Slab pie? That sounded so weird to me when I ran across this recipe in June Everyday Food. Dude Martha saw me looking at it and wanted it, so I bought the ingredients and got to work. The crust is to be made in the food processer. Oh, snap, mine’s broken and I haven’t ordered the part yet. No problem, I thought, I’ll just use my pastry cutter. Well, it had vanished. I already had all the ingredients in a bowl, so I went in with my hands! It actually worked pretty well (5 c flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar, 4 sticks butter 1 to 1 1/2 c water)
This pie is made in a jellyroll pan, hence the concept of it being a slab. The filling is basic – blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, zest, and cornstarch. Now, I approached this with a skeptical eye. I sometimes find Martha’s fruit desserts too tart. There is a history in our family of too tart desserts. My mother does not have a sweet tooth and likes her pies on the sour side. We call them pucker pies. I like mine sweet, sweet, sweet. So I DOUBLED the amount of sugar, thinking that ought to do it. I also added a tsp of cinnamon since I think it enhances the flavor (the recipe says: 8 c blueberries, 3 tbsp cornstarch, 1/2 c sugar, 1 tbsp zest, 3 tbsp lemon juice).
I pressed the bottom crust into the pan without rolling (I am such a rebel), smeared the filling and then rolled out the top crust. Into the oven it went – and promptly leaked all over the bottom of my oven (I should have put a tray under it).
It came out looking really gorgeous. It sliced nicely. I liked how it was a short pie. In my opinion, you don’t always need gobs of filling – sometimes a lot of crust can be a good thing. As for taste? It was still a little tart for me. Everyone did like it (including the famous Dude Martha who is watching me type this) and happily gobbled it. The crust texture was pretty fantastic, probably because I used my hands.
So I have to say the concept of a slab pie is getting high marks from me, although next time, I would use more sugar!