A few months ago, my husband and I were in a restaurant in Lititz, PA, and saw Tomato Pie on the menu. Now when I was growing up, my family gathered occasionally to enjoy my Italian grandmother’s homemade tomato pies, which was our way of saying “pizza.” This new kind of tomato pie on the menu was nothing like pizza. It had a regular pie crust, was filled with large chunks of ripe tomatoes, and topped with a creamy cheesy topping. Really, it was heavenly.
Now that my garden is producing fresh tomatoes, I set out to make that tomato pie. The traditional recipe calls for 1 cup mayonnaise and 1-2 cups cheese – yikes! I searched for a recipe to meet my household’s nutritional needs – gluten free and no or low cholesterol. No success. So after gathering ideas from many recipes, I tried what I thought might work. Oh, it came out better than I’d hoped! I changed the original recipe so much, I wondered if it would flop, but my husband and I both loved it! Here ya go…
Fresh Tomato Pie – Gluten Free and Mostly Vegan
1 already made unbaked pie crust (I use the King Arthur Flour recipe for gluten free pie crust)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
4 c tomatoes, seeded and cut in large chunks
1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt (I guess you could sub vegan sour cream or Vegenaise to make this totally vegan)
3/4 cup + 1/4 cup shredded low fat (or Daiya) cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste
1. Arrange unbaked pie crust in pie pan, fill with pie weights (I use dry beans), and bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.
2. Saute onion in oil 5 minutes in large frying pan. Turn off heat. Stir in fresh basil and tomatoes. Turn into baked pie crust. Bake in oven for another 10 minutes.
3. While pie is baking, mix together yogurt, 3/4 cup cheese, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste. When pie has baked for 10 minutes, remove from oven and spread yogurt mixture all over top. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over yogurt mixture. Bake for final 10 minutes until topping is melted and golden. The tomatoes should not be mushy, just heated through.
Depending on how watery your tomatoes are, there will be some juice in the bottom of the pie. I used Brandywines, which oozed a lot of water, but we didn’t mind at all. If you’d prefer a drier pie, you could let your cut tomatoes sit on some paper towels for a while to soak up the extra moisture before turning them into the frying pan.
Now if I can just remember how to insert a picture…there we go. I know, the Daiya didn’t fully melt – had no idea at the time that I was going to restart my blog😉 Haha, we were just so happy with the pie I just had to share.