Genius Recipes

Martha Stewart's Slab Pie

By • June 26, 2013 • 44 Comments

Every week -- often with your help -- Food52's Senior Editor Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that are nothing short of genius.

Today: How to stretch a pie to feed a crowd, with whatever fruit is in season near you. Happy 4th of July!

slab pie

There are a lot of ways to make a slab pie, and Martha Stewart, bless her, has made them all. She might have invented the whole genre.

Now, if you haven't heard of slab pie, you're not alone -- it's surprisingly under the radar still. Let's change that.

A slab pie is simply a shallow pie that's made in a rimmed baking sheet, usually a jelly roll pan. It feeds more revelers than a standard 9-inch pie will, with less mess and fuss.

slab pie

It's a pie in a sensible bar cookie outfit; a hand pie, without having to shape a bunch of hand pies; a boon to crust-lovers everywhere. It is, essentially, a Pop-Tart.

And I'm not kidding that Martha has made them all. She's published slab pies in strawberry-rhubarb, peach-raspberry, and quince. She's fluted and folded and twirled their edges, given them peek-a-boo slits and polka-dots. (Just look at how in her element she is -- here and here. She was born for this.)

More: Get Martha's Macaroni and Cheese recipe. It's the best.

berries

In Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, there is a pure distillation of all of these recipes: a slab pie template, for any fruit growing near you. Here we used mixed berries, because we're feeling patriotic.

Here are the bones of the recipe, with a lot of pictures: Make a simple pate brisee in your food processor (or by hand).

pate brisee

  butter peas

ice water  dough

Mix fruit with sugar, lemon, and salt, and cornstarch to thicken.

berry filling

Roll out two wide sheets of dough.

pie dough

 

Layer them in a jelly roll pan with fruit filling sandwiched between.

bottom crust 

pate brisee 

Paint the top with cream and rough it up with sanding sugar. Bake.

cream wash

I'll be honest: trying to roll out pate brisee into a perfect 18-by-13-inch rectangle could rattle even the most experienced baker (and I'm not the most experienced baker) -- so don't worry about it. Just because Martha can do it, blindfolded and perched on one stiletto-ed foot, doesn't mean you have to.

measuring

Don't let dough get you down! If fissures emerge, you can patch them by repurposing longer, scraggly edges. If it starts to stick, put it in the fridge (or freezer) for a timeout, then flour and smooth any sticky patches when it's cooler and more trustworthy.

pie dough crack fix  sticky dough fix

And if your 18-by-13-inch rectangle is more of a trapezoid or triangle or trippy freeform starfish, don't worry -- there's plenty of extra dough in this recipe to keep rolling till you can trim it down to a rectangle-ish.

trim pastry dough

For the filling, you have a couple options. If you want to serve it on plates with forks, you can bump up the fruit amount -- it will be sloshy and ooze molten berries (or peaches or cherries) as you plate it. But if you want people to be able to snatch it up like a Pop-Tart while they mill around drinking, stick with 6 cups of fruit. 

slab pie

Most important of all, remember this thing is called slab pie -- it sounds like something Barney Rubble made. Rustic is a good look for it. Call it shabby caveman, and even Martha would approve.

slab pie low low low

Martha Stewart's Slab Pie

Adapted slightly from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook (Clarkson Potter, 2005)

Makes one 15-by-10-inch pie

Slab Pie:

All purpose flour, for dusting
6 cups fresh sour cherries, stemmed and pitted; or 6 cups fresh mixed berries; or 7 medium peaches, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4
teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sanding sugar (or granulated sugar)

Pate Brisee:

5 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 pound (4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
12 to 16 tablespoons ice water

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Got a genius recipe to share -- from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected].

Want to come cook Genius Recipes with me? Take my class at ICE in New York City, July 28th, 6-10 pm! Sign up here.

Photos by James Ransom 

Jump to Comments (44)

Tags: Genius, genius recipes, slab pie, berries, Fourth of July, pie, Martha Stewart, fruit, baking, pastry, dessert, how-to, how-to & diy

Comments (44)

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3 months ago janeb

I was all set to make the rhubarb apple hand pies for a Memorial Day party but saw this (yum). Do you think I can use the filling from the hand pie recipe here or is it too chunky? Or maybe I could mix the rhubarb with some berries? Really want to use the rhubarb.

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10 months ago Kaitlin Forster

What do you think about doing a pumpkin version of this for the holidays (perhaps minus the top crust layer) or does that basically turn into a pumpkin bar rather than a pie? I think apple would be great in this too.

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12 months ago Jennifer Beaudoin

This has become my new favourite way to make pie! So easy to make and even easier to serve and eat The pastry is so easy to roll and work with. I am a convert. My only suggestion would be to increase the amount of fruit called for--I find it a bit sparce and not as much fruit as I like in my pies, maybe 7-8 cups of fruit instead. Makes a great summer breakfast at the cottage, pie and coffee by the lake!

