Try a rec­tan­gu­lar pie in­stead of round

Try a rec­tan­gu­lar pie in­stead of round Feel­ing over­whelmed this Thanks­giv­ing? Sim­plify your dessert strat­egy with a slab pie. Baked in a rec­tan­gu­lar pan, this fine fin­ish can feed a crowd with less fuss.

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Emily Ryan For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

“The plus side is it’s def­i­nitely a lot less mess,” said Anita Har­ri­son, bak­ery man­ager at High­land Or­chards in West Ch­ester. “You can make enough for 24 peo­ple, which would be like three (round) pies.”

“It’s like the sheet-cake equiv­a­lent of pie, I would say. It does serve a lot of peo­ple like a sheet,” agreed pas­try chef Holly Haas of Fre­con Farms in Boy­er­town. “It’s also a lot thin­ner like a tart.”

That thin­ner crust re­minds Lans­dale’s Adam Griniusz, aka Adam the Pas­try Chef, of his na­tive Hun­gary.

“The pie we make in Europe is more like a slab pie,” he de­scribed. “I’m a big fan of the crust — the home­made crust from scratch.”

When it comes to recipes, Griniusz shared one for a crust “that never gets hard or soggy.”

Haas of­fered a maple pump­kin slab pie with brown su­gar oat­meal crumb. And High­land Or­chards sug­gested a slab ap­ple pie.

“Ap­ple and pump­kin — they’re our top sell­ers,” Har­ri­son said.

Or try some­thing dif­fer­ent like a chocolate cream slab pie, courtesy of The Kitchen Work­shop in Paoli. Which­ever you choose, re­mem­ber… “If you are mak­ing your own pie dough, you can make it a week ahead,” Haas ex­plained. But “as­sem­ble no more

than two days ahead.”

Slab Ap­ple Pie IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

1½ cups flour 1½ ta­ble­spoons su­gar ¼ tea­spoon salt ½ tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der ½ cup short­en­ing 2 egg yolks, beaten 4 ta­ble­spoons wa­ter 8 ap­ples - peeled, cored and cut into thin slices 2 ta­ble­spoons lemon juice 2 ta­ble­spoons flour 1¾ cups su­gar ½ tea­spoon cin­na­mon 2 ta­ble­spoons but­ter


1 cup flour 1 tea­spoon cin­na­mon ½ cup brown su­gar ½ cup but­ter


Pre­heat oven to 350 de­grees. In a large bowl, com­bine flour, su­gar, salt and bak­ing pow­der. Cut in short­en­ing un­til mix­ture re­sem­bles coarse crumbs. Mix egg yolk and wa­ter to­gether and mix into flour un­til it forms a ball. Roll out to fit the bot­tom of a 10-by15-inch pan. In a large bowl, com­bine ap­ples, lemon juice, flour, su­gar and cin­na­mon. Pour fill­ing into pie crust and dot with but­ter.

Top­ping: In a medium bowl, com­bine flour, cin­na­mon, brown su­gar and but­ter. Cut in the but­ter un­til crumbly, then sprin­kle over ap­ples.

Bake in the pre­heated oven for 60 min­utes or un­til top­ping is golden brown. RECIPE COURTESY OF HIGH­LAND OR­CHARDS

Maple Pump­kin Slab Pie with Brown Su­gar Oat­meal Crumb

Serv­ings: 16 to 18 (18-by13-inch pan)


Home­made pie dough


1½ cups brown su­gar 2 ta­ble­spoons cin­na­mon 1 tea­spoon salt ¾ tea­spoon ground gin­ger

¼ tea­spoon ground cloves 3 eggs 2½ cups canned pump­kin 2 cups evap­o­rated milk 1 ta­ble­spoon maple ex­tract

IN­STRUC­TIONS For crumb top­ping:

1 cup brown su­gar 1 cup flour 1½ tea­spoons cin­na­mon ½ cup (1 stick) but­ter, cold, cubed

¾ cup rolled oats

Pre­heat your oven to 350 de­grees. Pre­pare your 18-by-13-inch pan by spray­ing with oil and set aside. Roll out your pie dough into a 20-by-15-inch rec­tan­gle, leav­ing enough dough to go up the side of your pan. Af­ter you have your pie dough rolled out, place the dough in your pan. Roll the edges of the dough un­der un­til it meets the edge of the pan. Set aside.

To make the fill­ing, com­bine brown su­gar, cin­na­mon, salt, ground gin­ger and ground cloves in a medium bowl. In a sep­a­rate bowl, whisk un­til com­bined eggs, canned pump­kin, evap­o­rated milk and maple ex­tract. Fi­nally whisk the dry in­gre­di­ents into the wet un­til com­bined. Pour the bat­ter into your pre­pared pan and top with crumb top­ping

To make the crumb top­ping, mix brown su­gar, flour and cin­na­mon. Cut in the but­ter into the flour mix­ture un­til it re­sem­bles coarse crumbs; it will go from a light brown to a golden brown color and have a slight wet-sand tex­ture when prop­erly mixed. Add oats and mix un­til com­bined.

