brown sugar & spice sweet green tomato pie

A huge storm has descended upon our island leaving us with gale force winds and lots of rain.  But before this crazy storm rolled in, my hubby and I hurried to his dad’s countryside garden to harvest all of the unripe tomatoes that were left on the vines. My first thought was to make fried green tomatoes because I am a child of the 90’s and the movie Fried Green Tomatoes was one of my very favorite films growing up. When we got home with our bounty of green tomatoes my mind started churning through all manner of ideas of how to use up our bounty. Fried green tomatoes always seem to be our first choice, but we had so many green tomatoes to use, I wanted to make something different and less ‘expected.’ A brown sugar & spice sweet green tomato pie is where I ended up and let me tell you guys, this is one of the best pies we have ever tasted!

green tomato harvest

Now, you may be reading this and thinking to yourself that using unripe tomatoes for a sweet pie filling sounds crazy and to tell you the truth, it does sound crazy! But sweet green tomato pies are actually common in the South of the United States and for good reason. Unripe tomatoes are crisp and have a brightness that is very similar to apples, which means when you cook them down with brown sugar & spices, you end up with a jammy pie filling that actually tastes reminiscent of an apple pie. The similarity is so present, I bet you could serve this to someone blindfolded and they would think it was the best apple pie they had ever tasted!

brown sugar & spice sweet green tomato pie

The crazy thing about this brown sugar & spice sweet green tomato pie is that both my hubby and I agreed that we actually prefer green tomatoes over apples for a pie filling now! You really have to taste it to believe just how delicious green tomatoes are when prepared this way!

brown sugar and spice sweet green tomato pie lattice pie crust

If you grew tomatoes in your summer garden you may be left with unripe tomatoes this fall as the weather starts to cool down or you may be able to get some green tomatoes from your local farmers market – either way, if you can manage to get even enough green tomatoes just to make this brown sugar & spice sweet green tomato pie, I promise you it will be worth it! And if you do make it, please let me know what you think of green tomatoes as a pie filling ;)

brown sugar & spice sweet green tomato pie Print
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  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x


Units Scale

FOR THE PIE CRUST (9″ double pie crust)

  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 3 sticks (375g) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup ice water (have a more ready in case you need it)
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream (or coconut milk for dairy free option)
  • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar for sprinkling


  • 1 cup (200g) brown sugar, packed
  • 5 tablespoons (60g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground all spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups very thinly sliced green tomatoes (about 4 to 5 medium sized tomatoes sliced in 1/8″ (3mm) slices) *use unripe, green tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter



  1. Measure the flour into a bowl, add sugar & salt, whisk well to combine
  2. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the frozen butter into the bowl of flour, stopping after you have grated each stick to gently coat the grated butter with the flour
  3. Once all of the butter is grated into the flour, use a fork or pastry cutter to cut the grated butter into the flour until the butter is in large pea sized pieces
  4. Use a tablespoon to add a few tablespoons of ice water to the bowl, then gently toss the dough with a fork to distribute the ice water – continue this process until you have added all of the ice water
  5. Pour the pie dough out onto your countertop or into a large flat bowl. Begin to bring press the dough together with your hands, the dough should come together without falling apart, but not be too mushy with water. *if the dough is not holding together, or if there is still too much dry flour then you can add a couple more tablespoons of ice water and try pressing the dough together again.
  6. Once the dough is pressed together into a ball, divide the dough into two pieces, press each piece into a disc, wrap each disc and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  7. When the dough is finished chilling, sprinkle your work surface with flour, place the chilled dough on the floured surface & roll the dough out from the center, adding a little flour and turning the dough a 1/4 turn in between rolling to make sure that the dough is not sticking too much to your surface.
  8. Make sure the dough is round and even in thickness and that it will fit the pan you are using (I usually roll my dough for a 9″ pan to about an 11-12″ diameter round)
  9. Use your rolling pin to transfer the dough to your pie plate and place it in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling


  1. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, clove, allspice and salt.
  2. Add the very thinly sliced green tomatoes and vinegar; toss to thoroughly coat the tomatoes with the sweet flour mixture.
  3. Roll out the larger of your two balls of dough—your bottom crust—to about 10 inches. Place it in the 9-inch pie plate. Add filling, dotting the top with butter.
  4. Roll out remaining pie dough just as you did the first one. You can make a lattice crust or just use the whole round and cut a few vent holes into the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking.
  5. Trim the edges of your crusts, leaving about 1 inch of dough overlapping the pie plate. Fold up the edges and flute or crimp them to your liking.
  6. Brush the surface of your top crust with the heavy cream and sprinkle generously with sugar.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the pie in the freezer for 15 minutes while your oven preheats
  8. Once pie is chilled and oven is pre-heated, place the pie on a parchment lined baking sheet (to catch any overflow of the pie juices while baking) and bake pie for 1 hour (cover the pie with aluminum foil once the crust has browned to your liking to prevent burning)
  9. Allow pie to completely cool to room temperature to allow all of the juices to thicken
  10. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream :)


