sour-cherry-slab-pie Recipes

sour cherry slab pie

Continuing my summer fascination with any and all fruit desserts with goofy names, not two minutes after I discovered the existence of slab pie, I was fixing to make it. Why? Because it looks like a giant Pop Tart, and surely you don’t think a woman in her third trimester needs a single other reason to bake something.

sour cherries
pits!

But even though I just discovered this whole “slab pie” thing, I’m quite taken with it already — and not just the ungraceful name. It is, frankly, brilliant, more rustic than a pretty little crimped-edge 9-inch round and flakier too: the large swaths of dough manage show off their layers better than they do in smaller quantities, landing shatters and flecks like confetti all over your plate. Slab pie squares, especially the edges and corners, are more portable than wedges from a traditional round — how convenient for picnics and pot lucks — and if you’ve ever wanted to make a pie but known you had more than eight people to serve, this is your answer: pie for dozens. That is, if the baker is the generous sort.

slab pie, almost lidded

slab pie, ready to bake

I went with the sour cherry filling because I’m still making up for long time with them; growing up, I ignored the sour cherry tree in our backyard because it was bleh, sour! and most kids — except this vinegar-loving Russkie I married — are repelled by sour foods. Once I fell good and hard for them, my parents informed me the tree had become diseased and had to go, leaving me with a lifetime of checking farm stands incessantly from June to July, hoping to grab some overpriced sour cherries during their exceedingly narrow ripe season. What, do I sound bummed about this or something?

slab pie, glazed

Nevertheless, there’s no reason you can’t fill this with whatever berries or mix of fruits you like, or even make smaller slabs if you’re intimidated by the prospect of a square foot of pie. Me? I’m already plotting my next one.

sour cherry slab pie

One year ago: Nectarine, Mascarpone and Gingersnap Tart (only 8 minutes of oven time! you’re welcome.)
Two years ago: Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes

Sour Cherry Slab Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart

I’ve already sung the praises of the the slab pie (above) but let me also mention this: I’m generally repelled by white sugar glazes on pastries. They seem to add sweetness, but not much else. Yet on this slab pie, with its lightly sweetened, tart cherry filling between two layers of barely-sweetened pie dough, it works so well. It is absolutely meant to be.

Yield: Varies, but I cut mine into 20 2 1/2-inch by 3-inch pieces

1 1/2 All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Doughs, divided, patted into thick rectangles, wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least an hour in the fridge

6 cups sour cherries, pitted (fresh or frozen will work; if frozen, defrost and drain first)
3/4 to 1 1/4 cups of sugar*
1/4 cup cornstarch
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch or two of salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream or one egg, beaten with a tablespoon of water

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk or water or 1 tablespoon water plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice (I did this to make the glaze more interesting)

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt. Stir to combine; set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger piece of dough into an 18-by-12-inch rectangle. I won’t lie: this can be kind of a pain because it is so large. Do your best to work quickly, keeping the dough as cold as possible (and tossing it in the freezer for a couple minutes if it softens too quickly; it is summer afterall) and using enough flour that it doesn’t stick to the counter. [See more of my pie-rolling tips here.]

Transfer to a 15-by-10-by-1-inch rimmed baking sheet, (pastry will hang over sides of pan). I went ahead and lined mine with parchment, just to ensure I’d be able to easily lift it out. Pour cherry mixture into lined baking sheet; set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining piece of dough into a 16-by-11-inch rectangle. Drape over filling. Bring bottom pastry up and over top pastry. Pinch edges to seal. Using a fork, prick top crust all over. Brush with heavy cream or egg wash.

Bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 40 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until just warm to the touch, about 45 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk, water or lemon juice (or combination thereof) until desired glaze consistency is achieved. Use a spoon to drizzle over top. Serve warm or room temperature.

* Martha had suggested 1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar for 6 cups of sour cherries. I balked, imagining my beautiful Jersey cherries drowning a syrupy death, and used 3/4 cup, which yielded a lightly-sweetened pie with the tartness of the cherries still coming through, just as we like. Please adjust this to your tastes, and according to the tartness of the cherries you brought home.

Some tips for replacing the sour cherries with other fruit: This pie is roughly 100% of a regular pie filling with 150% percent of the crust. Thus, if you’re looking to use something besides sour cherries, you can swap in 6 cups of any other fruit. Adjust the sugar accordingly — you’ll probably want less sugar with peaches or berries than you would with very sour cherries, or the same amount, if you like your pies on the sweeter side. (Remember, I kept this one very lightly sweetened.) Adjust the cornstarch accordingly too — peaches and berries usually let off more liquid than apples, but only slightly more than cherries.

One other route you can take is to use the filling part of your favorite pie recipe, as most standard fruit pies contain 6 cups of berries or chopped fruit. This way you’ll already know what spices, if any, you want to add and that the amount of sweetener and/or cornstarch/thickener is already spot-on.

And do share your tweaks in the comments: I am sure that others would love to benefit from your experimentation!

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290 comments on sour cherry slab pie

  1. This is one of those “why have I never thought of this?” ideas. And getting to eat pie with your hands? Say no more. Sounds like a great excuse to invest in a nifty cherry-pitter!

  2. Um, what the heck??? This looks amazing! I think it’s going on the list of things to bake this weekend, though perhaps with blueberries of even peaches rather than the cherries…

  3. Although I’ve never heard of a “slab pie”, I’m certainly intrigued (read: making this right now). Pretty much, you had me at cherry… can’t get enough of them. Can’t wait to stick this in my “pie hole”. heh heh. sorry.

