There is something about the flavor combo of fresh tomatoes and basil. Combined with creamy cheese in a flaky crust, basil tomato pie is bright, savory and delicious!
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Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted August 2011 with better photos and additional information.
Fresh Roma tomatoes shine bright in this lovely pie that works as an appetizer or a dinner entree. And the basil brings all of the flavor of a summer’s day to every bite. There is a wow factor to this tart. My 16 year old granddaughter helped me recently to prepare two tomato pies for friends. When our get together got cancelled last minute, I told her to dig in. Her response to each bite, was… WOW! 🙂
So, here’s how to make Basil Tomato Pie
Preparing the crust
Refrigerated pie crusts are what I usually use to make this recipe. But since we have been self-isolating and couldn’t get to the grocery store, I made a homemade crust.
Click Homemade Pie Crust or the link at the bottom of this post for easy, step-by-step instructions for making your own crust.
Add the crust to your dish and crimp the edges.
What is blind baking and what is its purpose?
To blind bake the crust, line the shell with double-thickness of foil. Use pie weights (or dried beans or peas) to prevent the crust from sinking down in the pie plate.
Bake the crust in a 450 degree F. oven 8 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 4 to 5 minutes more or until set and dry.
Cutting the tomatoes
Cut the tomatoes into wedges about 1/2-inch thick.
Allow them to drain on paper towels.
Snip fresh basil to measure about 1 cup.
Filling the crust
Arrange tomato wedges atop the cheese in the pie shell.
Process or chiffonade basil
In a food processor bowl combine the basil and garlic; cover and process until coarsely chopped. If you do not have a small food processor, chiffonade the basil and grate or mince the garlic.
Chiffonade sounds fancy but it is easy to accomplish. It is a term used to describe a slicing technique in which leafy green vegetables such as spinach, sorrel, or Swiss chard, or a flat-leaved herb like basil, are cut into long, thin strips or ribbons.
Stack the basil leaves on top of each other and gently roll them into a cigar-like shape. Then use a sharp knife to slice them into thin ribbons. That’s it!
Sprinkle the basil mixture over the tomatoes.
In a medium mixing bowl combine remaining mozzarella cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and pepper.
Spoon the cheese mixture over the basil mixture, spreading to evenly cover the top. I find it is easier to spoon on small amounts all over the top of the tomatoes rather than trying to spread it about.
Bake the tomato pie in a 375 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly. Keep a close eye because the top can brown quickly but is all good however browned you prefer 🙂
Basil Tomato Pie
- 1 folded refrigerated unbaked pie crust or homemade 9-inch crust
- 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
- 5 Roma tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 4 cloves garlic (I use less)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Fresh basil leaves (for garnish)
- The recipe is easily adaptable by switching up the cheeses. Cheddar, Monterey Jack or Gruyere are all good choices for the Mozzarella cheese.
- Make-ahead tips: Prebake pastry crust; cover and let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Slice and drain tomatoes; let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Prepare cheese-mayonnaise mixture; cover and chill up to 2 hours.
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