*Unripe green tomatoes are tomatoes that are fully grown, but have not began to turn from green to their color of ripeness. For this recipe, make sure you are using fully grown, unripe tomatoes for best results

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Effie Mattheou Demetriades October 2, 2018, 10:38 am

    Skopelos is so beautiful in the autumn isn’t it?
    I’ve been reading your recipe and enjoying it all.
    Unripe green tomatoes, now here’s a challenge in Athens. Let me see.
    Your photos are brilliant Bella ~

    • bella | ful-filled October 2, 2018, 1:10 pm

      We just adore being here in the fall! Your best bet would probably be from someone who has a garden, or a farmer who wouldn’t think you were crazy for asking for unripe tomatoes! Thank you for the sweet message Effie!

  • Carolyn October 2, 2018, 1:53 pm

    Oh Bella I just love the idea of combining green tomatoes with brown sugar and spices! Il’ll be on the hunt for green tomatoes at this weeks farmers’ market! XO

    • bella | ful-filled October 3, 2018, 1:38 am

      The result is mind-blowing Carolyn! I hope you find some too!

  • Jeannette October 4, 2018, 8:19 pm

    I was not sure HOW this could be better than an Apple pie but I must admit that myself and my family all agree, it IS better! We have plenty of heirloom purple Cherokee tomatoes that are beautiful but not ripe. With fall is fast approaching, this seemed like something worth trying. We were not disappointed and now have something to look forward at the end of future summers. Thank you for the amazing recipe.

    • bella | ful-filled October 4, 2018, 11:56 pm

      You have no idea how happy I was to read your comment! I am SO excited that you and your family fell in love with this pie! I am so honored to have inspired you and to have started a new tradition for you to look forward too! <3

  • Sonja October 8, 2018, 6:55 am

    I can only imagine how delicious this is! I’ve never heard of a green tomato pie but I need it. Beautiful!

    • bella | ful-filled October 8, 2018, 9:27 am

      It is unbelievable how good it is! If you can find some unripe green tomatoes, I couldn’t recommend this pie more highly! Thank you Sonja!

  • Niko October 14, 2018, 9:08 am

    First of all, I really thought this would be weird when my wifey told me she found it on your blog and wanted to make it!!!

    • bella | ful-filled October 15, 2018, 5:04 am

      hahaha! I don’t blame you!

  • Niko October 14, 2018, 9:08 am

    But then she reminded me how we LOVE all of your other recipe concoctions even though we’d be skeptical at first on making some of them because of how unique they sounded.

    • bella | ful-filled October 15, 2018, 5:04 am

      awwww…thank you!

  • Niko October 14, 2018, 9:09 am

    Man, are we ever grateful that we tried this recipe, I would have NEVER thought that we’d like this, let alone fall head over heels in LOVE with it, this recipe has completely DETHRONED the almighty apple pie in our house now FOREVER!!!

    • bella | ful-filled October 15, 2018, 5:05 am

      AMAZING! Same for us!

  • Niko October 14, 2018, 9:10 am

    Oh, and by the way, all these photos of the BROWN SUGAR & SPICE SWEET GREEN TOMATO PIE are absolutely STUNNING as usual Bella!!! Yias ta xeria sou!!

  • Sandra August 4, 2019, 8:25 am

    I have a garden of tomatoes and every fall I’m left with some unripe fruit. I consciously can’t pick them green right now but I can’t wait for fall to give this a try. What a great idea.

    • bella | ful-filled August 4, 2019, 9:01 am

      Amazing! Yes, this is one of those keep it in your back pocket recipes for when you have lots of unripe tomatoes in the garden! I am SO excited for you to give it a try!

  • Nancy October 19, 2019, 3:21 pm

    I also use the “dutch” crust for my top crust. I love dutch crust over normal crust.

    • bella | ful-filled October 22, 2019, 8:12 am

      I love a dutch crust! Such a good idea for this pie <3

  • Theresa Knight McFadden November 8, 2020, 10:46 am

    I was skeptical about green tomatoes in a pie but I have to say, YUM! this pie was delicious! My husband loved it too as did two friends we shared it with. I will make another one using up all my green tomatoes and freeze it for later. Thanks for this delicious recipe.

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