What's A Slab Pie, Anyway?

Bigger pie is better pie.

Granny Smith Slab Pie
Photo: Photographer: Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Emily Neighbors Hall Prop Stylist: Audrey Davis

Pies are one of the most delicious, flavor-packed desserts out there, not to mention a Southern staple. But one of the worst things about pies? There's never enough! It doesn't matter how much mouthwatering filling and flaky crust we load into our pie plate—every single slice is still gone in a flash, leaving too-slow guests sad they missed out.

Enter the slab pie. Put simply, a slab pie is the solution to this entertaining conundrum, the pie version of a sheet cake. It is a pie that has been sized up to fit a rectangular pan (typically a 15- x 10-inch jelly roll pan or a 9- x 13-inch baking pan) instead of a standard 8-inch or 9-inch round pie plate.

That means that when it is cut into squares or rectangles (instead of triangular slices), a slab pie can typically serve twice as many people as a round pie can. Plus, the rectangular pieces make it perfect for enjoying off a dessert plate perched on your knee instead of seated around the table during those too-big-for-the-dining-room get-togethers and holiday parties.

How to Make a Slab Pie

To make a slab pie, you follow all the same steps as you would to make a regular pie: You will need more crust, so if you're putting together your own we recommend using our recipe for Slab Pastry Crust, which makes enough for two single-crust pies, like Peach-Plum Crumble Slab Pie, or one pie with a decorative top, like Stone Fruit Lattice Slab Pie.

You can also used store-bought refrigerated pie crust, but you'll likely need one and a half to two crusts rolled together for a single-crust pie and three for a double-crust pie or one with a decorated top, so buy accordingly.

How much filling do I need for a slab pie?

How much filling a slab pie needs in comparison to a regular pie is going to vary depending on the type of pie and the recipe. In general, you won't be piling the fruit filling as high in a slab pie, since it's meant to be sliced into easily shareable pieces. That's why, for example, our Granny Smith Slab Pie calls for roughly seven large apples in the filling while our Old-Fashioned Apple Pie packs in nine to ten.

If you're making a custard pie on the other hand, in which you want the volume of filling to just reach the top of the pie crust, you may need to make a little more of the mixture than you would for a regular pie.

Also smart: Instead of pouring the liquid custard into the long, wide pan and then trying to transfer it to the oven without spilling, place the empty crust on the oven rack and use a liquid measuring cup to pour in the filling—then let it bake away.

The final thing you need to remember when serving up a slab pie: With more servings to go around, you better have enough vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to top every single slice!

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