This rustic, savory pie brings a sophisticated twist to the classic southern version of tomato pie. Fresh garden tomatoes come together with a flaky pie crust, Dijon and Boursin cheese and believe it or not, we are skipping the mayonnaise altogether (gasp!). Read on for more culinary blasphemy!
Having spent the majority of my life in the Southern US, I speak with some authority on the classic tomato pie, complete with the full cup of mayonnaise and cup of cheddar cheese. It is...transcendent. Rich, creamy, fresh, crispy-crusted deliciousness. It's what Southern Living was created to share with the world. And it needs no improvement.
This? This is not that pie. This is the tomato pie that went on holiday to Paris and came home with a French accent, a recipe for authentic baguettes, and a carry-on full of thoughtfully curated souvenirs for her friends.
Without a doubt, this pie brings more complex flavor with Dijon and Gruyere and Boursin, and more rustic charm with the simple fold-over pie crust - no blind bake or pie weights required.
So come with me and let's take our southern state of mind on a jaunt to Paris. I have a beret with your name all over it...
What you'll need to make Homemade French Tomato Pie
- prepared pie crust, very cold
- heirloom and multi-colored grape tomatoes
- fresh basil leaves
- gruyere cheese
- boursin cheese
- cream cheese
- lemon juice
- Dijon mustard
- coarse sea salt and ground black pepper
Step by step instructions:
To begin, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and slice the fresh tomatoes into ½ inch slices. Remove the tomato seeds and lay the slices on a double layer of paper towels. After that, cut the grape or cherry tomatoes in half, remove seeds and place tomatoes on paper towels, cut side up.
Then, sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top of the tomatoes. After that, turn the small grape tomatoes face down on the paper towels. Leave the tomatoes out on the counter to drain for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, make the cheese mixture while the tomatoes are draining. Combine ½ cup of shredded gruyere cheese, 2 ½ ounces of Boursin garlic and herb cheese, 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper in bowl of food processor or mini-chopper.
Add the creamy spread ingredients to a food processor and blend for about 20-30 seconds until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. The cheese mixture will be thick, as we don't want to introduce very much liquid or moisture into the pie. The bottom of the crust needs to crisp up!
If your mixture feels too thick, add a tablespoon of cream and just a little salt to the mixture and stir to combine.
Next, use a layer of paper towels to remove any last bit of liquid from the ripe tomatoes.
Time to build the pie! To begin with, remove the prepared crust from the refrigerator and transfer to a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
After that, working quickly, spread the cheese mixture across the crust of the pie, leaving about a 1 ½ inch border.
Then sprinkle half of the chopped basil over the cheese mixture. Top the basil and cheese mixture with a single layer of large sliced tomatoes, filling in the gaps with small grape tomato halves, with more tomatoes stacked in the center of the pie to build a little height.
Afterwards fold up the edges of the crust, forming a rustic pie shape. Then, using a pastry brush, gently cover the pie shell with the beaten egg to ensure a that buttery pie crust turns a deep golden brown.
Without delay bake the tomato pie for 28-32 minutes. Subsequently remove from oven and leave the pie to rest on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes before cutting.
Finally, sprinkle with remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of thin slices of fresh basil and a crack of fresh black pepper when serving.
Heirloom tomatoes pack a lot of fresh tomato flavor. All things considered , which is why I recommend them here. In Portugal, they're local specialty is something called an ox heart tomato, which is what I used in this pie. They have very few of the big watery seed pouches that commercially farmed tomatoes produce, and which can signal a soggy tomato pie.
However this can be fixed with careful salting and draining of the tomatoes to prevent the dreaded soggy crust. Furthermore Roma tomatoes are readily available on both sides of the Atlantic, and would be a solid choice here, as well.
You will need more tomato slices to cover your pie, so plan to add an additional 2-3 tomatoes to the ingredient list. Hence any beautiful ripe summer tomatoes that are properly drained will work!
Homemade crust, store-bought crust, frozen pie crust - anything meant for a savory flavor combination will work here.
You can! If you are using a 9-inch pie plate build two layers of cheese, then tomatoes, then spread a second layer of cheese, then tomatoes on top. Don't forget the fresh basil!
Fresh herbs like chives (or green onions, in a pinch), thyme leaves or even oregano would be good options in this easy recipe. If you're looking for a pop of freshness but no strong flavor, flat leaf parsley is a good bet.
The use of sharp cheddar is encouraged by our southern sensibilities. Parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese would be good substitutes for the gruyere cheese.
You can also substitute the Boursin with goat cheese for the cream cheese mixture.
Wrap tightly or seal in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
To reheat your pie, warm your oven to 350 degrees and bake the pie for 10-15 minutes.