7.12.2012

sour cherry slab pie. {from the archives.}



everyone is doing it.
so since i HAVE done it i thought i would offer my two cents.
i'm talking about slab pies. the most genius thing ever invented.
i love them and this is why:
they feed a crowd.
they are forgivable.
they are drizzled in glaze.

sold yet?
i have seen many a variety made & showcased but have yet to see one offering sour cherries so i thought i would wriggle my big toe in here and reserve the spot.
can you guess how in love with this pie i am?
i disappeared as soon as it arrived as did the cherry season {for this variety} so we got what we got.
what we got was good.
flaky. syrupy. sweet. and just the right bite of tart.
perfect.

i think i may have to hunt some down now......


sour cherry slab pie
from the angus family cookbook submitted by me.
Yield: Varies, but I cut mine into 20 2 1/2-inch by 3-inch pieces

1 1/2  All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough (recipe down below), divided, patted into thick rectangles, wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least an hour in the fridge
6 cups sour cherries, pitted (fresh or frozen will work; if frozen, defrost and drain first)
3/4 to 1 1/4 cups of sugar*
1/4 cup cornstarch
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch or two of salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream or one egg, beaten with a tablespoon of water


Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk or water or 1 tablespoon water plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice (I did this to make the glaze more interesting)


Preheat oven to 375°. have your half sheet pan ready.


In a large bowl, combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt. Stir to combine; set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger piece of dough into an 18-by-12-inch rectangle. I won’t lie: this can be kind of a pain because it is so large. Do your best to work quickly, keeping the dough as cold as possible (and tossing it in the freezer for a couple minutes if it softens too quickly; it is summer after all) and using enough flour that it doesn’t stick to the counter.

Transfer to a 15-by-10-by-1-inch rimmed baking sheet, (pastry will hang over sides of pan). I went ahead and lined mine with parchment, just to ensure I’d be able to easily lift it out. Pour cherry mixture into lined baking sheet; set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining piece of dough into a 16-by-11-inch rectangle. Drape over filling. Bring bottom pastry up and over top pastry. Pinch edges to seal. Using a fork, prick top crust all over. Brush with heavy cream or egg wash.



Bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 40 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until just warm to the touch, about 45 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk, water or lemon juice (or combination thereof) until desired glaze consistency is achieved. Use a spoon to drizzle over top. Serve warm or room temperature.

* Martha had suggested 1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar for 6 cups of sour cherries. I balked, imagining my beautiful okanagan cherries drowning a syrupy death, and used 3/4 cup, which yielded a lightly-sweetened pie with the tartness of the cherries still coming through, just as we like. Please adjust this to your tastes, and according to the tartness of the cherries you brought home.


Some tips for replacing the sour cherries with other fruit: This pie is roughly 100% of a regular pie filling with 150% percent of the crust. Thus, if you’re looking to use something besides sour cherries, you can swap in 6 cups of any other fruit. Adjust the sugar accordingly — you’ll probably want less sugar with peaches or berries than you would with very sour cherries, or the same amount, if you like your pies on the sweeter side. (Remember, I kept this one very lightly sweetened.) Adjust the cornstarch accordingly too — peaches and berries usually let off more liquid than apples, but only slightly more than cherries.

One other route you can take is to use the filling part of your favorite pie recipe, as most standard fruit pies contain 6 cups of berries or chopped fruit. This way you’ll already know what spices, if any, you want to add and that the amount of sweetener and/or cornstarch/thickener is already spot-on.

All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough
Makes enough dough for one double-, or two single-crust pies.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold

Gather your ingredients: Fill a one cup liquid measuring cup with water, and drop in a few ice cubes; set it aside. In a large bowl — I like to use a very wide one, so I can get my hands in — whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. Dice two sticks (8 ounces or 1 cup) of very cold unsalted butter into 1/2-inch pieces. Get out your pastry blender.

Make your mix: Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin working them in with the pastry blender, using it to scoop and redistribute the mixture as needed so all parts are worked evenly. When all of the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas — this won’t take long — stop. Yes, even if it looks uneven; you’ll thank me later.

Glue it together: Start by drizzling 1/2 cup of the ice-cold water (but not the cubes, if there are any left!) over the butter and flour mixture. Using a rubber or silicon spatula, gather the dough together. You’ll probably need an additional 1/4 cup of cold water to bring it together, but add it a tablespoon as a time. Once you’re pulling large clumps with the spatula, take it out and get your hands in there (see how that big bowl comes in handy?). Gather the disparate damp clumps together into one mound, kneading them gently together.

Pack it up: Divide the dough in half, and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. I like to use the sides to pull in the dough and shape it into a disk. Let the dough chill in the fridge for one hour, but preferably at least two, before rolling it out.

Do ahead: Dough will keep in the fridge for about a week, and in the freezer longer. If not using it that day, wrap it in additional layers of plastic wrap to protect it from fridge/freezer smells. To defrost your dough, move it to the fridge for one day before using it.






2 comments:

lesliesholly said...

Oh, my. That looks delicious.

Brittni said...

I agree! This looks delicious. I don't think I have ever heard of a slab pie before. But I don't really cook or bake much, so that's probably why. Thanks for the recipe.