If you are looking for a pie to feed a crowd, you have found it! Slab pies are more work than the normal pie, but they also feed 3 times as many people! So, keep reading to find out how to make this Beautiful Cherry Slab Pie.
Why You Will Want To Bake This Beautiful Cherry Slab Pie Soon!
There are so many great things about this cherry slab pie. I mean, come on, what is more iconic than cherry pie? That is a sweet taste of Americana.
It feeds a crowd, has a perfectly flaky crust, tart filling, and is beautiful on top of that.
3 Essentials For This Cherry Pie
- A tender, flaky pie crust. I have a full post about my favorite partial whole wheat crust you will want to check out. Yes, you can always buy your pie dough, but let me tell you, it is a skill worth mastering. Plus, it is much easier than you might think!
- The cherry pie filling. I will show you how to make this from frozen cherries and give instructions for fresh cherries as well. Again, you can buy the filling, but it is really good homemade, less expensive, and pretty simple.
- Forming and decorating the cherry pie. I am also going to teach you a simple way to create beautiful latticework on your pie. It involves a few extra steps, but well worth it for the ease it creates.
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. I would also like to give you the option to make your own.
I used frozen cherries to make the pie filling. You can also use fresh, just keep in mind, you can shorten the cooking time substantially.
You will need something to thicken your filling. There are a few options for this- flour, tapioca, or cornstarch. I went with cornstarch. It is a personal favorite as it thickens quickly and leaves no taste.
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. See, I told you it was easy!
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.
Just know your pie dough needs to be chilled and ready to go before you ever start the slab pie.
Shaping the Pie Crust For The Slab Pie
Now, let's move into my favorite part, shaping the pie crust. I made a double batch of pie dough for this pie. You will have a little extra, but after the lattice and decorations, it won't be much.
Let's start with the bottom crust. I use a Nordicware Jelly Roll Pan for my pie. I rolled my rectangle to fit this pan.
Lightly flour your surface and roll your dough into a rectangle. Place the pan over the top when you are rolling to check on size. You will want the rectangle to be about 3 inches bigger than the pan all the way around.
Don't sweat perfection here. As long as it is big enough, you are good. The edged will be rolled over anyway.
Roll it over your rolling pin, then gently unroll over the pan. This keeps the dough from stretching when you transfer it.
Roll the top edge under. Then crimp as your like. I like to use my thumb and forefinger on my left hand and press it around my forefinger on my right hand. Everyone has their own technique though, so choose yours.
Brush the bottom with melted butter. This keeps the bottom crust from getting soggy. Move it to the freezer while you start the latticework.
The Lattice Work
I used to make my lattice on top of the pie itself, which is such a pain. Then the lattice always sticks the filling and makes a mess.
A few years ago, I change my technique. Let me show you a better way.
Start by tracing your pan on a piece of parchment paper. The pan is 10x15. Set the parchment aside.
Now, roll your pie dough pretty thin, I like mine about 1/16th of an inch. You don't have the measure this, but just know you don't want it too thick.
Once it is rolled, cut into ¾-1 inch strips. I actually use an Omni quilting grid ruler to do this. The link is to Amazon, but have always bought mine at Hobby Lobby with the coupon.
Cutting the dough with this pastry wheel is also really simple, or you can use a knife if you prefer. If you aren't as anal as I am, eyeball the strips.
Now, start your latticework on top of the rectangle you traced from your pan. Once it is woven, trim up the edges as shown in the photo below on the right.
Carefully slide the parchment onto the backside of a baking sheet and move to the freezer.
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
The hardest work is done, now let's put it all together.
Pull your bottom crust out and fill with the cherry pie filling. Dot with chilled butter.
Your lattice will be frozen. Gently transfer this to the top of the filling. If you need to trim it a little do it with a sharp knife or even snip with scissors.
Brush it with egg wash, then add on your decorations if you are using.
Now brush the decorations with egg wash as well. Then sprinkle the pie top generously with granulated sugar.
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.
If pie is your thing, I have a few other options:
- Simple Pie Pops
- Chocolate Pecan Pie
- Blueberry Hand Pies
- Praline Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Maple Pie
- Apple Pie
The Best Partial Wheat Pie Dough
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour You can also easily use 100% whole wheat, no all-purpose if you prefer
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons butter, cut in 1 inch pieces Butter should be chilled. After you cut it into chunks and are waiting to add it in, I like to pue it in the freezer to keep it really cold.
- ½ cup ice water- plus 1-3 tablespoons as needed.
- Add salt and flours to medium-sixed bowl. Mix to combine. Next add in chilled butter. Blend in with your hands or pastry cutter. If you are using a food processor, I like to pulse it about 10 times. You will want the butter to look like cracker crumbs. Now, it is time for the water. Add in ½ cup, and mix. If you are using a food processor, pulse about 10 times again. Pinch the dough between your thumb and index finger. If it stays together and holds well, it is good to go. If it is still crumbly, add in another tablespoon or 2. Repeat the process and check again. Once it is ready to go, turn out onto a surface and knead quickly until it holds together. Divide dough in half and form into 2 disks. Wrap each one seperatly with saran wrap and place in the fridge. It is best chilled at least 2 hours. The dough can be held in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or, if you prefer, you can make it ahead and store it in the freezer, wrapped well, for up to once month. Just place in the fridge overnight before using. Now, it is ready to go! choose your favorite recipe and get to it!
Cherry Pie Filling From Frozen Cherries
- Heavy bottom pan or stock pot
- 12 cups frozen cherries
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup cornstarch You may need more if your filling isn't thick enough after cooking
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon almond extract optional, 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!
Beautiful Cherry Slab Pie
- jelly roll pan, leaf cookie cutters, pastry brush
- 2 recipes pie dough This 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.
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 batch cherry pie filling recipe included, cooled to room temp or chilled
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoon milk
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 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 ½ 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 12x24 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 ¾-1 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 ½ 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 ½ 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!