This Strawberry Rhubarb Slab Pie is delicious, freezable and can feed a crowd

Cheryl Day
Treasury of Southern Baking
"Cheryl Day's Treasury of Southern Baking" includes a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Slab Pie. (Courtesy of Artisan Books)

About the recipe

A slab pie can feed a crowd. As with other fruit pies, you can make it in advance and freeze it, then pop it in the oven on the day you plan to serve it.

Excerpted from Cheryl Day’s Treasury of Southern Baking by Cheryl Day (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2021.

Serves 12 to 16

1 recipe dough for Slab Pie Crust (recipe follows), chilled

5 cups (750 g) fresh strawberries, hulled

4 cups (488 g) 1-inch (3 cm) pieces peeled rhubarb

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 large (50 g) egg, lightly beaten with a pinch of

fine sea salt, for egg wash

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

On a lightly floured work surface, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the larger piece of dough out to a 19-by-14-inch (48 by 36 cm) rectangle.

Fit it into a 15-by-10-inch (38 by 25 cm) jelly roll pan, pressing it into the corners. The crust will hang over the edges of the pan. Chill the crust in the refrigerator while you put the filling together.

In a large bowl, combine the strawberries and rhubarb. Add the sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt, and lemon zest and juice and toss with the fruit until thoroughly mixed. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust.

On a lightly floured work surface, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the smaller piece of dough out to a 15-by-10-inch (38 by 25 cm) rectangle. Place it over the filling. Fold the edges of the bottom crust up over the edges of the top crust and pinch the edges to seal. Cut out shapes from the trimmings with mini cookie cutters, if desired, and use them to decorate the top of the pie. Chill the pie for 15 minutes in the freezer or 30 minutes in the refrigerator to set the crust.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place a parchment-lined baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any juices that spill out when the pie bakes.

Remove the pie from the freezer or refrigerator and cut a few slits in the top for steam vents. Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 40 to 55 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling.

Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

The pie can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Slab Pie Crust

This crust is for a large-format pie made on a rimmed baking sheet.

Makes enough for one double-crust slab pie

Ingredients

3¾ cups (469 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

½ cup (118 ml) ice water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

¾ pound (3 sticks/340 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch (3 cm) cubes

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

In a large measuring cup or small bowl, combine the water and vinegar.

Toss the butter in the flour mixture to lightly coat it. Then, using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour. You should have various-sized pieces of butter ranging from coarse sandy patches to flat shaggy pieces to pea-sized chunks, with some larger bits as well. Drizzle in about half of the ice water mixture and stir lightly with a fork until the flour is moistened. If the dough seems dry, add a little more ice water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. The dough will still look a bit shaggy at this point. If you grab a small piece and press it lightly with your hand, it should mostly hold together.

Dump the mixture onto an unfloured work surface and gather it together into a tight mound. Using the heel of your hand, smear the dough, pushing away from you and working your way down the mass to create flat layers of flour and butter. Then gather the dough back together with a bench scraper, laying the clumps of dough on top of one another. Repeat the process once or twice more; the dough should still have some big pieces of butter visible.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Shape each piece into a disk and flatten it. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight, before using.

The dough can be stored, well-wrapped, for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer. If it’s been frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight.