Cherry Slab Pie

July 24, 2013

Cherry Slab Pie | une gamine dans la cuisine


Tonight the fireflies
light their brief
in all the trees

of summer -
color of moonflakes,
color of fluorescent

where the ocean drags
its torn hem
over the dark

~ Linda Pastan, from "The Months"

Cherry Slab Pie | une gamine dans la cuisine

Does anyone else feel as though summer is whirling past the window of a speeding train - one that stubbornly refuses to slow down long enough to take in the scenery? Seriously, how can it possibly be the end of July? It's ridiculous. I'm buying fruit, every kind of fruit I can get my hands on, as if stashing strawberries in my fridge will confuse August enough to keep it at bay.

I had to toss a handful of strawberries into this cherry pie because they (said strawberries) were too tart to eat raw - which is almost tragic. (If you can't find strawberries, add an extra 1/4 lb of cherries.)

Pies, in case you haven't noticed, have become an obsession lately. I love the tedious process of preparing a crust - watching flour, butter, and sugar come together to form a flaky deity is sheer baking alchemy.  And even though I'm still anxious about rolling out pie dough, it's the most beautiful form of self-doubt and anticipation. This was an unintentional lattice. The top crust was supposed to have been one large unit with a few rustic vents slashed through the center and a drizzly glaze of vanilla, cream, and confectioners' sugar. I think the residual heat from last week made my work surface extra moody (me too, possibly).

This pie is simple, and homey. The crust and filling are made with basic ingredients - nothing frilly or fancy. It's also one of my favourite pies in the entire universe. The cherry filling is sweet, but not too sweet (thanks to a hint of lime), and the crust is buttery flakiness at its best. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is suggested, but not required. If July, with her sweet warmth & tousled-carefree attitude, wanted to morph into something edible, I think she would be a sticky, messy, cherry pie. ♥

Cherry Slab Pie | une gamine dans la cuisine

Cherry Slab Pie
makes one 15x10-inch pie (serves about 18-20)

for the crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 cup (that's 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes {Note: I cut the butter into cubes and let it freeze overnight in a covered bowl.}
6 - 8 Tablespoons cold buttermilk

for the filling
2 1/2 lbs fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup granulated sugar (use more or less depending on the sweetness of your cherries)
1/4 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 Tablespoon lime zest (optional - I had a lot of limes sitting around)
1 Tablespoon lime juice

for making the crust look fabulous 
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Prepare the crust: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and granulated sugar. Add the cold butter cubes and mix until evenly coated.

Place everything into the bowl of a large food processor. Using several short bursts, pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal (it will look very dry). Transfer the mixture back to the large mixing bowl and place the bowl into freezer. Freeze for about 30 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the freezer and sprinkle about 3 Tablespoons of the cold buttermilk on top of the mixture. Use a wooded spoon, a rubber spatula (or your hands) to gently work the buttermilk into the dough. Keep adding buttermilk, one Tablespoonful at a time, and mixing, until the dough starts to form a ball (you might not need all 8 Tablespoons). Don't add too much buttermilk - the dough should be cohesive, but not sticky and wet. Gather the dough into a ball and divide it in half - with one half slightly larger than the other. Flatten each piece of dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. {Note: Well wrapped, the dough can be refrigerated for three days.}

Just before you're ready to roll out the dough, prepare the filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch, lime zest, and lime juice. Stir until everything is well combined; Set the bowl aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter a 15x10x1-inch rimmed baking sheet and line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper.

Remove the larger half of dough from the refrigerator. If it's too hard to roll let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes. Flour a very large working surface and roll the dough out into an 18x12-inch rectangle. This will seem almost impossible at first, but keep flouring the counter (and the rolling pin) and rotating the dough - it will stretch. If you think the dough is getting too warm, gently roll in onto the rolling pin and unroll it onto a large, flat, parchment-lined cookie sheet - refrigerate until the 'stickiness' goes away. Once the dough is completely rolled out, place it into the prepared 15x10-inch baking sheet, allow the edges to hang over the rim.

Pour the cherry filling over the dough - spread it out into an even layer; Set aside.

Re-flour the work surface if needed and grab the other half of dough from the fridge. Roll the second half into a smaller 16x11-inch rectangle. The rectangle does not need to be pretty, or perfect, or exact. Just try and make it large enough to cut out at least 4 long strips and 6 small strips. For instructions on how to make a lattice top, hop over to Simply Recipes here! Elise does a fabulous job explaining explaining the process - I'd only confuse you more by over-explaining (something I tend to do too often). ;)

Once the lattice is in place, trim the edges and fold the bottom crust over the lattice strips - pinch them together to seal and then fold the crust neatly into the sides of the rimmed pan. Brush the crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle two Tablespoons of sugar (use more sugar if desired).

