FACT: There are not a lot of reasons to turn the oven on in 94 degree weather in June in South Carolina. But these miniature tomato pies I’m bout to show you are. One of my favorite summer eats is the glorious tomato pie, which I’ve made every which way but never thought about til this year of how to solve the only problem related to it, and that problem is soggy crust. We all like to think that we can eat an entire 9″ pie in one sitting but let’s face it, we can’t. Thus, the next eating of the leftovers entails a little softness in the middle.
So when I saw these little pie tins at Bi-Lo I was like, YES. This is IT. These little 5.5″ diameter tins are the perfect size for a single serving, and they are cheap in case you want to hand a little pie out to everyone you know. They’re also easily washable so you can re-use them over and over until they tear (which they will).
Mini Tomato Pies
Makes 3 mini tomato pies. Double for 6.
- Pack of mini pie tins (they come in 6 packs at Bi-Lo)
- 1 premade pie crust, softened
- Two large tomatoes
- 3/4 cup of grated cheese (I used a mix of cheddar and gruyere)
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh or dried basil, optional
- 1/2 of a small onion
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Thaw the pie crust according to package directions. Simultaneously, slice the tomatoes and lay them on a paper towel. Salt lightly and cover with another paper towel.
- Grate the cheeses and mix with mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and basil in a medium bowl.
- Once the pie crust has thawed, roll it out on a cutting board and use a knife to trace large circles from the crust. You may have to use the scraps to make enough for the third pie. Put the crust in the pie tins and press to the curvature of the tins, then pierce the bottom of the dough a few times to let the heat escape while they parbake.
- Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
- Dice the onion and saute it over medium heat. Salt very lightly and let cook until onions and soft and translucent.
- Wipe the salt off of the tomatoes with a paper towel.
- Remove the crusts from the oven.
- Once all of the components are ready, assemble the pies as follows: put a spoonful of onions on the bottom of each pie plate. put a tomato slice on top. alternate onion and tomatoes until the tin is full (about 2-3 layers, ending on tomato).
- Top the pies with the mayo-cheese mixture and spread over the top of the tins. Use your fingers, spread it out as well as you can.
- Put in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Turn the oven to broil and brown the tops for a minute or two, watch this step carefully.
- Remove from oven and serve hot, or let cool and put them in the fridge for later.
I’m also experimenting with freezing them to see how they turn out. I’ve got one freezing as we speak to experiment with this weekend. As for the refrigerated ones, Patrick has enjoyed taking one out at a time and reheating it in the toaster oven.
Isn’t it great how these tomatoes can turn into this pie? This is what I got the other weekend at the South Carolina State Farmers Market. Everything but the watermelon came from one of my favorite vendors, Lanes Specialty Gardens, out of Neeses, SC.