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about 1 year ago Aly

WOW, this looks amazing! I cant wait to try it

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about 1 year ago Jeanne Ambrose

I've been using my grandfather's slab pie for decades. He was a baker in Chicago in the '30s, '40s give or take a decade or two. Always topped with a vanilla glaze. My take on Grandpa Schulz's recipe. http://www.heartbreakrecoverykitchen...

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about 1 year ago SpaCook

Not generally a pie eater (or really a baker, either, when it comes down to it)--too soupy and hard to eat. Looked like this addressed my hang ups, so I gave it a go on the 4th and we loved it. Super tasty, quick to assemble, and easy to slice and eat. Satisfied the "traditional" pie lovers in the crowd, to boot! Love that Martha has two "genius" recipes, by the way!

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about 1 year ago Waverly

Genius, indeed! Thank you, Martha. I am already a huge fan of the bar cookie, the sheet cake, and the crisp. Slab pie is on my radar now. Thank you!

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about 1 year ago LisaD

I'd love to do a savory version of this, for instance mushrooms w/goat cheese.

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about 1 year ago emcsull

ooh, what an idea. How to make the filling moist enough, but not too moist ?

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about 1 year ago LisaD

maybe creme fraiche would be involved?

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about 1 year ago OliveH

I make a goat cheese and leek galette by Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese. I bet it could be tweaked for an amazing savory version.

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about 1 year ago Texas Sharon

My husband loves apple pie, and particularly loves pie better than cake for his fall birthday. This recipe reminds me of the deep-dish apple pies I used to make in a large ceramic baker for extended family birthday dinner when everyone lived at home. I lIned the baker with pie dough, made a double or triple streusel recipe to top the apples which were seasoned with a touch of lemon juice, a little cinnamon and fresh-grated nutmeg, plus some sugar. Streusel also had cinnamon and nutmeg mixed in, plus grated lemon rind. I could serve a crowd without fussing with a bunch of pies; I'm not a very good dough-handler, welcomed the simplicity.

Mug

about 1 year ago Ileana Morales | a little saffron

Brilliant! I'll have to try this out.

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about 1 year ago brhun

I'm in my sixties and grandma made slab pies. When you have 51 grandchildren there's no way the standard round pie will suffice.
Martha, you are like Chris Columbus! If he discovered America, who were those people that greeted him?

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about 1 year ago Cate est la cuisson

LOL!!Love your comment Brhun, I have recipes I have made for decades also and then heard MS invented it. But marketing does that.
I have a farm wive's cookbook with recipes dating back to the early 1900's and they had slab pies in there too. I haven't made one in a while, but this is making me think of getting into the kitchen Berries are coming in...!

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about 1 year ago mrcooks

My friend's mother made pies like this forty year ago....I have never tried it ...but I think I will...maybe for the Fourth!

Stringio

about 1 year ago Debra Hendren

My grandmother must have always made slab pies! They were typically baked in 9 x 13 Pyrex style pans. I always loved how the juice from the fruit bubbled up in the seams and caramelized it. Mmmmm good stuff! Her apple pie was to die for.

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about 1 year ago Gail Viechnicki

One more question - do I have to change the recipe any if I sub frozen berries for fresh? TY!

Miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I'd recommend thawing and draining frozen berries -- unless you're not especially worried about how saucy the filling will be.

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about 1 year ago Gail Viechnicki

I drained the thawed berries and this turned out great - used a mixture of frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries, and a couple of fresh peaches. I love the ratio of crust to fruit, and the fact that you can eat this out of hand, unlike a regular saucy pie that you have to eat with a fork/spoon. Yum!

Squirrel_elf

about 1 year ago Tcakes

For a vegan version use palm oil or if you have a Whole Foods nearby they have vegan shortening.

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about 1 year ago jeanne g

my mother always made pie in an oblong baking dish. There were 10 of us in the family and Mom always had plenty for everyone. She would send us out in the morning to pick fresh blueberries in our back woods and at dinner she had turned it into a pie. Now that was a real woman!!!

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about 1 year ago Sarah Cornell

I've got to ask the dreaded salt question! By "coarse salt," do you mean coarse kosher salt? Thanks!

Miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Yes, we used Diamond Crystal kosher salt!

Stringio

about 1 year ago Sarah Cornell

Thanks so much!

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about 1 year ago Loren Jones

does any one have a vegan option for this pie?

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about 1 year ago Sheila Skaggs Hale

If you need an even faster recipe, use a round pizza pan, and buy ready made pie crust.

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about 1 year ago vivanat

This has me rethinking my previous plan to make a flag cake (a la Ina Garten) for the 4th.