Tomato Pie

In New Orleans we celebrate all things tomato at the Creole Tomato Festival.  Tomatoes are celebrated in true New Orleans style with music, culinary events and family fun in the French Quarter.  We are in a tomato frame of mind so, I had to share my husband's tomato pie recipe.  Its full of bacon, mayonnaise and cheese, however, when he prepares it at the hunting camp for all the guys it's officially a vegetable dish because, after all, it includes tomatoes.  

Tomato Pie

Servings: 8

1 frozen deep-dish pie crust

1 pound applewood smoked bacon

3 medium yellow onions, sliced

3/4-1 pound tomatoes, sliced thick

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

2/3 cup Dukes brand mayonnaise

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 

2. Place the frozen pie shell on a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 12- 15 minutes. Let the crust cool. 

3. In a large skillet on medium heat, cook the bacon in batches until browned and crisp, 8-10 minutes.  Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.  When the bacon is cool enough to handle, snap each piece in half.  

3. Drain the rendered bacon grease, leaving ¼ cup of bacon grease in the skillet. Place the skillet with the grease on medium heat, and add the onions.  Stir to coat with bacon grease, and to separate the onion rings.  Cook until caramelized, about 15-20 minutes.  The caramelized onions will cook down to about 1 ½ cups. 

4. Begin layering the pie by spreading half of the caramelized onions on the bottom of the pie shell.  Layer half of the tomato slices on top of the caramelized onions. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that the bacon will also add saltiness to the dish.  Spread half of the mayonnaise on the tomato layer, and arrange half of the browned bacon on the mayonnaise.  Spread half of the cheddar cheese over the bacon layer, and gently press down on the layers. 

5. Repeat the layers with all of the remaining ingredients ending with the cheddar cheese on top.  Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, 25-30 minutes. Let pie cool slightly before serving.