  4. Boy that looks tasty! There’s a cookbook line in Canada called Company’s Coming – they have a similar bit of deliciousness called Danish Apple Bars. I’m particularly fond of a blueberry version. And, because there’s ‘danish’ in the title, its a breakfast food…

  5. Can I please, please leave my office and go bake this now? Just so amazing looking. Have never heard of slab pie before and am intrigued. Did you basically just use a cookie sheet with rim? Or something a little deeper than that?

  6. If you use nice fresh blueberries or peaches, would you decrease the sugar? This looks so amazing, but I am not a fan of cherries.

  7. @Amanda…you don’t even need a cherry pitter! Mine mangles the cherries, which a partially unbent paper clip pops the pits out perfectly.

    I used to live next door to a sour cherry tree, and it was heaven. Now I’m reduced to lugging Greenmarket cherries back from NYC to North Carolina in my carryon (which I actually did do last week, and made a regular pie. If only I had known about slab pie!).

  8. Now, I was wondering..what should I make for dessert after the Saturday night bbq chicken cook-out…. hey….. look…..cherry pie “a- la- slab” . thank you very much….. it looks so end-of- july……………
    Have a fun summer weekend !
    Best,
    Kary
    My Farmhouse Kitchen

  9. Too funny! I just made my grandmother’s slab apple pie and was about to research it to make it better. You know how grandma’s write recipes, a pinch of this and some of that. Well my crust was terrible. I knew about the cold thing but left my second crust out on the counter and rolled both right away. Should have chilled them. I’ll try again with your recipe!

  10. @mariannem and @Amanda
    Growing up we always used bobby pins which eliminate the need to get the paper clip to the right shape and the wire seems to be a little smaller resulting in even less mangling.
    Now I have to call my mother to see if she has some cherries in the freezer that I can steal the next time I go home, she would freeze most of the take from the trees each yeah with enough sugar for a pie or just for eating.

  11. Ok, that’s just brilliant. I love how it looks like a pop tart for GIANTS! And I don’t even like pop tarts. Luckily I just bought a cherry pitter. Unluckily, it’s boxed up and ready for moving. Next week, this baby is mine :)

  12. omigosh it looks like heaven! please please deb, won’t you tell me where you found sour cherries?! yes i live in nyc, too, and i haven’t found any yet!

    1. Stef — Union Square Greenmarket. Two baskets on Monday, one on Wednesday, different stands. Many had them. They were all a little soft (sour cherries usually are the second you pick them) but they taste great.

      Joy — I put tips in the recipe where the rolling instructions are, and I linked to a post I’ve written solely about rolling out pie dough.

      Cherry pitter questions — Yes, there are lot of great hacks out there (I especially love this one) for getting them out. I hemmed and hawed over buying mine last year, because I loathe single-use items and my tiny kitchen is no place for things that do so little. And then I made my first pie and pitting them took just a couple minutes and the cherries looked so pretty and intact, I decided it had paid for itself. This is the one I ended up with and love, for reference.

      Baking pan questions — I used a version of this 10×15″ sheet for the pie, and frankly everything I bake in my oven. Because I have this 3/4-size NYC apartment oven, regular baking sheets don’t fit, so these get a lot of wear. I generally look for the heaviest sheet so it will warp the least, or at least the slowest. This brand is pretty sturdy, better than the Wiltons at least.

  13. any tips on rolling out the crust to that size? i’ve actually made this recipe a bunch of times (perfect for the 4th of july) and always struggle with rolling it out. i’ve actually started increasing the amount of dough to make it easier. is the amount of dough you used larger than in the original martha recipe?

  14. Oh man. Just picked up some sour cherries fresh from the orchard in Door County, WI on a trip earlier this week. I used 2/3 of them last night in a cherry cobbler, and the other 1/3 are set to go into your buttermilk cake recipe for a get-together tonight. Now I wish I’d bought more! (Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t really care for fruity desserts. I KNOW! I can’t imagine why I married him, either. I guess it’s because he’s cute and sweet and loving and smart and…oh. Well, I guess the fruit dessert aversion doesn’t really matter…right?)

  15. You always seem to convince me to have people over Sunday afternoon with your Friday posts. It’s a good thing too because the bathroom would never get cleaned if I didn’t have people over.

  16. My best friend’s family makes a recipe similar to this, but with apples. For a long time I labored under the impression that it was called “Sheep Pie”. I was sort of sad to find out it’s really Sheet Pie. :) They had a good laugh about it though!

  17. This looks incredible! It does look like a home-made Toaster Strudel!

    Thanks for being so inspired in your third trimester…you are spoiling us, Deb! :-)

  18. oh yes ma’am! I’m usually dissatisfied as well by too much filling & not enough crust in my pie, and this looks way easier than hand-pies which are usually my time-consuming solution.

    my mom is a vinegar-loving, sour-things-relishing Indian. she used to climb the lime & lemon trees in the neighboring orchard to steal her favorite treats. a strange, endearing quirk.

  19. I do like the idea of that slab pie. You would get so many more servings out of it.

    I managed to get my hands on some of the fresh dark sour cherries, which is no small feat in the SF Bay area as usually only sweet cherries are to be had fresh. I have made 2 cherry pies in the past week! First..I did a twist on recipes from the French about pits left in cherries adding a slight almond flavor and using Kirsch as a flavoring for them that I’ve see in so many Clafoutis recipes. So..I pitted the cherries into a bowl adding about 2 tbsp of Kirsch to the pits so I could getr the juice that clings and hoping the almond flavoring to bleed out as well. I also used ground minute tapioca and a little cornstarch as the thickener, then let that Kirsched-up juice soak with the cherries while it softened the tapioca. Oh, baby! The flavor was outstanding!

