Make Ahead

Martha Stewart's Slab Pie

June 25, 2013
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 55 minutes
  • Makes one 15-by-10-inch pie
Author Notes

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. Martha Stewart has made all kinds of versions -- below is a distilled template that can work with any berry or stone fruit that's in season near you. Adapted slightly from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook (Clarkson Potter, 2005) —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • Slab Pie
  • All purpose flour, for dusting
  • Pate Brisee (recipe below)
  • 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 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sanding sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • Slab Pie Pate Brisee
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 12 to 16 tablespoons ice water
  1. Slab Pie
  2. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface or between two large, floured pieces of plastic wrap, roll out larger piece of dough to an 18-by-13-inch rectangle, trimming excess dough. Fit into a 15-by-10-inch rimmed baking sheet, pressing into corners (pastry will hang over sides). Chill while assembling filling.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together fruit, granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt. Spread mixture over chilled pie shell. Chill again while you roll out the top crust.
  4. On a lightly floured surface or between two large, floured pieces of plastic wrap, roll out remaining piece of dough to a 16-by-11-inch rectangle; drape over filling. Fold edge of bottom dough over top dough. Crimp if desired. Prick top dough all over with a fork. Brush entire surface of pie with cream (thinned with a little water if necessary), and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  5. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 40 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let pie cool until it is just warm to the touch, about 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into 12 pieces. Slab pie is best eaten the same day it is baked, but it can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.
  1. Slab Pie Pate Brisee
  2. Process flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter. Process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream just until dough comes together. (Do not process more than 30 seconds.)
  3. Turn dough out in two portions onto two pieces of plastic wrap, with one slightly larger than the other (this will be your bottom crust). Flatten dough, and shape into rectangles. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (or overnight).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • d wright downs
    d wright downs
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  • placidplaid
  • fanaledrinks
  • EmilyC
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

40 Reviews

Beautybaby August 9, 2023

In the 1980's, it took me a long time to save up $35 to pay for Stewart's flagship cookbook, "Entertaining". It was the priciest cookbook ever but it was lavish and I was excited. I wrote out 2 recipes to take with me for a destination
Christmas with friends: Chestnut Puree and Honey Curry Dip. Both, were so bad, that I had to toss them. Seriously. I wondered: Had I copied the recipes incorrectly? I hadn't. To this day, I feel Stewart owes me for the cost of that cookbook AND the ingredients that were a total waste, not to mention the effort to peel those pounds of chestnuts!!!! It wasn't until the late '90's that I happened to watch E True Hollywood on Martha Stewart. A New York Times food writer who had reviewed the cookbook when it came out was interviewed on the show and said how strange it was that although the book was beautiful, ALL of the recipes that she tested for her review didn't work and she ended up giving the book a terrible review. All those years later, I was finally vindicated and ever since that Christmas, decades ago, l've never, and will never, use a Martha Stewart recipe.
Food52, I love you. I’m subscribed to your emails, I’ve made so many of your delicious recipes, and I follow you on Instagram. But a Martha Stewart recipe listed under your “Genius” umbrella??? That’s where I draw the line.
Windischgirl August 9, 2023
I made this several years ago and it was delicious, but I have to agree with you, BB. I’ve tried my share of Martha baking recipes that were absolute duds: texture too crumbly, dough too dry, flavor combination didn’t work, etc. I appreciate Martha’s design sense; her recipes? Not so much.
bridget April 15, 2024
I can imagine how disappointing this was! There truly was magic about those beautiful books back in the 1980s, and I loved to ponder as I looked at them. I only used a few recipes—this is often the case—but they were good. I have used Martha's pate brisee from the Pies and Tarts book for years with no trouble—it's terrific. I also love her recipe for Spanikopita from Entertaining.
Tavo October 15, 2021
This is the crust recipe I use from her site for Cherry slab pie:
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups chilled (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in pieces
6 to 12 tablespoons ice water
Maureen May 24, 2018
I think there is a typo here. 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoon of sugar. I think it’s the other way round.
Boozie November 20, 2022
The coarse (I use Kosher flake; it’s milder) salt in the recipe may be replaced with 1-1/2 t. fine salt
d W. July 9, 2017
Martha does not measure flour the correct way...she digs it our instead of putting the flour in the cup. I was taught the Cornell way over 60 years ago. If one were t weigh the flour the Cornell way would be closer to spot on. Please give the dry ingredients in weight measurements since many people have not had good luck with Ms. Martha recipes if they measure the Cornell way. There can be a difference in delicate recipes.
Andree July 9, 2017
not to worry, she won't. Even though everybody else finally is, she won't because she never reads these comments or her blogs. Her minions do the postings (and they are often so inaccurate). I know, I'm being peevish today. But it's all true.
Kojak August 3, 2022
I, too, get upset when recipes do not include weights.