Bake the pie for 45-55 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling in the center in bubbly. Rotate the pie half-way through the baking period.

Remove the pie from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

adapted from Martha Stewart

additional pie love;
Lady Macbeth blackberry pie
Midnight in Paris Blueberry + garden mint pie
Salted Honey Pie
Stone Fruit Pie
Blueberry + Strawberry Pie 

Cherry Slab Pie | une gamine dans la cuisine


  1. Marvelous! This pie would be perfect for taking on a picnic.

    Time passes really fast and summer seems to move at the speed of a race car....



  2. I was going to make a blueberry pie... I change my mind

  3. I absolutely love everything about this post! I love your photos and this recipe. Beautiful!! I'm a little obsessed too with pies these days :)

  4. Beautiful post and a beautiful slab pie! Now please tell me you saved me that corner piece - I think it has my name on it ;).

  5. I love the slab pie idea. It's so much more inviting - both for the cook and people enjoying it - than a traditional pie. More rustic and less prim and proper and I love that. This is stunning!

  6. I hate thinking July is almost over..beautiful pie.

  7. Gorgeous Cherry Slab Pie, girl! Loving your moody photography which reflects your beautiful post. Working with tart cherries this week. I think we need to pick more as the season is waning. I need to make a Tart Cherry Slab Pie! Thanks so much for sharing, Valerie! Pinning! xo

  8. I've been on a pie kick too, but sadly haven't been able to find cherries at a price I'm willing to pay. I keep hoping they'll go on sale :) Anyway, this pie looks fantastic, there's something about a slab pie I can't resist!

  9. Oh yeah, chika chika! This pie is beautiful!!!

    I am doing the same thing with summer's produce...I have two enormous boxes of fruits and veggies I picked up at the farmer's market today. I don't even want to think about winter!!!

  10. I was just thinking that summer was sailing by WAY too quick. Why though? I wish time would slow down. Smile. I am SO loving this slab pie - so unique yet so beautiful and I can only imagine how tasty. This is a must make!

  11. What a lovely way to prepare a pie. And I completely agree, one can never use the bounty of summer fruit fast enough. Or thoroughly enough.. Gorgeous post, both in word and photos!!

  12. that looks wonderful, I love cherry pie!

  13. Your slab pie is freakin' gorgeous, Val!!! Sorry about that, it was the only word I could think of to describe how stunning this is! …and you know I love the pan that your Mom hates! LOL

  14. This is just.... beautiful! Gorgeous looking pie. Pity that cherry season JUST ended for us. Bookmarking for some other stone fruit though. LOVE it!

  15. I don't know if there's anything in the world that's better than cherry pie. Yours looks magnificent.

  16. Pie perfection!! I love the word "slab", especially when we're talking pie.

  17. Summer is flying at a super scary pace! I can't stop buying more fruit than I need at all times and will definitely go into panic when blueberries are no longer in season.

    Your pie is gorgeous and smart idea to add the lackluster strawberries!

  18. I have seen these slab pies around. They are perfect for sharing the goodness with a crowd.

  19. What a beautiful pie! It's gorgeous.

    And the first hot days of the year are here. I'm not happy. Other people are talking about cool days and making soup and it's 83 INSIDE. Nobody over here has AC. It's miserable. I want to bake, too! :(

    Anyway, I'll stop whining. Love your pie!

  20. I've been wanting to make a slab pie for a while now. Your right about how fast Summer seems to be slipping by us. Your pie looks delish, wishing I had a big slab of it right about now.

  21. Gorgeous slab pie, Valerie. The lighting on your images is just beautiful. BTW, not sure if I mentioned it earlier but really like the design of your blog!

  22. How great is the idea of putting on a baking sheet instead of a pie plate! Summer is going so fast, I can not believe that it is August this week!

  23. I don't quite understand how July is almost over! This pie is so rustic and so beautiful Valerie! Simply gorgeous!

  24. Beautiful rustic slab pie! I've always wanted to make one with a lattice crust so you've inspired me with your talent for pie making ;) Summertime = fruit pies ;)

  25. I saw this the other day, but haven't had a second to stop. Yes, where exactly did summer go? I'm going to make a version of this this weekend for a party, I like your lime twist, I don't know if I want to do the lattice or cover the whole thing, but I will let you know. Have a great weekend.

  26. I love everything about this, it looks like it comes from a quaint, gourmet bakery somewhere in the hills of Italy!

  27. oh how lovely this is! a pie but rectangle.

    and like you, i am mourning the speed summer is passing us by.

  28. Your photography is STUNNING! I saw this on Pinterest at 8:00 am, and I'm ready to have pie for breakfast! :)


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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