  20. My mom has always made these with apples in the fall. You’ve given me another reason to get up early and hunt for sour cherries at the market! Thanks! :)

  21. I’ve been toying with the idea of a Rhubarb Slab Pie for an upcoming get together (speaking of delicious sour things). This may have sealed the deal.

  22. Aaaarrrggh! My kingdom for fresh sour cherries!! :-( You can’t even get them frozen, meaning those of us roasting in the South are left out. Jarred Morellos cost a fortune (and I’ve never even seen them) which leaves us canned in heavy syrup. *sigh.

  23. Great timing especially since cherries are still super-on-sale in the city. I cannot resist the urge to buy them and now I have a recipe so I can stop eating them raw. It was loosing it’s appeal. I’ve always wished for Poptarts or even better, Pilsbury toaster strudels, sans the artificial flavor taste. Thanks!

    1. Grace — I am biased, but I am certain it is worth it. Using my recipe/technique, it takes me no more than 10 minutes, and it gets faster every time. Give it a try!

  24. Now this looks good and something I want to try. I’m going to try my local market for the cherries but if I have no luck I will think of something else to substitute but I like this idea and am looking forward to making it.

  25. Yum! I’ve been making her berry slab pie for a few years but that recipes is sans sugar glaze. The glaze is quite an appealing addition. We cut it into a dozen large squares and the ice cream is easy to distribute evenly across a slab :-)

  26. Your slab pie looks so good. I remember someone in the family pie bakers lighty glazing (really thin brushed like layer) the tops of pie crust with the lemon/powdered sugar glaze on her fried or regular fruit pies. This looks better than a fried pie. Hubby was wanting cobbler this weekend but maybe not. Thank you for all the great ideas.

  27. i am supposed to make this for my book club on tuesday! :) i’ve been sighing over cherry desserts for weeks now, but have just unpacked – can’t wait to give it a whirl!

  28. You are my idol! I would love to possess your talent (okay, and your countertops) I’m a true blue fan! Sincerely!

  29. Wow! I was about to make a basic pie. Not any more . .

    Could you please clarify the 1 1/2 basic pie dough? Is that enough for 1 two crust pie + one bottom crust or 1/2 that amount?

    Thanks
    Nancy

  30. my family has been making an apple version of this for decades! soooo tasty, and never any leftovers when brought to potlucks and picnics…you can brush the top with a soft-peak beaten egg white (no water)–most of it will break down, but some will stay fluffy and become slightly crispy when baked. top with glaze as directed above. (i prefer the non-beaten eggwhite, but my mom swears by the beaten and is horrified that i would even consider making applebars any other way)

  31. How cool are you? I love this! My brain is on overload now…I made my first pie last night using your crust. I was amazed at how quickly the process went! I saw flakes, and the potential for more success from such a friendly recipe–i made some mistakes and saw where i would correct them next time. I am no longer intimidated by pies! THANK YOU DEB!

  32. So funny you post about cherries today.

    I spent the better part of last night pitting 2 bags of cherries to freeze because I didn’t want to have to throw them away in a week since I bought 3 bags at 99 cents a lb but knew that there was no way we would consume 3 bags in a week. My fingers and fingernails were stained from the experience and several people made a comment about them, at work today, wondering exactly what I had ben into.

    I thought about telling them that I killed someone last night – just to explain the maroon stains – but instead just told them I had pitted cherries. I think the looks I got from saying cherries were worse than the ones I would’ve gotten saying I had killed someone :)

  33. This is brilliant! I have used a 9×13 in. pan for a deep dish pie, but I’ve not thought about this giant pop tart…I’ve got blackberries and blueberries in the freezer, so I’m going to try this. Thanks!

  34. There is an apple slab pie in Cook’s Country mag that is sooooooooo good … but I think a cherry one would top it by a mile. Must try!!

  35. I wish I had more cherries now. Actually, I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have any. I don’t need to make another pastry. Oh, this looks so freaking good!!! Bookmarked!

  36. oh man, i’m really wishing i hadn’t made all that sour cherry jam right now. i did however take your peach hand pie recipe and use some sour cherries for that (with almond extract… mmm). i love the pastry for the hand pie recipe. so good.

  37. Sounds deeeelish!! I was wondering would I be able to substitute with peaches or nectarines and get away with it? I’m guessing I’ll have to reduce the amount of sugar accordingly. But just wanted your expert opinion? :D

  38. YUM. My mum used to bake something a lot like this, but with a raisin filling, almost butter-tarty, if you know what I mean. The sour cherry filling looks sublime, too, but I am wondering if we can get sour cherries here…

  39. Beautiful food and photography combination! I love the rich colors of the cherries and how it makes me want to try it out later-did I mention I happen to have a big bag of cherries in the fridge? thanks!

  40. Bigger, better, sourer cherry pies. Looks and sounds wonderful! When we do pies we also put less sugar in them. Sweetening cherries beyond their recognition doesn’t make sense to me.

  41. I bought cherries this week-end at Cherry Ridge Farm in Hudson. It was their famous sour black cherry pick your own week-end. I arrived on the following Monday and every cherry had been hoarded away by savvy patrons. Thankfully, they have a stash of red sour cherries frozen for such latecomers. Photos of pies always call to me, and as I am accustomed to, your pics always push me over the top! Cherry pie is second only to raspberry on my plate… Now, how grand would it be to have a SLAB instead of a slice of pie? First a sliver, then a slice, then a SLAB, then a slob. My mantra after seeing this post ;)

  42. Brings back memories of pick-your-own in Traverse City. We would stake ownership to an entire tree and pick the thing clean. Then we would go back to my grandmother’s and spend the day pitting and freezing — using milk cartons my grandmother must have saved for months.

