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Remember when you were a youngun’ runnin’ around barefoot down at the creek on a muggy August afternoon? Remember sittin’ in lawn chairs under the shade of a three hundred year oak tree stringin’ pole beans with the womenfolk? Remember cuttin’ a rug out on the porch at sundown with your cousins while four of your uncles played the banjo, mandolin, guitar and stand up bass fiddle? Remember the pungent smell of the tomato vines mingled with the sweet scent of moist, rich red clay soil?
Yeah me neither, but who cares? There are a lot of romanticized stereotypes about growing up in the South, and none of them haunt my childhood memories, ‘specially since this Yankee girl grew up in Connecticut. But thanks to the kindness of the fates, I landed here in beautiful Western North Carolina and have been south of the Mason-Dixon for many more years than the 18 I spent in Connecticut. Marrying a North Carolinian has helped of course; one does not emerge from Connecticut knowing how to make a proper pitcher of sweet tea. As a way to demonstrate my southern hospitality, I've shared this recipe so y’all can enjoy a taste of the South for yourself. Just make this delightful Tomato Pie next time you get a hankerin’ for a rich tomato treat.
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I’ve been called a lot of things but the label I’m most fond of is “converted yankee” a title I feel I’ve earned. I may not have run around at the creek at Maw Maw’s, but some of my kids got to. I may not have been present at the bean stringin’ as a kid, but I did it in my 20’s. And I’ve heard enough foot tappin’, knee slappin’ banjo pickin’ to make your head spin. I’ve been out tomato pickin’ in August and enjoyed a lot of other Southern specialties like Sweet Tea, Livermush, and Old Mule Barbeque sauce. And I’ve had enough varieties of Tomato Pie to know which kind makes you want to slap your Maw Maw. (That’s a southern name for grandmother, in case you didn’t know.) Just yesterday evening, we had some at a local barbeque place and that was what inspired me to create my own and write this article.
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So what makes a good tomato pie? Well obviously it is not August yet, so this is just a foretaste of what is to come, but it is April and some red and tasty tomatoes have made their way up from Florida to the local fruit stand. What you really want though, is to go through the month of July gorging yourself on meaty heirloom tomatoes, then in August when it seems like you’re about to burst and bleed tomato paste, grab some overripe Cherokee Purples, switch things up and make some tomato pie. You will also want some fresh, dried basil out of your herb garden, Vidalia onions, and fresh garlic. You’ll want some "no salt" seasoning too, similar to Mrs. Dash, and Duke’s mayonnaise is a MUST. Don’t even bother if you don’t have Duke’s. (Just kidding, if you're a Yankee go ahead and use Hellman's but don't say I didn't warn you.) Other than that, you’ll need eggs, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sugar, salt and pepper. Don’t expect it to come out looking like something out of a magazine, either. To be honest, the slice of pie you see on the plate here is a little ugly. But remember you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover... the flavor will definitely make you want to jump up and slap your maw maw.
Now some folk like to make their tomato pie with big chunks of tomato, or big slices, but this city slicker knows a thing or two about getting the most out of a tomato, so I put mine into the blender just long enough to make a soupy, lumpy mess out of them. A food processor would be fine too. The pie you see pictured was slap-your-maw-maw tasty, but after I made it, I had a stroke of genius that I think would improve on it just a hair. Next time, I’m going to add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. That will improve the color and texture, I think. Let me know if you try it. Follow the recipe below for now, enjoy, and y’all come on back ya hear, and tell me about it in the comments section.
A Slice of Mouthwatering Southern Tomato Pie
Cook Time for Slap Your Maw Maw Tomato Pie
Ingredients for Slap Your Maw Maw Sweet and Savory Tomato Pie
- 3 medium sized ripe tomatoes, blended until lumpy
- 1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 Cup Duke's Mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon no salt seasoning, like Mrs. Dash
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper
- 1 deep dish pie crust, unbaked
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- Cut one tomato in half the long way, then make 5 very thin slices and set them aside. Cut the rest of the tomatoes up into large pieces, then put into the blender and blend on high just until you get a lumpy liquid.
- Put all of the other ingredients* into a large bowl, then add the tomatoes and stir well with a wooden spoon until mixed. *Save some of the shredded cheese to decorate the top of the pie.
- Pour the mixture into a pie crust.
- Decorate the top of the pie by putting the slices on and then sprinkling the shredded cheese in between the slices.
- Put into a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown around the edges, and a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool for about 15 minutes and eat warm, or let cool, then refrigerate and eat chilled. Pairs well with Duplin Magnolia (https://www.duplinwinery.com/) sweet tea, SunDrop or Cheerwine.
Nutrition Information is Approximate
I based my information on other tomato pies with similar ingredients.
Nutrition information for Slap Your Maw Maw Sweet and Savory Southern Tomato Pie
|Serving size: 1 slice|
|Calories from Fat||99|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 11 g||17%|
|Carbohydrates 25 g||8%|
|Fiber 2 g||8%|
|Protein 7 g||14%|
|Cholesterol 4 mg||1%|
|Sodium 524 mg||22%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|