seeds out of the tomato halves, discarding the juice and seeds. Chop and place in a colander in the sink to drain. With a paper towel, squeeze as much moisture out of the chopped tomatoes.
Remove the pie crust from the oven and layer the caramelized shallots evenly along the bottom of the crust. Top with the tomatoes, then basil. In a medium bowl, stir together the Gruyere, mayonnaise, salt, pepper and cayenne. Spread evenly on top of the tomatoes and basil. Bake for 35 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Allow to cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.