These 2 chef-created tomato pies are perfect for the summer

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen
Anne Byrn’s Homegrown Tomato Pie

Nothing says the height of hot, hot summer like tomatoes practically falling off the vine. Here, we've picked our two favorite tomato pie recipes, developed by two of our favorite chefs.

Anne Byrn’s Homegrown Tomato Pie

We like to use half of our Cream Cheese Pie Dough recipe to make this tomato pie. (Freeze the other half for your next pie.) However, feel free to use your own favorite recipe or even a storebought pie crust. The tomatoes are the hero here.

This recipe was provided by Anne Byrn. More about Byrn and her books here.

Serves: 6

Total cooking time: 2 hours

Ingredients

2 cups peeled and sliced ripe tomatoes (from 3 to 4 tomatoes)

Sea salt

1 (9-inch) pie crust, refrigerated or frozen and thawed

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Place the tomato slices on paper towels and sprinkle both sides with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let sit for 1 hour.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Transfer the crust to a 9-inch pie pan. Press the crust into the pan and trim off excess crust. Use your fingers to crimp the edges of the crust in a decorative pattern. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the crust a few times. Bake until very lightly brown, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the cheddar cheese, Parmesan, mayonnaise, basil and chives. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.

When the crust has lightly browned, transfer it to a cooling rack and let it cool for 15 minutes.

Place the drained tomato slices in the bottom of the crust. Spread the cheese and mayonnaise mixture over the top. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

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Tomatoes

Kevin Mitchell's tomato pie with smoked paprika

Chef Kevin Mitchell included this recipe in his 2021 book “Taste the State” written with historian David Shields. The book is a guide to ingredients and recipes that form South Carolina’s unique flavors.

More:Frogmore Stew and perloo: The flavors of South Carolina come alive in 'Taste the State'

"This recipe does not stray too far from traditional recipes," Mitchell says. "I love the flavor combination of smoked paprika and tomato, and when the gravy is served with fried okra, it takes me back to my grandmother Doris’ kitchen."

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter (or pan drippings from bacon or lard) 

1 cup finely diced onion 

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1 clove garlic (crushed or grated) 

1 bay leaf (large) 

1 sprig thyme

1-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 cup flour

2 cups tomato sauce (or a 14.5-ounce can)

1 cup vegetable broth (chicken if you like)

2 cups diced tomatoes (or a 14.5-ounce can, or fresh tomatoes)

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Salt (to taste)

Instructions

Melt the butter or drippings in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, black pepper, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and smoked paprika. Sauté until the onions begin to soften — 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the flour and continue to cook the roux, stirring constantly, until both the onions and the flour turn light golden brown, about 3 or 4 minutes. Don't let the flour or onions get too brown. Add the tomato sauce and broth. Combine with a whisk until the sauce comes to a boil. Turn the heat down until the gravy is at a low simmer. Cook until the mixture is smooth and thick—about 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and their juice and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Just before serving, remove the bay leaf. Sprinkle with parsley.