    I tried to get co-workers here in Colorado to understand the sublime difference between Michigan Montmorency sours and the northwestern sweet ones they were munching like candy and they just didn’t get it. Glad to find some co-conspiritors on sour cherries.

  43. Pie in the Sky did a post about making ‘slab pies’ recently for a wedding. I had never heard of such a thing. Now I’m going to have to try this with your recipe!

  44. I am sure you are plotting a blueberry slab pie…do it, it is fantastic! I have been alternating between bringing that and your blueberry crumb bars to the last few parties I have been to and people go nuts over both! Thanks for the great recipes.

  45. We are awash in cherries and blueberries here in Upstate NY Finger lakes country- glad to have another recipe to add to the parade of fruity desserts!

  46. I agree with comment #1 – Why did I never think of this?!? This looks delicious. Perfect for a BBQ or a picnic.

  47. I can’t believe I haven’t done one thing with cherries this season yet, but you keep giving me great reasons to start. Anything that looks like a giant pop-tart/toaster strudel just begs to be made!

  48. I made this yesterday, but since i couldn’t find the right cherries I used rhubarb and strawberries. It was tasty, but I think that fruit combo produced too much juice and affected the crust (the fact that I got so excited i took it out too early might have had something to do with it too!)

  49. I’m so glad to hear there are fresh sour cherries in NY Finger Lakes area. I used to get them in Door County, WI. where you may still be able to find them frozen in large plastic tubs and keep them in your cooler until you get home. I found a way around bad pie dough by making it in the food processor. Same ingredients and same proportions but you don’t handle it. If you have warm hands, handle pie
    dough as little as possible. Pulse the ingredients in the processor just until
    it comes together and the flour has been absorbed by the butter. Add only enough water to makes this happen and if it’s a warm day, use ice water. Then scrape the dough gently from the processor onto wax paper. Divide the dough into halves, one for the top crust and one for the bottom. At this point you can roll out the dough into flat portions, place them on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for 20 min. When you have made the filling, remove the frozen dough, allow to soften enough to just handle and line your pie pan.

  50. Deb,
    Never have I ever “wanted” to make my own pie. Until today. Not only does that look so easy, but I went through and read all of Pie Making 102 and 103! Now the fact that I don’t have a food processor doesn’t matter. What I need are a rolling pin and pastry cutter.

    But, anyway, thank you for such easy desserts, step-by-step instructions, and general inspiration. I made your Boy Bait earlier this week, along with your pickled red onions and a few other recipes and I have to say, SK recipes make for a tasty kitchen!

  51. I remember the ladies making these years & years ago for Grange suppers…it was a great way to feed a whole lot of people without a whole lot of fuss. Apple was a favorite back then (and you want to chop, rather than slice, the apples for that, since they cook a whole lot better in this format that way). Hope you’re feeling well, Deb, in these last weeks of pregnancy.

  52. From a person who eats pies pretty much only for the crust (ok, *some* filling is good), this is heaven. WHY didn’t I think of this before?

  53. I’m picturing a blueberry slab pie with a lemon sugar glaze drizzle! That combo sucks me right in…but certainly the sour cherry slab pie would be a keeper as well!

    Kudos to more delish dishes than I can hope to make soon!

  54. I do slab pies all the time for weddings. It saves the bridal couple a bit on their budget over ordering pie for their guests in six serving rounds. Lately pie weddings have been the rage!

    We use paper clips for pitting. I’ve been up to my elbows in cherries all week and now it’s blueberries!

  55. I made this pie just over a month ago with Martha’s recipe. I had never heard of a slab pie before, and my husband and I foolishly picked 8.5 pounds of blueberries a week before we were moving! We had to find something to do with them, so, hence the slab pie. It was to die for, especially the crust–so flaky and good. I didn’t try the glaze, but will definitely next time. Thanks for sharing!

  56. I must say I try your recipes all the time but this time you’ve gone to far especially for a crust loving fool trying to diet! I won’t be making this one till I reach my goal or I have a lot of company coming to share! By the way I BBQ’d the hamburger buns as it was too hot to cook… Delicious!

  57. Oh yum! To make it even more “portable” you could bake it in two separate “logs” just by filling half the pastry lengthwise and folding it over onto itself. Thanks for the inspriation!

  58. This cherry slab pie might be the most tempting cherry recipe I’ve ever seen! I know no one for whom it would have just limited appeal. I just want to reach into my computer screen and grab a piece of it.

    I must try it, and soon!

    Jane

  59. You had me at giant pop tart. Looks so yummy. I craved pop tarts my whole pregnacy, I know how you feel. Thanks for the great recipes.

  60. I have always used waxed paper to roll out my pie crust(ie. put the dough between two separate sheets of waxed paper and roll/press out to the shape you want. It never has failed to help make the crust with no cracks, holes or tearing. And, I am able to get it the right shape with the right thinnest. Waiting on the blueberries to ripen to make a pie! Denise

  61. Back in the 1960’s my aunt used to make something similar but she used a 9 x13 inch cake pan. I’ve never had better pie crust since but it could have been the lard she used in the crust! Anyway, the sour cherry (from our back yard) and peach were the best. It was required baking and eating for our family gatherings in the summer time.

  62. I love your site. This reminds me of my Grandma. She used to make an apple version only she called them applecut bars.

  63. Thanks for the inspiration!! I made one today – so sour cherries in Northern Calif., so I made a summer fruit one with blueberries, raspberries, peaches and pluots. My 17 year old son had 5 slices after he got home from his soccer tournament! Ringing endorsement, if ever there was one!

  64. lihsia, I have ordered frozen cherries from Cherry Stop in Michigan and been very happy with them. They are pitted, too. Of course the shipping is almost as much as the fruit, but oh well.

