You guys, I know the title says it, but this really is a Beautiful Cherry Slab Pie. Not only is it beautiful, but it tastes good and it is a good size to feed friends and family at your next get together!
I realize this pie might look hard to make, but with a few simple steps, you can make a pie just like this and be proud of it!
Cherry Pie Filling From Frozen Cherries
Now, to save time, you can always buy your pie filling, nothing wrong with that, in fact, there are a lot of great options out there. If you are like me and prefer to make it yourself, keep reading this section.
I used frozen cherries to make the pie filling. This time of year, fresh cherries are really hard to find, and if you can find them, they are never very good. Frozen is the best option and great to use for this filling. Now, the cherry filling will need to be thickened and you have several options- flour, cornstarch, or tapioca starch. My preference is almost always cornstarch. So, that is what I will show in this recipe.
Start with a heavy bottom, good-sized pan. I love my Lodge enameled cast iron for this. It is easier to keep the pie filling from burning if you have a good thick bottom and sides on your pan as opposed to a cheap, thin pan. Now, you will need something to thicken the cherries. Add all ingredients and bring to simmer over medium-low heat. Allow it to cook for about 8-10 minutes until thickened. Then, cool to room temp before adding it to your pie.
Making Pie Dough
If you have always been too intimidated to make your own pie dough, don’t be. I have a great post all about it here. I love to make a partial wheat crust and I show you how to make a great, delicious, and totally flaky crust in that post. With a few simple tips, you will be making pie dough like a pro.
Shaping the Pie Crust For The Slab Pie
This the part that generally feels intimidating to people. Don’t let it! It is a little work, but not too bad. This slab pie is made in a Nordicware Jelly Roll Pan. I started by rolling the bottom crust. Each crust, top, and bottom are shaped from 2 single batches of pie dough. So, normally when you make pie dough, you split the dough in half, using 1 half for the top and 1 half for the bottom. In this slab pie, you will make 2 batches of pie dough, and use 1 for the bottom and 1 for the top. You will have excess, but that is better than being short! So, roll the bottom on a lightly floured surface. Fit it to your pan and crimp the edges. Sorry, I should have gotten more photos of this process, but I forgot while I was working away.
Now, once the bottom is finished, I used the jelly roll pan as a template to trace for the top. With a pencil, trace around the bottom of the pan. This is the guide you will use to make the top crust to scale. Place the bottom crust in the fridge and roll out your top crust.
The Lattice Work
I used to make my lattice on top of the pie itself, but changed recently and found a much easier way. Roll your dough into a long rectangle. I rolled mine to about 1/8 thick. I see a lot of latticework where the crust is so thick. I prefer mine a little thinner than that. This will require a bit more. So, dust your surface and check until the dough you are rolling frequently. Once it is rolled, cut into 3/4-1 inch strips. I actually use an Omni quilting grid ruler to do this. I linked to Amazon, but have always bought mine at Hobby Lobby with the coupon. I cut the dough with this pastry wheel.
If you can see in the photo below, under the strips I have my rectangle template. I am using this as a guide. I go over the guide, as I want to have wiggle room. It will be trimmed later. Let’s start your weaving.
Your weave can be as tight or loose as you choose. I wanted mine to be pretty tight, but not right up next to each other. So, I gave a little less than 1/2 inch between the strips.
Trim the edge of the latticework following the lines on parchment. Gently move the parchment on the back of a sheet pan flipped over and move to the freezer to chill for about 10 minutes.
If you are decorating your pie as I did, these are the leaf cookie cutters I used. Cut them and place them in the fridge as well. Chilled decorations will hold their shape better than room temp ones will.
Assembling The Beautiful Cherry Slab Pie
Your bottom, top crust, and decorations should be chilled. Now, as the cherry pie filling has the tendency to soak your bottom crust and make it soggy, you can prevent this by brushing the bottom with melted butter. This creates a moisture resistent layer.
Add in your cherry pie filling. I like mine up pretty full, as I like it when it bubbles up quite a bit between the lattice work and even over flows a bit.
Dot on a few tablespoons of butter.
Remove the top crust latticework from the freezer, remove from the parchment paper, then carefully place on the pie filling. If you need to trim it up a bit to fit inside the bottom crust, do this with a sharp pair of scissors.
Brush with an egg wash. This isn’t necessary, but sure makes the pie more beautiful! Then sprinkle generously with granulated sugar.
Place your prepared leaves or whatever decoration you have chosen to use.
Brush the decorations with egg wash as well, then sprinkle them with the sugar too.
Tips For Baking The Cherry Slab Pie
Bake on the bottom shelf in the oven. You want to make sure the bottom crust bakes the same time as the top, but this won’t happen unless it’s in the lower half of the oven.
Always, always place a larger pan under the slab pie. If it is cooked right, it will bubble over and make a mess in your oven. Tinfoil will also work if you prefer.
You will know when your pie is done with a few signs. The top crust will be a beautiful golden brown, as shown below. The filling will be bubbling all the way through the pie.
Beautiful Cherry Slab Pie
This is the finished pie and isn’t it beautiful?? There is something so nostalgic about pie.
