Not your mama’s apple pie

Some of you might be aware that I had a unexpected trip to Florida.  My sweet little Janine’s husband Dan had an unfortunate set back with his cancer treatment.  Timing is everything; Matt was nursing his shoulder surgery, I only had to cancel one substitute day, I was sick of this Indiana rain…and the list goes on.

Meanwhile back at the ranch,  I did see my perfect nephews. While visiting (and having a glass of wine with my sis in law) my not so little brother said: “I saw this recipe about a pie with green tomatoes and it should taste like apple pie”.  I: “what? really, that’s weird, show it to me”.  He shows me the recipe.  I: “but what does it taste like?  do you think it works?”  He shrugs.  I:” but what flavor….blah blah blah”.  He walks away.  Finally my lovely sister in law says: “go make a photocopy for Isabelle”.  He says: “we have a copier?”.  HA!…he is as clueless as I am!

This recipe is from the Organic Gardening Magazine vol.58:4 (I have no clue what that means!)  Emeril Lagasse created the recipe for the magazine.


1 box of ready made pie crust (or go ahead and make your own)

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

6 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon finely ground white pepper (I don’t have white pepper, I use regular pepper)

4 cups finely chopped green tomatoes (about 4 firm green tomatoes)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 teaspoons heavy cream (I didn’t have heavy cream so I used buttermilk)

How to:

Preheat your oven to 425F

Place one half of your pie dough at the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture across the bottom of the prepared piecrust.

Add the tomatoes and lemon juice to the bowl with the remaining flour mixture and toss to coat.  Spoon the tomato mixture into the pie shell and dot with the butter.

Roll out the remaining pie dough on a lightly floured surface.  Slice into 1-inch strips to place decoratively or place the whole pastry on top of the tomato filling (cutting 1/2-inch-long vents in a decorative pattern).  I did the strips, I am not very good at it but I wanted to practice.

the assembly

With a pastry brush, brush the top of the crust with the cream, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon sugar.  (I misread this and actually sprinkled 1 tablespoon sugar! Oh well….)

ready for the oven

Bake for 15 minutes (shielding edges as desired); then reduce the temperature to 375F.  Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving.

The kitchen smells like sweet pie full of magic!

Printer friendly: Sweet Green Tomato Pie

Peace and pie,


note: I gave a piece of pie to my friend Barb (who was Bear’s 3rd grade teacher and is one of our 4-H leaders) and she couldn’t figure out what the “secret” ingredient was but she said it was very good!

Update: Dan is doing much better.  He is back home and back to his sarcastic and ornery self!

Note; You will also find this lovely recipe feature on Real Sustenance:  Seasonal Sunday


12 thoughts on “Not your mama’s apple pie

  1. I love green tomato pie! I first learned about it when I worked at a little spice shop in St Louis. We were expecting a killing frost so all the tomatoes got picked from the garden regardless of their ripeness and I was asking everyone I knew what could be done with my gallons of very green tomatoes. A customer who’d overheard the conversation came back in the next day with the recipe and told me to try it even though it sounded absurd and I’m glad I did. I also made some terrific green tomato pickles that year.

  2. That was TOTALLY in One of the Little House books. Ma Ingalls makes a pie with it because the birds are eating the entire garden, and she harvested everything before it was eaten (which also meant green).

  3. Pingback: Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Isabelle at home

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