  65. What a lovely idea for all of the sour cherries I’ve been seeing in our farmers markets. And I love that you don’t have to make this into a pretty little crimped pie, which is admittedly intimidating.

  66. you know, I’m still on my blueberry kick and haven’t had the chance to explore baking with any other fresh fruits this season. I do like cherries pure and from the stem, but baked cherries, cherry syrups, cherry punch or anything that isn’t organically a cherry kinda bugs me out. That and beets. But your ideas are brilliant and simple, and that’s why you’re awesome!

    luv,
    Heather

  67. I’m in Utah this week visiting family and when I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it for them…it’s in the oven as I type! Smells heavenly – thanks so much! Can’t wait to sink my teeth into it!

  68. My mom used to make something very similar to this, except it was with the sour apples from our tree in the backyard. This looks great!

  69. not only are you a great and inspiring cook, you are a great photographer. Could you tell me what kind of camera you are using, and do you set up with lights? Trying to learn to take better food pics. Thanks. I would have attached a pic but don’t think that works. Many thanks for great stuff!

  70. Thank you so much for this recipe. I made it today but with 4 peaches, 1 cup of strawberries and a lot of lemon, and it was amazing. My mom who doesn’t even like fruit (except for apples) and my sisters who don’t normally like the concept of “baked” strawberries loved it. So while the pie is wonderful, it is perhaps too perfect…the concept of a pie for crowds it is not — 4 people devoured it within an hour!

  71. I have a number of Iranian friends and they all seem to LOVE black sour cherries which they dry themselves. They are incredibly delicious.

    My husband say he knows someone with the right variety of cherry growing in his background. We will be seeing these folks in August and will try to remember to ask what it is called. This is in the Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada so they should grow in most of the US except maybe the northern prairie states which are much colder than here.

  72. This Cherry Slab Pie looks delicious! I make a similar pie, I call it Flat Apple Pie and everyone loves it. I wish hubby liked cherries, I would end up eating the whle thing if I made this. Hmmm…. :)

  73. I developed that recipe! I’m so happy to see you have resurrected it. I based it on a pie from Wisconsin called Apple Pie Slices. I changed the name since i figured all pie comes in slices, so where is the sense in that name, but I imagine a bunch of Wisconsin grandmas turned over in their graves….
    I now make slab pie with all kinds of fruit. but i almost never (actually never) use the glaze anymore. I just sprinkle it with sanding sugar before baking. Everyone says slab pie is their favorite due to the perfect ratio of fruit to crust and i have to agree. Plus you can carry it around in one hand.

  74. My husband is German and therefore IMMENSELY picky about anything sweet. When I suggested that I take some of this pie goodness over to a friend’s, however, he protested: “But honey, can’t I just eat the whole thing myself?” Holy moley! This kind of response was heretofore unknown. Yeehaw! A HIT. Thank you!!

    P.S. I NEEDED to make this the instant I saw it, so I used rhubarb from the garden with some strawberries mixed in. Nice and sour. Yum!

  75. I grew up on pie like this. My grandmother, Grandma Rosie, always made pie in a sheet pan. It was so much easier to feed the masses this way. Apple was everyone’s favorite. And the crust was always made with lard. We didn’t know that it wasn’t good for us. We just knew that it tasted so good.
    Every time we passed through the kitchen, someone had to take a sliver of pie. Because, you see, that is the beauty of this pie. You can take a small sliver and not ruin the shape of the pie… or get caught easily.
    I love these pies…they are great to serve to a crowd with ease. And they work well with all kinds of fruit. Thanks Grandma.

  76. That pie is a thing of beauty. I only have two people in my house so I think I would have to go with an 8″ x 8″ pan. But… wow, I want a slab pie!! It sure looks good!

  77. Deb, my parents had a grape arbor in Texas, and learned to make “green grape pie” to get the grapes before the birds did; the birds would eat ALL the grapes as fast as they turned purple. I wish I knew how to find green grapes, or when the season is, but basically, it looks like an “English pea” pie, and tastes like a very tart cherry pie. Maybe you’ll find a clue to this one, and it will extend your tart pie season. Strange-looking perhaps, but I STILL remember the tart, fresh flavor from childhood.

  78. I made this lovely, inconceivably easy/delicious pie this morning. I just so happened to have about 4 cups of sweet cherry compote screaming to be used every time I opened the fridge. It was kismet. I may have to make this again tomorrow. Sigh. I pit cherries by stabbing them with a spikey pastry bag tip and a swift right left and withdraw. Works like a charm. How about something yummy with green gage plums and apricots??

  79. Judging by the 130 comments left here already, I am not the only one salivating all over my keyboard. But I can’t find sour cherries anywhere! I’ll try harder. My Grandma used to make what she called “apple dessert,” which was an apple pie in a 9 x 13–no cinnamon, just vanilla, lots of butter, and an icing on top like this. YUM.

  80. hey deb – can you use sweet cherries for this? often i find summer recipes featuring sour cherries but always wonder if sweet cherries can be easily substituted. any suggestions would be appreciated!

  81. Hi I was just wondering if i could use only strawberries? or strawberries with blueberries? Unfortunately, that’s all we have at the moment!

  82. Hi! I’ve looked high and low for sour cherries; they just aren’t to be found in southern IN. We are currently knee deep in peaches though. Would I still use 6 cups of fruit and 1/4 cup of cornstarch if I made a peach pie instead? I have had a serious craving for something buttery and flaky lately.