Bake for 35 to 40 min­utes un­til the pie is set and the crust is golden brown. Re­move from oven and cool com­pletely be­fore en­joy­ing! RECIPE COURTESY OF PAS­TRY CHEF HOLLY HAAS

Chocolate Cream Slab Pie

Serv­ings: at least 12


1 store-bought pie crust 2 cups su­gar 3½ cups cold heavy cream 1½ cups but­ter­milk 1/3 cup corn­starch 1 pinch salt 8 egg yolks 8 ounces high-qual­ity chocolate, chopped 2 ta­ble­spoons but­ter 2 tea­spoons vanilla ex­tract ¼ cup pow­dered su­gar Chocolate shav­ings or sprin­kles for top­ping


Pre­heat your oven to 400 de­grees. Roll your pie crust out onto an 18-by-13-inch bak­ing sheet. I used a full batch of the pie crust above, which re­sulted in a slightly thicker crust. You could use half the batch and make a thin­ner crust. Place a piece of parch­ment pa­per over the pie dough and cover the top with pie weights or

dried beans. Bake the crust for 20 to 30 min­utes or un­til it’s just slightly golden and flakey. Re­move from the oven and let the crust cool com­pletely.

Add the su­gar, 1½ cups heavy cream, but­ter­milk, corn­starch and salt to a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk un­til the su­gar dis­solves. Bring the mix­ture to a boil, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til it thick­ens slightly, about 5 min­utes. Re­duce the mix­ture to a sim­mer and cook for an­other 5 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally.

Place the egg yolks in a bowl and lightly beat them. Steam ½ cup of the warm milk mix­ture into the egg yolks while stir­ring con­stantly. Pour the egg yolk mix­ture back into the saucepan with the milk and heat over medium heat, stir­ring con­stantly. Stir un­til it is com­bined and very think, about 2 to 3 min­utes. Re­move the mix­ture from the heat and pour it into a bowl. Stir in the chocolate, but­ter and vanilla un­til it is melted and com­bined. Place a piece of plas­tic wrap di­rectly on top of the chocolate pud­ding and stick it in the fridge for 30 min­utes.

Add the re­main­ing cold heavy cream to the bowl of your elec­tric mixer and beat on medium high speed un­til peaks form. Add in the pow­dered su­gar and beat un­til com­bined. Re­move pud­ding from the fridge and fold ½ cup of the whipped cream into the chocolate. Stick the re­main­ing whipped cream in the fridge. Spread the chocolate evenly over the pie crust. Re­frig­er­ate the pie for at least 4 hours

be­fore serv­ing. Right be­fore serv­ing, spread the whipped cream on top and cover with some chocolate shav­ings or sprin­kles (chocolate jim­mies). RECIPE COURTESY OF THE KITCHEN WORK­SHOP

Dou­ble Pie Crust

Makes a dou­ble crust for a 10-by-15-inch jelly roll pan.


3 cups all-pur­pose flour Pinch salt 2 sticks ice-cold but­ter cut into small pieces (for best re­sult, leave the but­ter in the freezer overnight)

12 ta­ble­spoons ice wa­ter


Zest of 1 lemon ½ tea­spoon su­gar


In a food pro­ces­sor, mix flour, salt and but­ter (and op­tional su­gar). Pulse three times with three counts per pulse. Add the ice wa­ter (and op­tional lemon zest). Pulse one or two times just un­til the dough just starts come to­gether and starts to get a lit­tle crumbly. Dump the crumbly dough into a bowl and gather the dough into a ball us­ing hands. Do it as fast as you can; try not to over­work the dough. Wrap the dough in plas­tic wrap and let it set in the re­frig­er­a­tor for 1 hour be­fore us­ing it.

Tip: If a recipe does not call for blind bak­ing, then brush the crust with egg wash and let it com­pletely dry be­fore adding the fill­ing. This way the crust won’t get soggy.


A crumb top­ping crowns this slab ap­ple pie, which bakes for an hour in a 10-by-15-inch pan.


Lo­cal or­chards har­vested a great se­lec­tion of ap­ples for hol­i­day pies.


“When I have to make a pie for more than 10 peo­ple, I al­ways make a sheet pie or a slab pie,” says pas­try chef Adam Griniusz.


“Ev­ery­one loves to see ap­ples uti­lized be­cause it’s just that sea­son,” says pas­try chef Holly Haas.

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