Even though I went to French pastry school, I tend to think of myself as a rustic baker. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the finest French pastries like Macarons, Kouquin Amin and Paris-Brest desserts, and I do consider the Macaron my favorite cookie on the planet. That being said, I love to make my cakes, cookies and pies on the casual side of the equation.
Slab Pies are rectangular pies made in sheet pans, instead of round pie plates, and are a nice alternative to traditional round pies for several reasons. For starters, they feed a larger crowd because they can be sliced into squares and secondly, they are easier to make because you can press the crust into the baking sheet, as opposed to rolling it out with a rolling pin.
Another great thing about slab pies are that they have a magnificent crust to filling ratio and please both filling and crust lovers alike. Fresh or frozen berries will work in this pie. Just make sure you defrost the berries and drain most of the liquid ahead of time. I actually used a mixture of both and it turned out beautifully – luscious, juicy and crunchy all over.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
12 tablespoons butter, cold diced
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups fresh or frozen defrosted mixed berries – blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries
1 cup granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
pinch of salt
8 tablespoons butter, cold diced
(Makes 13 X 9 inch Pie)
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine all crust ingredients. Mix on low until coarse crumbs, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of ice cold water to flour mixture and mix until dough just begins to come together. Remove and wrap in plastic. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from plastic and press into 13 x 9 inch half-sheet pan (you can use a regular 13 x 9 pan, but harder to remove slices of pie). Make sure you press the dough up the sides of the pan. Place in freezer while you prepare filling.
- In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Toss to coat berries. Pour into crust and place back in freezer, while you prepare crumb topping.
- In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Using your fingers, press mixture together until it begins to clump together. Sprinkle on top of pie and bake in oven for 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling around edges.
- Remove and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Slice and serve or store in refrigerator for later. Enjoy!