  83. Wow! This was a great creation! I made it for a dinner party today. I used regular cherries and less sugar and it came out wonderfully! I made the crust recommended and it was beautiful and flakey. I agree that making the crust by hand (no food processor) is the way to go. I have made crusts for years with the food processor, but I don’t think they were ever as flakey as when I do it by hand. And really, after a little practice, it’s not any harder to do it by hand and definitely easier clean up!
    I plan on making this “slab” pie creation many times using whatever fruit is available. It was much easier to slice and serve to a large group than a regular pie and everyone loved it. Thank you so much for showing this to me.

  84. Wow! I can’t believe I never thought, or even heard of this!! Unfortunately, not many fruits are in season here in India. I’m going to try this with whatever fruits I get my hand on. Will the recipe be the same for all, other than the amounts of sugar ofcourse!

  85. I saw that Karen (early in the comments) mentioned Danish apple bars. I would lay dollars to donuts that what this actually is, is a version of Danish “kringle.” I grew up in Racine Wisconsin, and we are the single largest producer of Danish kringle outside of Denmark. It is so popular there that I never had a coffee cake until I moved away for college, because kringle had so thoroughly dominated the niche.

    Cherry is a delicious version of kringle, but pecan is a big favorite as well. If you are interested, O&H Danish Kringle will ship them to anywhere in the US. I know this because I usually wind up carrying a few on the plane whenever we see my in-laws in North Carolina, but I always think that shipping might be more effective.

    The crust may be a tad different, and kringle are usually shaped in an oval, but apart from that, you have all the details!

  86. Do you know what kind of sour cherries these are? My mother saw your photo of sour cherries and remembers them from the farm she grew up on. My father makes sour cherry wine and the sour cherries they recently picked were light in color, not the dark scarlet that yours are.

    1. Alison — I am not sure, as they were not labeled. The lack of light in my kitchen might make them seem darker; then again, I remember the ones from my parents tree being a bit brighter, too. I’ll say this: They were much less sour than I remember them. But it also might be because I’m a grown-up now (in theory) with more tolerance of things that are not super-sweet!

      Everyone with fruit replacement questions — This pie is roughly 100% of a regular pie filling with 150% percent of the crust. Thus, if you’re looking to use something besides sour cherries, you can use 6 cups of any other fruit. Adjust the sugar accordingly — you’ll probably want less sugar with peaches or berries than you would with very sour cherries, or the same amount, if you like your pies on the sweeter side. (Remember, I kept this one very lightly sweetened.) Adjust the cornstarch accordingly too — peaches and berries usually let off more liquid than apples.

      One other route you can take is to use the filling part of your favorite pie recipe, as most standard fruit pies contain 6 cups of berries or chopped fruit. This way you’ll already know what spices, if any, you want to add and that the amount of sweetener and/or cornstarch/thickener is already spot-on.

      [I’m adding these notes to the recipe, for future reference.]

  87. I am sending this recipe to my mother in NH who has spent the last week or so processing the bounty of a very fruitful sour cherry tree. Whenever I call, I hear about all the variations of pie, crumb cake, streudel, jam, syrup and just plain frozen cherries that I can only enjoy when I come home from NYC to visit (she cruelly says she won’t FedEx me any pie). Now, they’re dealing with their raspberry crop and soon the plum trees will be ready, too. They also planted another sour cherry tree a couple of years ago that isn’t bearing, yet, and I have no idea what they’ll do with all the fruit once that one matures. I guess I’ll be getting a variety of jams for Christmas!

  88. I know this isn’t about slab pie, but I just wanted to let you know I made the whole lemon tart last night. I intended to bring it to work today to share, but after one bite, I knew my husband and I were going to polish it off ourselves :) Oh well, it’s the thought, right? Thank you for a wonderfully easy and delicious recipe.

  89. Long time listener, first time caller. I have been eating slab pie as long as I can remember. My dad used to make what we call ‘Apple Slices’–although slab pie is much more self-explanatory. He would even drizzle a vanilla glaze over the top of the giant apple pie. The filling would be simple apples coated in cinnamon and sugar topped with many pats of butter. I adopted your all-butter pie crust recipe for my version. (He still makes his with Crisco, as per my grandmother’s instruction.) I love love love it! I never really thought to try other fillings, because the apple is so delicious every time. We eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert… You get the idea.

  90. I made this yesterday with blueberries. It was amazing!! I had some for dessert last night, breakfast this morning, and some with lunch. Yummy!!

  91. This looks amazing, and I am determined to make it for my hubby’s birthday. But I don’t need one this ginormous. I was wondering if you knew how you would scale it down for just ONE of the all butter dough?

  92. Deb, there’s no bun in this oven – at least for now, and I hope there won’t be any in the next 5 years – but I’m craving this pie anyway. Love cherries, love pastry… Love the whole package. ;D

  93. No sour cherries here – in fact, I don’t think I have ever had them! :-( But I have 2 1/2 pounds of sweet cherries in my refridgerator and a craving for something sweet, so I think I’ll be making this tonight or tomorrow. My co-workers will be thanking you too!

  94. Hi Deb – I love your site and have been following you for quite some time. I am somewhat of a novice baker (have baked toll house for years, am finally expanding my repertoire) and find that it is always so helpful when you add a line about how long your creations will last – either at room temperature or chilled or whatever. I would love to make this for a family reunion that is approaching, but am unsure of its shelf-life. Do you have any guidelines for these types of things?

  95. Looks delicious! It’s funny, I’ve had this recipe bookmarked in the MS baking book for years and just started looking it over again yesterday, thinking of the peaches at the farmers market this week. Now I simply MUST follow through, especially with that pop tart analogy!

  96. Okay I am slightly stressed.

    I have peeled my peaches. I have made the crust….but the crust is well….off.

