Galivants Ferry Tomato Pie

Miniature tomato pie

Today’s story actually began earlier this week when my cousin Amy and her daughter drove up from Galivants Ferry.  Just having them visit was a treat, but they showed up with another treat too:  a bag full of produce that Amy’s husband had grown on the family farm.  Vegetables grown in that patch of earth are the best anywhere, according to my late mother.  The surrounding land has been farmed by my family since the late 18th century; in fact, a peach tree brought over from England by my ancestors thrived in the fertile soil for well over a century.  Amy’s branch of the family tree is the last of our line to live there.  All week we’ve feasted on Horry County squash, green peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes.  Today one lonely tomato remained on the counter–destined for a BLT.  Until I received an email from my sister-in-law Betsy in Wilmington.

I don’t remember Betsy ever sending me a recipe before.  It’s as though she knew about that lone Galivants Ferry tomato that was too good to meet its fate on a common BLT.  Betsy’s friend Lou had emailed her an old-fashioned tomato pie recipe, and Betsy rightly guessed I’d love to have it!  But unfortunately I had only ONE tomato, and the recipe called for three!  With my burgeoning collection of pie pans, ranging in size from 1 inch to 12 inches, this was a problem I could overcome.  I pulled out my stack of 4-inch quiche pans and went to work.

After perusing Betsy and Lou’s delicious recipe, I decided to leave out the onions to please my hubby’s taste buds.  And, to cover all my bases, I looked over at Southern Plate to see if Christy Jordan had any advice for me.  I picked up a great tip there which I’ll get back to in a minute.

Galivants Ferry Tomato  Pie

1 ripe tomato, preferably grown in Galivants Ferry
handful of tiny boxwood basil leaves** (See note below.)
4 to 6 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
3(ish) tablespoons mayonnaise
3 baked 4-inch pie shells*  (See note below.)

Cut the bottom and top from the tomato, and slice it  into six slices.  Now comes the tip from Christy Jordan:  lightly sprinkle the tomato slices with salt and place them in a colander for 10 minutes.  This will cause the tomatoes to be less watery, a characteristic that my hubby noticed with his first bite of pie tonight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the pie shells from the quiche pans, and place the pie shells on a shiny, insulated baking sheet.  Place one drained tomato slice in each shell; trim the tomato slices if necessary.  Sprinkle each tomato slice with a few tiny basil leaves and a scant tablespoon cheddar cheese.  Layer with another tomato slice and another scant tablespoon of cheddar cheese.  Finish by spreading about one tablespoon or less mayonnaise on each pie to completely cover the tops.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until pies are bubbly and lightly browned.  Cool the pies slightly and garnish them with tiny basil leaves.  Take a picture right now because they’ll soon disappear before your very eyes.

*For the 4-inch pie shells, make half of my pastry recipe found here.   After chilling the dough, make three balls, each a little smaller than a tennis ball–about 3 oz. dough per ball.  Roll each ball out into a 6 -inch circle.  Trim the tattered edges to prevent tearing.  Gently fold each circle in half and ease pastry into 4-inch quiche pans***.  Gently press the pastry into the pans with your thumb, pressing together any tears****.  Cut off the excess pastry along the rims of the pans using a knife or your thumb. Cut out three 6 -inch squares of wax paper.  Crease each square into fourths.  Unfold the squares and ease the squares down into the pans.  Add enough ceramic pie weights to each pan  to cover the bottom.  Trim away the excess wax paper.  Chill the filled pans for twenty minutes.  Bake the pie shells in a preheated 400 degree oven on a shiny NON-insulated baking sheet for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Carefully lift out the waxed paper and pie weights.  Return the pie shells (without the pie weights) to the oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes longer, or until very, very lightly browned.  Cool.

**Now about the basil!  I adore the variety called boxwood basil.  The leaves are tiny, and the growing habit resembles a boxwood.  I bought one last month at my neighborhood Home Depot.  I also ordered seeds from Burpee, and I have some seedlings in pots on my terrace.   Once you try boxwood basil, you’ll be hooked!

***If you’d like your own stack of 4-inch quiche pans, write to me in the comments section below.  I’ll see if I can order some for you.

****To help reduce the tearing of the pastry, keep the dough, your tools, and the kitchen cold!  Before beginning to roll out the dough, I typically roll my silicone pie mat and rolling pin in clean kitchen towels and place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  As I work with the dough, I totally finish with one ball before going on to the next one; that is, I roll it, place it in the pan, pat it into place, and trim the top around the rim before starting on the next pan.  If I’m working with more than 4 pans, I take out a small amount of dough from the refrigerator at a time.  Keeping the dough and all of your tools cool is a key to success!





1 Brittani In Texas { 06.24.12 at 2:32 pm }

I found your blog after visiting one of my favorites, Christy Jordan on I just want to say congratulations and good luck to you! Great idea making these smaller. I just made Christy’s and the smaller size will be great for when it’s just me. Do you think they could be individually frozen? Thanks!!!

2 Donna { 06.24.12 at 2:48 pm }

Hi Brittani! I actually put some even smaller ones (1 1/2-inch diameter) in the freezer last night. I’ll take one out in a few days and let you know how it does. I can’t imagine that it won’t work. I freeze almost everything I make, with the exception of dishes containing whipped cream! Thank you for the comment and the encouragement! Donna

3 Donna { 08.03.12 at 9:38 am }


I’m sorry I’m just now getting back to you. I had frozen some of the tiny tomato pie tartlets back in June, and I found them in the freezer yesterday. After a quick zap in the microwave, they were delicious! So, they do freeze well. Donna

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