Perfect Green Tomato Pie

published Sep 29, 2022
summer
Green Tomato Pie Recipe

It's about time to think of ripe green tomatoes as dessert fruit. They are tart and firm and take on flavors really well.

Serves8

Makes1 (9-inch) pie

Prep50 minutes

Cook1 hour 35 minutes

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Photograph of green tomato pie.
Credit: Kristina Vanni

Summer is officially over and, if you have tomato vines, there’s likely not enough time left for your tomatoes to ripen. Don’t worry — I have the perfect solution for you! And nope, it’s not fried green tomatoes (although you should make those, too). The perfect way to enjoy these not-quite-ripe tomatoes? Green tomato pie.

It might be strange to think of green tomatoes as a dessert fruit. At least, I certainly thought so. But despite my doubts, I quickly discovered that green tomatoes are very similar to baking apples. They’re tart and firm and take on flavors really well. And they pair perfectly with Kitchn’s all-butter, never-let-you-down flaky pie crust.

What Are Green Tomatoes?

In simplest terms, green tomatoes are tomatoes that aren’t ripe. But not all green tomatoes are unripe tomatoes. Some heirloom varieties like “green zebra” are green when ripe. For this recipe, be sure to choose the unripe kind. If you are not sure, ask your vendor at your local farmers market. 

Credit: Kristina Vanni

What Does Green Tomato Pie Taste Like?

For this recipe, I infused the filling with flavors you’d find in an apple pie — sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, a little lemon juice, and butter — to give the filling some richness. The result was a delicious dessert that both impressed and confused my taste testers. They could not believe the filling was made of green tomatoes. Had I not told them, they would have assumed it was made from apples.

Green Tomato Pie Recipe

It's about time to think of ripe green tomatoes as dessert fruit. They are tart and firm and take on flavors really well.

Prep time 50 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 35 minutes

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    recipe Flaky Pie Crust (2 pie doughs, 8 to 10 ounces each)

  • All-purpose flour, for rolling

  • 2 1/4 pounds

    green (unripe) tomatoes (about 6)

  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 4 teaspoons

    cornstarch

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly grated or ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1

    large egg

  • 2 tablespoons

    raw or demerara sugar

  • Ice cream or heavy cream, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place 1 of the pie doughs on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 12-inch round about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough into a standard 9-inch pie plate and press into the bottom and up the sides. Refrigerate.

  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the remaining pie dough into a 10 to 11-inch round. Cut the round into quarters. Transfer to the baking sheet in a single layer and refrigerate.

  3. Prepare the following, adding each to the same large bowl as it is completed: Core and thinly slice 2 1/4 pounds green tomatoes (1/8 to 1/4-inch thick). Finely grate the zest of 1/2 medium lemon until you have 1 teaspoon. Juice the lemon until you have 1 tablespoon.

  4. Add 1 cup granulated sugar, 4 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Gently toss until well combined. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF.

  5. Strain the juices in the bowl of tomatoes (about 1 1/3 cups) into a small saucepan and return the tomatoes to the bowl. Bring the juices to a boil over medium heat and cook until thick, viscous, glossy, and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, cut 2 tablespoons unsalted butter into 8 pieces. Place 1 large egg in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until well beaten.

  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Transfer the tomato mixture to the pie plate and arrange into an even layer. Drizzle with the reduced tomato juices. Evenly scatter the butter over the filling.

  7. Working with one piece at a time, arrange the 4 dough triangles on top of the filling with the pointed end in the center, barely shingling the next piece on the last, until the entire pie is covered. Roll the excess dough over on itself and crimp with your fingers or a fork to seal the edges. Place the pie on the now-empty baking sheet.

  8. Brush the beaten egg all over the surface and edges of the dough. Evenly sprinkle all over with 2 tablespoons raw or demerara sugar. Cut a 1-inch slit in each quadrant of the pie with a paring knife.

  9. Bake until the pie is deep golden brown all over and the tomatoes are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Check after 1 hour: If the crust is getting too dark, tent the pie loosely with aluminum foil and continue baking. Let cool for at least 4 hours for the filling to firm up. Serve with vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of heavy cream if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated or stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.