    I followed your ingredients to the letter. Iprobably keep my butter/flour cooler than most people would.

    My dough seems well, a bit elastic. And I have it in the freezer. Any suggestions for stretchy dough? It reminds me more of biscuit dough than pie dough.

  97. in my last trimester (last november) i baked more than i ever have in my life. from scratch cinnamon rolls, cookies, cakes, cobblers, tarts… i loved it all. congrats on your soon-to-be arrival and a great recipe. :)

  98. Well it tastes great, but all butter crusts never turn out for me. It is tasty as all heck, but it is tough and flaky at the same time. I’ll stick with the shortening/butter crusts. I am very sucsessful with those.

  99. I made it—we loved it. When my daughter and husband heard blah, blah, blah, cherry pop-tart blah, blah, blah—they were ALL ABOUT IT~I did, however, use Pillsbury pie crusts (horrors—will this be marked as spam now?). It was 5:30, I was at the grocery store and thought of it and HAD TO HAVE IT—but I didn’t want to deal with the crust—-I must say, it was still flaky and yummy—thanks so much for a new addition to our breakfast….uh, dinner table!!!

    1. Kathleen — I actually think that those Pillsbury unroll-and-bake crusts do a surprisingly good job — quite flaky for store-bought. I think it’s the lard. ;)

      Jen — That’s really about how you like to eat your pie. I have a strange aversion to warm desserts, but this one wasn’t bad not long after being taken out of the oven.

      Mariah — My dough only gets on the elastic-y side when I end up re-rolling the scraps, adding flour as the butter bits melt. I guess it makes the glutens relax too much. Not sure if this is what happened to you, just wanted to throw that out there.

      Courtney — I don’t usually add them because I think pies tastes best on day one or two. You can probably keep it up to a week or more in the fridge, but the crust will get less flaky and light. In general, I keep fruit pies at room temperature, three days or less, but if your kitchen is especially hot or sunny, even this could be too long.

  100. I really like the look of that, plus how cool would it be to offer people a slab of pie? I mean a slice or a piece sounds so minuscule, for sure a slab pie would be cut into slabs. I am gonna keep this pie in mind for my next fruit filled dessert attempts.

  101. I’m in an area where Blueberries are abundant…yummm…Slab Blueberry Pie…or Georgia Peaches.

    Hope you are feeling well and enjoying the summer.

  102. this is a great idea, especially at holiday time when you can’t make the cherry pie big enough! I have an aversion to the word “sour”. I much prefer the word “tart”. I used to work at a roadside Farmers Market and we couldn’t call our cherry jam -sour- it just wouldn’t sell…so we started using the word -tart-. Much better results when we changed!

  103. I have cherries and champagne grapes and I was wondering how they would be together in this recipe. I have searched on the internet and cannot find a single recipe with the two combined. What do you think?

  104. YUM!!!! They were sampling sour cherries at Trader Joe’s last night. Now I wish I’d gotten some!
    I love this sentence: “I was fixing to make it.” I say “Fixing to” all the time and my boyfriend makes fun of me. Made me smile to see someone else uses the expression. (I’m from South Carolina and it’s common there.)

  105. Deb,

    I HAD to make this pastry (Slab Pie doesn’t do it justice!) last night. I bake alot of pies and really liked my all butter pie crust. I read through your pie tutorial and did not work the butter as much, OMG! I plan to make several of these and freeze them for my daughters during the schoolyear. I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!

  106. Just made this today! I love it, so does my toddler! So much easier for me to make that a regular round pie. I used Rainier cherries, & way, way less sugar. I also only had about 4 cups cherries, so I used a smaller baking pan (13 x 9 sheet). Thanks so much!

  107. Well, I just would love to have a slab of that cherry pie! A friend of ours had a hundred year old cherry tree and we would love just picking cherries off it. Then they built their pool and it disturbed the roots and now it is dying. Sad thing.

  108. I don’t know how you do it, but you alays post a recipe exactly at the time I need one! Tomorrow is my birthday and I decided I wanted a bluberry pie instead of a cake this year. Now I’m going to have bluberry slab pie! Happy Birthday to me!!

  109. Amazing looking as always, thank you.

    SK – your photography and images are always so wonderful! Please tell me that your kitchen sometimes looks like mine?…flour covering every surface, including me and the dog. Piles of dishes in the sink, etc.

  110. Just a side note. Costco sells a Martha Steward slab pie. Not sour cherry, I think it was strawberry / rhubarb.

  111. I just wanted to say hi. I’ve always seen Smitten Kitchen here and there, and enjoyed the posts I’ve read. Recently I’ve actually devoted some time to going through all of the posts, though, and I love it more and more with every page! I’m back somewhere in 2007 right now :) This is one of my favorite food blogs for your great voice, fantastic photography, and exciting recipes that are just the sort I’d love to try. Thank you for it!

    I’m planning on working on a vanilla cupcake recipe this weekend (still trying to find PERFECTION) and thought I’d put in some of the mango curd you used for the wedding cake, and top with a buttercream rose like on your pumpkin cupcakes. So many great ideas :)

  112. Not sure if my comment got through. Anyways, here it is:

    It sounds like a really good idea. And I love the photos.
    Will give this a try while I can still find sour cherries – maybe over the weekend.
    Thanks!!

  113. I cannot wait to make those! They DO look like giant Pop Tarts! Yum. You have truly inspired me. Sometimes I like the look of rustic baking better! Great job, and great blog! I love it!!!

  114. We had this kind of pie all the time growing up with whatever fruit was around– mostly apples, rhubarb, plums, cherries, sour or otherwise, and apricots. It is a lot like a Mennonite pie called platz or sometimes pie by the acre. Slab pie works though. Yummy!