There is a site I use that converts volume to weight that I find excellent. You enter 2⅓ cups of flour or sugar, or butter, or whatever, and it will tell you what the weight is in ounces or grams, or a multitude of measurements.
Andree August 3, 2022
Well, there is a new problem with that. A cup of King Arthur flour weighs less than a cup elsewhere. I learned that after a tragic bread making day with a new recipe. I consulted both the author (who blamed KAF weights) and KAF (who stood by their weights). I also found problems with the conversions. So everybody needs to use the weights they tested or we have to follow our instincts. But these are only recipes. Expensive recipes at times, though, so I am careful what recipes I try for the first time.
Donna July 3, 2017
I'm really loving the slab pies !! T have 4 apple trees in my yard and it's so much easier to make an apple or peach ( I have one peach tree ) , or rhubarb, have some of that also !! It all goes together!! I was always guilty of packing way too much filling in my pies so the slab works perfectly for me !! Did it on my own first without a recipe, then found this on Food 52 a few years later!! Thanks for so many wonderful ideas over the years!! Love your site !! Love your ability to create a recipe index on this site also !!!
placidplaid August 11, 2015
The crust had waaaaayyyy too much salt. I think a teaspoon would have done the job.
fanaledrinks July 9, 2015
This sounds amazing!! Trying this one for my next party.
EmilyC July 8, 2015
I made a sweet cherry-berry version (4 cups of blackberries, 2 cups of blueberries, 2 cups of Bing cherries) and it was wonderful! I used 1/3 cup of cornstarch and it was the right amount -- the filling was set enough to slice but there was still plenty of juice.
Laura M. May 2, 2015
I don't have a food processor and so I incorporated the butter and water by hand. After letting the dough sit for an hour when I tried to roll it out it fell apart. I was unable to get it to lift off my board and stay in one piece no matter what I did. Help!
adobeblue August 9, 2023
watch some basic videos on pie crust making. The technology is the same for round or square pies. It sounds like you did not have enough water in the dough; also you should have put it in the refrigerator once the dough came together and rolled it out when it was cool.
Windischgirl July 9, 2014
I made a peach slab pie for a friend's graduation party recently and used a half-sheet pan with success. I tend to like the crust a bit thinner so I certainly had more than enough dough. I did find that the ratios for Martha's pate brisee make a very soft and sticky dough, which is difficult to work with; less water (not more than 2/3 c) should make for a flakier crust. I also used about 4+ lbs of peaches and made a lattice top. The pie was such a hit that the hosts requested that I make it for an upcoming party that I'm hosting. That pie is currently raw, in the freezer, and I'm hoping to bake it day of the party. Will let you know how it goes!
Susan N. October 19, 2014 did it go. I would like to make ahead and freeze for a party in a week.
Windischgirl October 19, 2014
Pro: flavors were good, and it was a time saver--baked up nice and brown.
Con: I made a lattice top, with strips about 3/4 inches wide, and the edges of the crust broke in my freezer. So presentation was not as attractive. If you make a full top crust, you might be ok.
Are you making an apple version?
Susan N. October 19, 2014
Yes. I was thinking of doing punch outs of leaves to allow some steam out. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for the info.
Malia Z. June 15, 2017
Do you use ripe peaches or slightly under ripe? I've never made peach anything before.
Windischgirl June 15, 2017
Use ripe peaches...even a little overrripe is fine. You want the flavors to be at their peak.
maya May 24, 2014
may want to understand the capacity of your food processor if you're trying to make the pate brisse all at once… mine was a travesty because not everything blended together because it was too full…but I didn't realize it was overcapacity until it was too late. I know…my fault, it's a 9 cup processor. So I had to try again, in 2 batches.
Andree October 26, 2013
We've been making these for generations in New England. Men love them because they can grab a slab and take it out when logging or farming.
Ceege September 5, 2013
I am making this slab pie for a church function. Since I need to make it the day before, can this be partially made and then baked the morning I need it? I would like to make the crusts, roll out the bottom one and place in pan (covered w/saran wrap). Then perhaps get the peaches ready with a tad of lemon juice to keep them from getting dark. Then place both the peaches and bottom crust in fridge. I will mix up the sugar/cornstarch mixture and set aside. Then next morning roll out the top crust and put it all together and bake. I had thought to put the whole pie together and refrigerate, but was afraid the crust would be too soggy to bake correctly the next day. Does anyone have any thoughts on this method or perhaps have a better idea.
Yvonne T. July 8, 2013
Egg wash gives a shinier finish, good if you add sugar sprinkle on top as sticks better. Yolk gives more golden colour, whites more clear. Can beat whole egg then brush on. Milk or cream helps baking to brown (eg. scones, biscuits).
flowers4amy July 4, 2013
I used 7 cups of mulberries instead of mixed berries and it was delicious! Does anyone know what the difference is between brushing the top crust with cream or egg? I used cream but an egg certainly would've been less expensive.
Gail V. July 3, 2013
Loved this! A great way to eat pie out of hand.
bricksoj July 3, 2013
i made this last night just because it seemed like a good tuesday night activity, and it turned out FABULOUS. increased the fruit to 8c (3 pint packages of blueberries just didn't seem enough when i added them to the crust) and cut the sugar on the fruit to 3/4 of a cup, which was more than enough. the ratio of fruit to crust made it super easy to serve and far less messy than traditional pie.
bricksoj July 3, 2013
clarification: used all blueberries for the filling.
TaffyIsVictory July 2, 2013
Are there any recommendations on how to prepare/freeze this ahead of time?
Kristen M. July 2, 2013
You could make and freeze the dough in advance (just give it a day to thaw in the fridge before you want to use it). Or you could make the whole pie and freeze it -- then just put it straight in the oven. It will take a bit longer to bake, but it should work fine!
Stephanie M. July 1, 2013
Has anyone tried to bake this in a half sheet size?
Kristen M. July 2, 2013
I haven't, but I think there might actually be enough dough in this recipe to work with (you just won't have as much leeway to trim it down). You'd want to bump up the filling proportionally though. Let us know if you try it!
Midge July 5, 2013
In my rush to make this for a party yesterday, I unwittingly used a half sheet pan. I probably used about 7 cups of blueberries. It wasn't nearly as pretty as Kristen's but it seemed to be a big hit. Just had a piece cold from the fridge for second breakfast. Yum!
Gail V. June 30, 2013
I have the same question as ATG117 - I'm making this now with nectarines, and wondered about the cornstarch.
Kristen M. June 30, 2013
Gail, see my response to ATG117 below -- thanks!