Tomato Pie with Basil and Gruyere Cheese

Tomato Pie with Basil and Gruyere Cheese

I’ve been chompin’ at the bit all year to make this pie. I decided as soon as I had access to local organic tomatoes, this savory pie would be at the top of my to-do list. Apparently, the local organic farmers produced a bumper crop of tomatoes this year, so Saturday I hit pay dirt at our neighborhood farmer’s market and my grocery bag was full to the brim.

Tomato Pie with Basil and Gruyere Cheese

Most of us consume tomatoes regularly in one form or another and because they’re such a common food, I’d never really thought about their history. I got curious and after a little research, I learned that the origins of the tomato trace back the early Aztecs around 700 A.D.  Hernán Cortés, the Spanish Conquistador, is suspected to have brought the fruit back to Europe after conquering the Aztec city that is now Mexico City in the 1500s. Their use and cultivation spread across Europe and Asia over the next century. The earliest references to cultivation in North American was in the early 1700s.

Tomato Pie with Basil and Gruyere Cheese

I made this pie in a tart pan with two inch sides. The pie can be made in a traditional pie pan, but I really like the presentation of the crimped crust and the removable bottom makes slicing and serving a cinch. If you use a tart pan make sure and place the pan on a baking sheet in the oven. I made the mistake of placing the tart pan directly on the oven rack and the dripping liquid created a bit of smoke detector emergency.

Tomato Pie with Basil and Gruyere Cheese

This pie makes a great side with grilled chicken or salmon or you can serve it with a salad for a light lunch. High quality tomatoes are a must for this pie. I really don’t think you can beat the combination of Gruyere and Parmesan, but you can’t go wrong substituting your favorite cheeses. I have to say that this might be one of the most delicious things I’ve made recently. If you’re a tomato fan, by all means make this pie!

Tomato Pie with Basil and Gruyere Cheese

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Tomato Pie with Basil and Gruyere Cheese


(Inspired from Southern Living recipe)

For the crust:

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and very cold

3/4 cups sour cream

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

2 1/2 pounds assorted tomatoes

2 teaspoon salt (separated)

1 cup chopped Vidalia onion

1 3/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise

1/2 cup basil chiffonade

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 egg, beaten


For the crust:

1. Mix flour and salt together. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour and butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Larger pieces of butter are fine.

2. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add sour cream. Mix until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time and mix until dough comes together into a ball. Knead dough four or five times, wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Transfer dough to a floured surface and roll to a 13-inch round. Gently place dough in a 9-inch fluted tart pan with 2-inch sides and a removable bottom. Press dough into pan; trim off excess dough along edges. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling:

1. Cut two pounds of tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and remove seeds. Lay slices on paper towel and sprinkle with one teaspoon of salt. Let sit for 30 minutes.

2. Combine Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses, mayonnaise, basil, thyme, one teaspoon salt, pepper, and egg.

To assemble pie:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. With additional paper towel, pat tomato slices to remove excess moisture.

3. Add onion to bottom of pie crust. Top onion with 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Layer half of tomatoes over cheese mixture in overlapping pattern. Top tomatoes with 1/3 of cheese mixture. Repeat with another layer of tomatoes and cheese mixture.

4. Cut remaining tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and arrange on top of pie in an overlapping pattern.

5. Place pie on baking sheet and place in oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

6. Cool completely before cutting. Serve at room temperature.

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Bill Harris

I grew up in small town Mississippi eating traditional southern fare.A lifelong foodie, I started cooking and experimenting with food at a very young age. I started Southern Boy Dishes as a creative outlet and a way to share my love of food.

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Speak Your Mind

  1. Brenna says

    I made this gorgeous dish last night, and I can’t say enough about it. I couldn’t think of a better way to showcase our garden tomatoes, basil and thyme — fabulous flavors with every single bite. It was devoured, and I may need to make another tonight. What a hit! Thanks from me and my mates!!

    • says

      Thank you, Brenna! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. It’s been a great tomato year here and I need to make the pie again for myself. Thanks so much for letting me know you liked it! I hope you’ll keep coming back to SBD!

  2. Char says

    I love making tomato pie, but it’s just not the most photo-friendly food. My recipe is very similar to yours except for the sour cream crust, the type of onions (I use green) and the type of cheeses (I’ve never used Gruyere in a tomato pie). The main change, though, that I intend to implement immediately is your layering technique, ending with tomatoes on the top. Your photograph is the most beautiful tomato pie picture I have ever seen. It’s worth making your recipe just because of the photo. I suspect the sour cream pie crust is going to put this one over the top, too. Thanks for sharing…I am printing this one now to make for my birthday later in July.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Char. I really appreciate the compliment! I would highly recommend trying Gruyere cheese. It really makes the pie! Let me know how it turns out and thanks for dropping by SBD!

    • says

      Thank you, Dina. I appreciate your visit to SBD. I haven’t used a store bought crust in a while, but I would probably trust Pillsbury. Let me know how the recipe works out for you. Have a great week!

  3. M. Alexx says

    Bill: This is SO good — many thanks for such a fine recipe! No heirlooms here, but suddenly deluged with BIG BEAUTIFUL red tomatoes from the garden (plus basil & thyme) — truly excellent results with your pie. I’ve seen a lot of recipes but yours sounded best & I think I was right.
    Muchas gracias, amigo!

  4. Dawn White says

    I was looking for recipes that would use the red bounty from the garden in a fresh, new way. This turned out beautifully and is very, very good! It will definitely become a favorite for my family and to share with others. Thank you!

  5. Chris says

    This tart looks fabulous! My question to you is, can it be made and frozen while I still can get gorgeous tomatoes? I want to enjoy it all winter.

  6. urbanfoxhunter says

    Looks delicious. When I checked out the recipe I did a double take…. I made a mayo based pie like this 25 years ago(not my recipe)…. was always wondering how to reinvent that dish for the somewhat more sophisticated place I work in now Thanks!

  7. Annette says

    I really want to try this beautiful pie! Have tried ones similar that are yummy.
    I especially like this recipe , because you don’t have to bake the crust first. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Jill Lauren says

    This looks absolutely delish – asides that I detest mayo! Is there a substitution you could recommend for the recipe?

    • Sarah says

      I also cannot stand mayo at all. I was hoping to find a substitution in the comments here…alas! I will see if I can hunt around for something that would work instead.

      • says

        I always make this pie with mayonnaise and I really like the flavor and texture it adds. However, I know a lot of people like you don’t like it. I just did a web search and came up with this recipe that sounds interesting. The recipe calls for a blend of goat cheese and cream cheese as a replacement for the mayonnaise. It would be a different pie than my recipe, but I think it sounds like a great substitution. Check out the link below.

        Hope this helps!

  9. says

    This tart would make a meal for me! It’s gorgeous and those tomatoes look beautiful! Can’t wait for tomatoes to start hitting the markets here. I want this tart!

  10. says

    Great food styling on the photos! And super nice recipe. I’m seeing local organic tomatoes, but our backyard ones are still at least a couple of weeks away from being ready. I can’t wait! And I should definitely use some in this tart – this looks so terrific. Thanks for this.

  11. says

    Your tomato pie is absolutely beautiful, Bill. I’ve been wanting to make Tomato Pie for the past couple years now and each summer seems to slip by without me trying it…it is now my goal for this summer to try your lovely recipe! :)

  12. says

    This Tomato Pie with Basil and Gruyere Cheese is gorgeous! I planted some tomatoes a while ago and waiting for them to ripen….and you bet I’ll be making this tart when my tomatoes are ready. :) Thanks for sharing.


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