Southern tomato pie, with flaky buttermilk crust, thinly sliced tomatoes, fresh herbs and cheese, is perfect as an entrée or appetizer.
Do you prefer thin crust or thick crust pizza?
I am of the school of thought that when it comes to pizza, the crust is the best part. None of this namby-pamby thin crust. To me, that’s like eating pizza on a soggy saltine cracker. No, it has to be thick and bready, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
I adapted this recipe using my own buttermilk biscuit recipe. It’s so much easier than working with pizza dough, which I find to be infuriating to roll out at times. While this pie is ideal for summer months when tomatoes are at their peak, I definitely see myself adapting this for use in other homemade pizza recipes.
Make the Buttermilk Biscuit Crust
I have an entire post dedicated to making my buttermilk biscuits. If you’re interested in reading all the flaky details, head over there. This is just a basic rundown.
In a large bowl, combine two cups of all-purpose flour, one tablespoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, two teaspoons of baking powder and one teaspoon of salt. Grate ½ cup (1 stick) of cold unsalted butter. Add the butter and stir it’s mixed evenly throughout the flour. Add three-quarters of a cup of cold buttermilk and stir until dough comes together and begins to leave the side of the bowl. Add additional milk if necessary if the dough seems to dry.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Lightly knead 10 times. Pat the dough into a 5-inch round. Then, using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into round measuring at least 13-inches wide and about ½-inch thick.
Blind Bake the Crust
In order to achieve a crust that’s flaky and not soggy, we’re going to prebake, or blind bake, our crust. First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Carefully transfer your crust to a 9-inch pie plate or quiche pan. The easiest way I’ve found to do this without tearing the dough is to make sure the dough is coated with a thin layer of flour, then carefully fold it into quarters.
Lay the quartered dough at one corner of the pan, with the point in the center. Gently unfold the dough until it’s completely draping the dish. Then pat the dough down into the dish with your fingertips. Use scissors or a rolling pin to trim off any excess.
Using the tines of a fork, prick about a dozen holes into the bottom of the crust. This will prevent any bubbles from forming in the crust as it’s baking. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the crust is just starting to turn brown.
Dry the Tomatoes
While the crust is baking, let’s start making our filling. Thinly slice 1-2 medium tomatoes. I like Roma tomatoes because they have less juice. Lay the tomatoes down on a layer of paper towels. Blot the tops with additional paper towels. Since tomatoes are very watery, we want to remove as much water as we can to prevent it from soaking into our crust. Allow the tomatoes to dry on the paper towels while you mix together the herb-cheese topping
Make the Herb Cheese Topping
In a small mixing bowl combine 2/3 cup of shredded Swiss cheese, 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, 1/3 cup of finely chopped herbs such as basil, parsley, and oregano, and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. Stir the mixture together until all the ingredients are evenly combined. Set the bowl aside.
Assemble the Pie
Once the biscuit crust is finished baking, remove it from the oven. Spread the herb cheese mixture over the top of the biscuit crust. Arrange the tomatoes over the cheese. Return the pie to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are heated through and the cheese is melted. Cut into slices and serve warm.
Storage, Freezing and Reheating
Storage: Once the pie is completely cooled, wrap it in plastic wrap or store slices in a large plastic freezer bad. Consume withing four days.
Freezing: Baked Southern tomato pie can be frozen for up to three months. Wrap the pie in a coupe layers of plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. Allow the pie to thaw before baking
Reheating: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the pie is heated through and toasted.
Serve Southern Tomato Pie Alongside:
Heirloom Tomato and Cheese Pie
For the buttermilk biscuit crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter grated
- 3/4 cup cold buttermilk more if needed
For the tomato pie:
- 2-3 small to medium ripe tomatoes sliced ¼-inch thick
- 2/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup finely chopped herbs such as basil, parsley, and oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the buttermilk biscuit crust:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Position rack in the middle of the oven.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Add the butter and stir until pieces of butter are mixed evenly throughout the flour mixture.
- Add three-quarters cup of buttermilk, and stir until dough comes together and begins to leave the side of the bowl, adding additional milk if necessary.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Lightly knead 10 times.
- Form the dough into a 5-inch round. Then, using a flour rolling pin, roll the dough out into round measuring at least 13-inches wide and about ½-inch thick.
- Fit the dough into a 9-inch pie plate or quiche pan.
- Using the tines of a fork, prick about a dozen holes into the bottom of the crust. This will prevent any bubbles from forming in the crust as it’s baking.
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the crust is just starting to turn brown.
For the tomato pie:
- Arrange the tomato slices on a layer of paper towels. Pat the tops dry with another paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
- Combine the cheese, mayonnaise, herbs, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spread the herb cheese mixture over the top of the biscuit crust.
- Arrange the tomato slices over the cheese.
- Return the pie to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are heated through and the cheese is melted.
- Allow the pie to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
- Cut into slices and serve warm.