Let’s take the last of those summer peaches and berries and make a big ol’ slab pie for Labor Day.
I was going to make you an apple slab pie today. I’ve been thinking about autumn recipes and warm spices and trying to plan ahead, getting us all fall-ready. But then I saw piles of gorgeous peaches at the market situated right next to plump blackberries and I didn’t really have a choice but to fill my cart and change my game plan. And since it’s still summer I think the apples can wait a bit. So let’s talk…
And buttery, flaky pie crust arranged in a pretty lattice pattern. I opted for a diagonal design, but straight edges look perfectly charming too. I include instructions for a traditional lattice pattern in the recipe, but the same principles apply for a diagonal design, you’ll just need longer strips. Now, this is a big pie and rolling out a large rectangle for the bottom crust can be slightly unwieldy. Don’t panic if you have a patch it up here and there. It’s the bottom so no one will be the wiser.
And if you really want to go the extra mile and add a little wow factor, gather up your scraps and roll them out. Next cut out leaves and roll a few roses. Place three or four small rounds of pie crust slightly overlapping and roll them up. Cut it in half, crimp the bottom and gently spread out the petals. Or you can use a mini cookie cutter to cut out shapes…daisies, butterflies and even simple leaves would be pretty. Let you inner artist shine.
I really love a rustic pie that will feed a crowd, but one that isn’t overly sweet so any leftovers will make a perfectly acceptable breakfast. I call for only 2/3 cup brown sugar in this recipe, but make sure you taste your peaches and berries and if they’re not especially sweet, add a little more. Fruit can be tricky and looks can be deceiving so taste, taste, taste.
A slab pie is different than a traditional pie, it doesn’t yield thick wedges with layers of fruit. Instead, it’s sliced into relatively thin squares, but trust me, we’re not skimping on flavor. You’ll get a nice balance of buttery crust to tender, juicy fruit. And because we’re being so reasonable about our portions here, go ahead and throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream on top. You deserve it.
Now go enjoy the weekend, those ripe summer peaches and sweet berries. Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea (or prosecco, I won’t judge), cut a slice of pie, put your feet up and relax. We’ll worry about all the apples, homework and schedules next week. Deal?
- Buttery Pie Crust
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 14 oz 3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold
- 3/4 cup ice water
- Pie Filling
- 3 1/2 lbs ripe peaches
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp peach liqueur such as Peach Schnapps
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar packed (use 3/4 cup if you're peaches aren't very sweet)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup corn starch
- 12 oz fresh blackberries
- 1 egg lightly beaten with 2 tsp of water or heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp turbinado sugar coarse sugar
Pie Crust: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to mix.
Add the cold, chopped butter and pulse about 10 -12 times until the butter is cut into the flour mixture and it's pea size.
Pour in about 2/3 of the ice water and pulse a few more times until a ball begins to form, adding more water as needed. Be careful not to overmix. The dough should not be completely blended, it will come together on the counter.
Scrape dough onto the counter, divide it in two and form into two flat discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. (Dough can also be frozen for several weeks. Defrost in refrigerator before proceeding.)
Pie with Lattice Crust: Line a half sheet tray (or jellyroll pan) with parchment paper. Roll pie dough into a large rectangle that measures 16x20 inches and lay it in the sheet pan with the edges slightly overlapping the sides. Place in the refrigerator to chill while you prep the filling.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Score the bottom of each peach with an X and drop into the boiling water (you'll need to do this in batches). After 2 mins, remove the peaches with a slotted spoon and plunge into the ice water. Allow to cool for a few mins and remove to dry on paper towels.
Using a paring knife, peel the peaches. Then halve the peaches, remove the pit and thinly slice.
Toss the peach slices with the lemon juice, liqueur, brown sugar, spices, salt, and corn starch.
Gently fold in the berries.
Remove the rolled pie crust from the refrigerator and arrange the peach filling in an even layer.
Remove the other dough from the refrigerator and divide it into two pieces. Roll into a large rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
Use a paring knife or pizza cutter to cut into 1 inch strips for a lattice crust the short way.
Lay the strips about 1/2 inch apart over the filling and lift up every other strip and fold each one half-way back onto itself. (If you're feeling daring, you can lay the strips diagonally as shown in the photos.)
Roll out the other dough and cut into 1 inch strips the long way. Lay one long strip across the center of the pie below the fold. Lay the folded strips back down.
Fold up the alternate strips, lay another long strip over and lay back down. Repeat until half of the pie is covered, them follow the same process on the other side.
Trim the edges and press to adhere. if desired you can use the scraps to make leaves and flowers for decoration.
Place the unbaked pie into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Remove, brush the crust with the egg wash (or heavy cream) and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
Bake for about 45-50 mins or until peaches are tender (and can be easily pierced with a knife), the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
Let the pie cool before slicing. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.