• Angeleita's Amazing Tomato Pie

    • Posted on Sep 14, 2014

    Angeleita’s Amazing Tomato Pie

    Yes, you can find other “tomato pie” recipes, and yes, they have some of the same ingredients, and yes, they’re all savory with no sugar. 

    But none match Angeleita’s tomato pie, seen above in its fully baked glory.   

    I know this because I’m married to her, and have seen her bake dozens of them over the years, changing the recipe to fit her unerring instinct for what tastes and textures work.

     She has perfected the tomato pie but only makes it when fresh tomatoes, locally grown, are available, usually our own.  For us it’s a late summer, early fall dish, and compliments other harvest meals nicely. 

    If you can’t find fresh, meaty, ripe tomatoes, don’t bother.     

    I’ve also seen plenty of friends swoon when they finally taste the exotic warm mix of basil, fresh sliced tomatoes, Vidalia onions, and three cheeses mixed with grapeseed mayonnaise.

    It takes a bit of time, since it involves two layers of four ingredients per layer.  But it’s more than worth it.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    1.     A Pillsbury pie nine-inch crust, the kind that comes in a box that you unfold to fit into a quiche dish.  If you prefer to bake your own crust, great.   Angeleita says that using the store-bought crust saves time and the Pillsbury version works well.  Note: the “pie” needs to be deep enough to accommodate all these ingredients, so we use a deeper ceramic dish rather than a standard pie plate—technically a quiche dish, 9-10” across.     

    2.     Fresh basil leaves, enough to cover the crust twice, in two separate layers. 

    3.     Thinly sliced Vidalia (sweet) onions, enough to cover crust twice.

    4.     Thinly sliced fresh tomatoes, enough, etc.  NOTE:  Make sure that you drain the tomato slices for several minutes onto paper towels; you do not want a soggy tomato pie.  Also, salt and pepper each slice.    

    5.      Grapeseed mayonnaise. Do not use sweet versions of mayo; this will ruin the savory character of the pie.  “Vegenaise” makes the kind we prefer. 

    6.     Three kinds of cheese, all freshly grated.  We prefer (1) sharp white cheddar, (2) regular mozzarella (not the kind that comes in a moist ball) and (3) smoky gouda—about eight ounces each.  Experiment with jalapeno cheese, or whatever you prefer, except do not use cheeses that don’t melt well, such as feta (goat) or parmesan.   For freshness, grate immediately before using. 


     We decided to make two, since once you have all the ingredients, it isn't much trouble to double it.  However, all the instructions and ingredients are for one pie.  
    Now, here’s what you do:

     First, bake the pie shell and let it cool completely.  Do not put the basil leaves on a warm crust; they will turn black.  

    Second, place the first layer of basil leaves (washed and dried) in the bottom of the cool shell.


    Third, place a layer of dried, thinly sliced fresh tomato slices over the basil leaves.  

    Fourth, place a layer of thinly sliced Vidalia onion slices over the tomato slices.


    Fifth, place half of the grated cheeses mixed together over the onion slices.          Note:  NO mayo with this first layer.  


    Sixth, repeat the basil, tomato, and onion layers above, then for the final layer, dollop in about two tablespoons of the grapeseed mayonnaise with the second half of the three-cheese mix.  Spread the final cheese mix in chunks over the now-completed pie.  


    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and bake until brown and bubbly—75 (or more) minutes, depending on your oven.  

    Remove from oven and let cool several minutes before slicing.  Here's how it should look: 

     If you choose to store the pie, let it cool completely, cover well with foil and/or parchment paper to refrigerate, and when ready to eat, heat it again until bubbly.

    This may take up to 45 minutes.  Cover lightly with foil when reheating so the cheese doesn’t burn; remove foil for ten minutes toward the end to make sure the reheated pie is bubbling hot. 

     If you follow this recipe carefully, I wouldn’t be surprised if you too swoon at having created the perfect tomato pie.  Let me know how it works, especially if you try variations with bacon, different cheeses, etc.   And of course do comment with any suggestions or corrections to this recipe.  

    Believe me, this is a dish that causes paroxysms of pleasure from everyone who tries it--especially hot, right out of the oven, with fresh ingredients.   



    Posted in
    • Recipes and cooking
    • Recipes and cooking
Cedar Valley Chronicles Photo

“Even before the advent of the Internet, Cawelti’s columns went 'viral' in the Cedar Valley… the role of a columnist is to be thought provoking, to take tacks that shed a different light on an issue or possibly cause a reader to reevaluate a position. At the very least, it should bring clarity to a particular perspective, whether you buy into the commentator’s worldview or not.

Scott's work does just that.  Enjoy this collection of his writing.”

-Saul Shapiro, Former Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier Editor
Read Shapiro's entire introduction.


Contact Scott

Contact Scott Photo