Stacey Mei Yan Fong began baking pies for her project 50 Pies 50 States while waiting for her visa. Dedicating each pie to each state — and to a person in her life — the project soon became Stacey’s great love letter to the U.S. and a study of what home means to her.

Excerpted from 50 PIES, 50 STATES  2023 by Stacey Mei Yan Fong. Reproduced by permission of Voracious Books. All rights reserved. You can find out  more about  Stacey Mei Yan Fong here.


Makes one 10-inch pie
For the crust:
  • One pie crust, rolled out, fitted into a greased 10-inch pie pan, crimped, and partially blind baked

For the filling:
  • 2¼ pounds heirloom tomatoes (preferably South Arkansas Vine Ripe Tomatoes), sliced ¼ inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped ½ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (preferably Duke's)
  • ½ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs: chives, flat-leaf parsley, basil
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Make the filling:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  • Place the tomatoes on a clean dish towel in a single layer and sprinkle with about 2 teaspoons of salt, making sure all the tomatoes are covered in an even layer. Let them stand for 10 minutes, allowing the excess liquid to drain out.
  • While the tomatoes are draining, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. 
  • Add the onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent and tender. 
  • Season with 1¼ teaspoons salt and 1¼ teaspoons pepper. Set aside. 
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the Gruyère, Parmesan, and mayonnaise.

Assemble the pie: 

  • Layer the ingredients in the partially baked pie crust, starting with about a quarter of the cheese mixture, then all the tomatoes, onions, and herbs, seasoning each layer with pepper. 
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese mixture on top.

Bake the pie: 

  • Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake on the center rack for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. 
  • While it is still warm, wrap it up carefully in your favorite tea towel, take it to a park, and enjoy it outside in the sun on a blanket while you listen to the birds sing in the trees. It's a summertime dream to be enjoyed in the Natural State.