The rumor is that Tomato Pie got its starts as a means to use up leftover hoagie roll dough by piling it into a greased square sheet tray, topping it with a sweet, thick tomato sauce, baking it up, and serving it by the slice at room temperature. As a lover of both square pies and cold leftover pizza, this seemed like something right up my alley. The real question is: is it possible to create real Philadelphia-style Tomato Pie in a New York kitchen?
'tomato pies' on Serious Eats
To be clear on definitions right off the bat—the "Tomato Pie" we're talking about here is very different from Trenton Tomato Pie, or even the Northeast Philly version. In the Tomato Pie Belt that runs roughly from South Philly through the western suburbs of Manayunk , Conshocken and Norristown, it's a square pie that consists only of soft, foccocia-like dough, thick, slow-cooked sauce, herbs and a shake of parm or romano, and is ideally purchased at room temperature at a bakery, not a pizzeria.
When DeLorenzo's Pizza was founded in the late 40's, it was opened concurrently with DeLorenzo's Tomato Pies. The two rival restaurant, operated by brothers Rick DeLorenzo and Chick DeLorenzo have since each developed their own fervent following. These days, Rick DeLorenzo Jr., son of the original Rick is the guy in front of the oven slinging the pies at DeLorenzo's Pizza. Check these beauties out.
Conshohocken Bakery's storefront is open to the public, even though it's a full service commercial bakery. No tables, chairs, slices, or drinks—just bread, rolls, Italian pastries, and slabs of some of the city's finest tomato pie.
The Trenton, New Jersey, area is home to a particular style of pizza known as the "tomato pie." The generally accepted explanation of the genre is that a tomato pie is built as follows: dough, cheese, toppings, and then sauce. Slice's Nick Solares tries two of the area's finest in this report.