The filling is the perfect balance with the flaky crust. especially topped with the sugary top crust.
The bottom crust is exactly as it should be- perfectly baked and still separated from the filling. It was able to hold it’s own with the layer of melted butter.
This simple to make cherry pie filling comes together quickly and is totally delicious. This is a large batch with enough to make a slab pie.
Keyword cherry pie, cherry pie filling, cherry pie filling from frozen cherries
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 15minutes
Total Time 20minutes
Author Amy- A Red Spatula
Heavy bottom pan or stock pot
1 1/4cupgranulated sugar
2/3cupcornstarchYou may need more if your filling isn't thick enough after cooking
1teaspoonalmond extractoptional, but really yummy.
Add all ingredients to heavy bottom pan. Heat over mdium heat, stirring frequently. As the cherries come to a boil, reduce heat to low and continue to cook until the cherry mix is thickened. Keep in mind it will thicken more after it cools as well. Now, if you need to add in more cornstarch ( all frozen cherries release different amounts of liquid when they are cooked), add 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a bowl with 1 tablespoon water. Mix in the cherry mix and allow to cook another 3-4 minutes. repeat as needed. Add in almond extract if you are using it. If you are using right away, allow to cool to room temp. If you aren't, allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!
This amazing slab pie is so delicious and perfect for a crowd!
Keyword cherry pie filling, cherry pie from frozen cherries, cherry slab pie, homemade cherry pie
Prep Time 30minutes
Cook Time 45minutes
Total Time 1hour15minutes
Author Amy- A Red Spatula
jelly roll pan, leaf cookie cutters, pastry brush
2recipespie doughThis is for 2 full recipes. I included a recipe for 1 pie, you will need to make 2 of those. Slabpies use a lot more pie dough than a roudn 9-inch pie. The dough should be chilled and ready to go.
1batchcherry pie fillingrecipe included, cooled to room temp or chilled
Read instructions all the way through before starting. On a sheet of parchment paper trace the shape of the bottom of the jelly roll pan. You will use this guide for making your top lattice work. Lightly flour your surface. Roll one recipe ( remember this would normally be enough for the top and bottom crust of a 9-inch pie) of pie dough out for the bottom crust on your slab pie. Make sure you have several inches all the way around for overhang. Place in the pan. Press gently to cover the bottom and up the sides. If there is too much excess on the sides, trim it off. If not, fold it under and pinch to crimp. Place the crust in the fridge and let's start on the top lattice. Have your traced guide of the jelly roll pan on the back of a baking sheet. You will place in the freezer to set, so it will need to be on a stable surface. With your other recipe of pie dough, cut off about 1/2 cup. Just eyeball this, it will be for the leaves later. Lightly flour your surface again. Roll the remaining dough for the top crust to a rectangle about 12×24 inches. It can be a little smaller if you prefer, but I like to keep my dough fairly thin, especially for lattice work. Othewise it gets so thick! Cut into 3/4-1 inch strips. Start creating lattice work on your parchment paper, using the traced guide. Make sure and allow the design to overhang a bit. You will trim this at the end. Once you have woven your lattice work, trim, still leaving a 1/2 inch overhang. You will cut this off with scissors on the pie. It is better to be a little bigger than too small. Place the lattice work in the freezer while you work on decorations and constructing the pie.Roll the 1/2 cup hunk you pulled aside on a floured work surface. Now, press your cookie cutters in the dough to cut the leaves. Make sure the surface and the cutter or the top of the dough are lightly floured. You don't want the leaves to stick. If there is excess flour on the leaves after cutting, simple brush off with a pastry brush. Place the leaves on a pan or plate, I prefer lined in parchment in fridge while you start putting the pie together. It is finally time to assemble!!Remove the bottom crust from the fridge. Fill with the cherry pie filling. I had a little extra on the pie filling. Your's might all fit. Now, remove your lattice work from the freezer and gently remove from the parchment and placing on the cherry filling. If it is a little too large, carefuly trim with sharp scissors. Gently press into place. Combine your egg and milk in a bowl. Mix well for the egg wash. Brush on the lattice work. Now, place your leaves in the design you want to. Then, brush the leaves with egg wash as well. Sprinkle to whole pie with granulated sugar. Place in the bottom shelf in oven. You will want to make sure the bottom bakes the same time as the top. If you have your heating element on the bottom of you oven, place the pie on the middle shelf.The pie will take 45 minutes-1 hour to bake. My favorite indicators of when the pie is done are the color of the crust, and the bubbling of the filling. The crust should be a beautiful golden brown, as shown in the photos. The filling should be bubbling all the way through. That is it! You are done, and shoudl certainly feel accomplished!The pie is great served hot, but I actually prefer to let it cool for a bit before servings. The pie in the photos is a second day pie- meaning it was chilled overnight before photographing. This pie is really good for up to 4 days! Just make sure and wrap it well. As far as serving recommendations, we are a family divided. My son and I love it served with whipped cream, my youngest takes it plain, and my husband insists a slightly warmed pie (30seconds in the microwave) with a scoop of ice cream is the only way to REALLY enjot pie. You decide! Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!