The Secret of Summer? Tomato Pie

Edisto tomato pie

Tomato pie. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

Tomato pie is synonymous with summertime in South Carolina–especially in the Lowcountry.

I remember the first time I tasted this delectable treat. I was staying with friends at Edisto Beach and our hostess had purchased a tomato pie from one of the road-side vegetable stands. With the first bite, I fell in love with the salty, acidic, creamy, cheesy dish served up in a flaky, buttery pastry shell.

Over the years I have eaten my share of pie and have worked on perfecting a recipe of my own (see below).

This past weekend I stopped by the road-side vegetable stand not far from my house. Run by Boone Hall Farms (http://www.boonehallfarms.com/), this stand is open virtually year-round. They have a great market/cafe a bit further up Highway 17, but I love the  red and white tent that sits in the midst of the u-pick fields.

Boone Hall Farm

I love to wander over to the fields to see what is growing. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries were still available, according to the signs but I didn’t seem to make it past the rows of tomatoes.

tomato fields

At this point in the summer they are still in their teenage state of greenness.

tomato vines

Fortunately they had some vine-ripened tomatoes from Florida.

tomatoes

 These tables will be overflowing in a few weeks. I can’t wait.

peaches

South Carolina peaches are just appearing but they need to ripen a bit more. I decided to give them another week or two.

peach crates

Sandy

Sandy smiled and laughed as she rang up all of the produce I purchased.

flag

What are your favorite road-side vegetable stand finds? Do you have any favorite recipes that use fresh produce? I hope that you will share them here.

slice of pie

Edisto Tomato Pie 

1 (9-inch) pie shell

1 egg white

1 teaspoon water

2-3 large tomatoes*, peeled and sliced or chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried minced onions

dash of red pepper

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons flour

4-5 fresh basil leaves chopped

dash of paprika

  1. Beat egg white with water. Brush over unbaked pie shell. Line pie shell with parchment paper and pie weights (can also use dried beans). Bake pie shell according to directions. Cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Peel and slice or chop tomatoes. Gently squeeze tomatoes to remove excess liquid and place in a bowl. (*If you don’t have good, home-grown tomatoes then you can use a mix of tomatoes. I always replace a cup of grape tomatoes sliced in half for one of the tomatoes because they are always tart and good). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix mayonnaise and shredded cheddar together in a bowl. Add half of the parmesan cheese. Add minced onions and a dash of red pepper and mix.
  5. Put flour in bowl. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon to reduce liquid and place in bowl with flour. Toss tomatoes in flour.
  6. Place tomatoes in bottom of the cooled pie shell. Add remaining salt and pepper, garlic powder and basil leaves.
  7. Spread mayonnaise-cheese mix evenly over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and paprika.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.