Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet & Savory Slab Pies


I'm a baker. I couldn't resist visiting the Central Market Cooking Tent at the Texas Book Festival. 


Cathy Barrow, author of Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet & Savory Slab Pies, showed us how easy it was to make a slab pie.


What is a slab pie? you might ask. A slab pie is "just like regular pie---only better (and bigger)! An unfussy twist on pie, the slab pie lets you skip the meticulous rolling out and crimping required for a round crust." Barrow goes on to tell us in her book, "a slab pie can make enough dinner or dessert for a crowd." Barrow includes her versions of traditional pies including Yankee Doodle Dandy Sour Cherry Slab Pie, Easy-as-Pie Apple Slab Pie, and Chicken Pot Slab Pie, as well as her own creations including Hawaiian Pizza Slab Pie, Zucchini, Feta, and Kalamata Olive Slab Pie plus No-Campfire-Necessary S'Mores Slab Pie and Grande Mocha Cappuccino Slab Pie.


It was fun to watch how casual Barrow was when she cut out her crust.


I bought the book and I finally got around to making one of the slab pies from the book this week.



Ham and Gruyere Slab Pie
With an All-Butter Crust

All-Butter Crust

2 1/2 cups plus 2 T. all-purpose flour
16 T. butter, cubed and frozen for 20 minutes
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup ice water

For the crust: In the food processor, pulse the flour, butter, and salt until the fats are in small pieces coated with flour, about 15 times. Add the water all at once and process until the mixture almost forms a ball. Form the dough into a 6-by-4-inch rectangle using plastic wrap and a bench scraper to firmly press the dough into a cohesive form. Wrap tightly and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm slightly. Divide the dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger piece to 11 by 15 inches and place in the slab pie pan, pressing it into the corners of the pan and allowing the excess to drape over the sides. Refrigerate. Roll out the second piece of dough to 10 by 14 inches, place it on a lightly floured sheet of parchment, and refrigerate.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a baking stone on the center rack to heat. 

Filling

5 large eggs
1 c. half-and-half
3 T. honey
1 T. snipped fresh chives
1 t. fresh thyme leaves
1 t. salt
3 T. Dijon mustard
8 oz. sliced smoked ham, chopped
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated

For the filling: Whisk the eggs and half-and-half until frothy. Add the honey, chives, thyme, and salt and whisk again. Spread the mustard thickly across the bottom crust. Scatter the ham and cheese evenly across the mustard, and pour in the egg mixture. Cover with the top crust and crimp and slash. Bake  on top of the stone until a knife plunged into the center of the custard comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.



Delicious!



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43 comments:

  1. How cool and visually appealing as well. My husband isn't a "crust" fan so the slab concept would seem to offer less crust overall.

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    Replies
    1. You are right. These are perfect for those who aren't crust-y.

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  2. The pie looks great , iam not a Baker but I love to learn. Have never tried pies yet, still in cakes.

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  3. Oh, that sounds great and looks delicious. I might need to get the book 😊 thanks for sharing! 🙋‍♀️🐝

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    Replies
    1. It will come in handy over the holidays when you are cooking for a crowd.

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  4. Yum! Not surprised that any Central Market booth would be worth visiting. So this is like the whole 'sheet' cake concept a bit. I like it!

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  5. That looks great, can you send me a slice

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    Replies
    1. There's plenty here for you and your family. C'mon over!

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  6. I'm still struggling to find a decent gluten free pie crust that is tasty but that ham pie looks amazing. It makes sense to make it in a slab too. More pie. LOL.

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    Replies
    1. It's easier to make in one nice big rectangle vs. a circle.

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  7. Sounds like a really yummy way of making pies. I have a wonderful pie dough recipe, so pies always get high praise fro eaters but making pies in so daunting. I have a hard time getting up for the task.

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    Replies
    1. I hope to try some more over the holidays. These are really easy pies.

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  8. Looks all very yummy ! I am not a baker at all ! But I love to eat !

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  9. Oh, my, that looks good. I'd probably have to re-engineer it down to a smaller size, though!

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  10. wow! ooks so beautiful!
    Happy WW ☺

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  11. I had never heard of slab pies until last year. Being a not-too-great crust maker, it appeals, but (believe it or not) my husband isn't a big pie fan. I'll have to sneak it into Thanksgiving, somehow.

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  12. I love this whole concept! Re-inventing the wheel, or more accurately, the pie. Brilliant! I would love to make this, but will have to wait until my husband can return to his normal eating habits. Butter and cheese do not appeal to him in his post-gallbladder surgery state of wellness. :( On the other hand, we are both eating much healthier these days!

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  13. Deb,

    Pie making isn't my forte but I made two every Thanksgiving with fair results. This year was the easiest. I have yet to try the finished product but will next week. A pie crust that isn't fussy does sound like my cup of tea, though. My late MIL was an excellent pie maker and made a bunch in her life time. Thanks for sharing and joining my WildWednesdays linky party. BTW, the recipe looks and sounds good!

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    Replies
    1. My grandma was the pie maker in my family, so I'm always conscious of continuing on the heritage.

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  14. looks yummy. never was much of a cook, but i could bake. now, mr wonderful does it all
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  15. Replies
    1. It tasted delicious, and it made a lot (A LOT) of food.

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  16. Pie! This is the main reason why I’m excited for Thanksgiving. I really want pie. My favorite is chocolate pie. And pumpkin pie. And pecan pie. I just really like pie.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  17. I've been following another blogger who is working her way through that book, and it sounds like a really effective set of recipes! Your pie looks beautiful -- kind of like an energized quiche.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  18. I love the look of the presentation of the pies -
    I'll be making pumpkin pie . Happy Thanksgiving

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  19. I love slab pies! I made my first one just this past year. This savory pie looks fabulous.

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  20. The slab pies would be great for large families or big groups, but you might hav2 to freeze some if there's just 1 or 2 at home. Looks like it would be good to try over the holidays. Hope you are having a super weekend!

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  21. My sister-in-law made a slab pie for Thanksgiving last year, it was so good. Your ham and cheese pie looks beautiful.

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  22. That's a good book for my Christmas list! Lovely pies. I just made a shepherd's pie :-)

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  23. This looks super delicious, Deb! Mind if I request for a slice?? :)

    Thank you for sharing this yummilicious post and joining our linky party this week, Deb!

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