  115. Deb – I love your site and I’ve been a ” lurker” for along time. I love to look at the recipes and the photos but honestly have yet to try anything. This is my first post – I just had to let you know that this is the one that got me. I will be baking this soon – I have a freezer full of of blueberries that I picked last week. No longer do I have to wonder what to do with them! Thanks so much for the time and effort you put into sharing you love of food with the rest of us! Now if you could just find a way to make it all calorie free :)

  116. Hi- so excited to try this dish! It’s cooling as I write this, but, while making it, I was left with a few questions… What type of surface is the best (in your opinion) to roll out dough- I have a tile counter top so I usually use some type of cutting board on top to roll out the dough- BUT, this dish has such a large piece of dough needed that it was larger than my biggest cutting board. So, if say my birthday was coming up… what would be a good surface to ask for as a gift? Also, do you think that this is fine in presentation -straight from the dish? Mine certainately does NOT look as pretty as yours, so with that AND a regular baking pan, the presentation isn’t so great. What do you suggest?

    1. Kristen — I have never tried (or seen) this product but if you give it a go, let others know how it worked out for you.

      Jen K — I don’t exactly have a preferred rolling surface as I just use whatever counter is in front of me. But tiles would make it harder because they’re not smooth. You might just want to get a rolling mat such as this that you can use whenever you roll out doughs. They’re great because you can see measurements and sizes, too.

  117. Oh, this sounds awesome!! Anything that looks like a giant poptart (homemade, of course) is good with me. I’ve never heard of a slab pie, but now I want to make one.

  118. I halved this recipe and made it with a jar of sour cherries and a handful of fresh berries to round the fruit up to 3 cups. Baked it in a rectangular tart tin and it looked so darn purty! My only (common sense to anyone but me) caveat is to hold off drizzling on the glaze until it is cool – mine was a bit too warm and the fetching pattern turned into an all over glaze). I think it may have tasted even better the next day.
    Also, your crust recipe is great – turned out just fine in my KA mixer (it’s just not good if my hands get in there).

  119. Looks delicious… can’t wait to try it! The cherries in your recipe look like Balaton tart cherries. They are a darker, sweeter variety of sour cherry. We call them the “sweet-tart cherry.” Baking with Balatons requires a bit less sugar than with a classic Montmorency “pie” cherry. They make wonderful sour cherry soup, too.

  120. Can’t wait to try this–it looks just like a huge, rectangular kringle. . .which I grew up with as part of breakfast for every family holiday! I would love to make this for something like that soon. I have a ton of rhubarb in my freezer, and know there are a bunch of strawberries there that we picked earlier this summer. . .strawberry rhubarb slap pie. . here I come!

  121. I am soooooo making this! I JUST came back from picking another 5 pounds of sour cherries from my neighbor’s tree. This loks so incredibly good!

  122. I mixed in a bunch of the wild wineberries that are all over Westchester county right now. The sour cherries are at the Trader Joe’s in Hartsdale at the moment. I cheated and used a TJ’s pie crust, and it still came out really, really delicious. Thank you, Deb, as always!

  123. The timing of this recipe is absolutely fortuitous! I was planning to make three pies this weekend for a Sunday family gathering, but now I can make just one (blueberry, and maybe some peaches tossed in) and feed the whole crew! As much as I enjoy making pie, the prospect was daunting with a house full of relatives (including 5 children under age 6). Thank you!

  124. oh dear sweet mercy, you have pierced the arrow straight into my cherry-lovin’ heart. i AM making this. As soon i’ve recovered from the swoon i incurred by gazing upon it. By the way, congrats on all things baby, and best of luck!
    Cherries. i mean- cheers!

  125. The organic blueberry guy at my local farmer’s market sells a homemade blueberry version of this and it is to die for! I’m sure sour cherry is even better!

  126. This has got to be the easiest store-buy-and-fake-it recipe ever! I’m buying some dough from the store and a few cans of regular cherries (since they’re my favorite) and taking this to the next function I attend.

    Thanks, Deb!

  127. Deb and Kristen,

    Trader Joe’s (at least the one on Court Street in Brooklyn) is actually selling NY State grown fresh sour cherries right now.

  128. Deb, This is so so wonderful! I hope you don’t mind, but I used your photo as an inspiration of the day on my blog (and truly, you have inspired me from the very start, though I don’t always comment). All my best, Tanvi

  129. Giant Pop Tart – hehe – love it!! The perfect dessert; will be making tomorrow. LOVE your blog. Thank you for all the glorious inspiration and wonderful recipes!

    Katrina

  130. Deb, I love your site – and have been visiting and using your recipes for awhile now. I made this yesterday with frozen blackberries picked last summer (this summer’s crop isn’t quite ready) and my husband thought it was the best thing he ever ate! Thank you for all of your inspirations!!

  131. Just finished making this pie and it is almost too cute to eat….ALMOST!haha I have so many ideas connected to this recipe that my mind might just explode! I have a small addiction to sweetened dried cranberries, so I added a cup to my filling!

  132. A hint for pitting those cherries: Put them in ice water for 10 min or so before pitting. They plump up nicely and you will lose much less cherry to the pitter. This recipe looks amazing; will have to retrieve some of the many quarts I pitted from our tree this summer and make this pronto.

  133. This pie is fabulous! I made the crust and then used peaches. I used 3/4 c. sugar and the 1/4 c cornstarch. IT is delicious. I appreciate you crust tutorial. The processor was making mine too tough. This is a great recipe and the directions were perfect.

  134. how did you know that i absolutely LUST after poptarts?!! or at least the sweet memory of them, which i am sure would now be ruined by the shrinking tolerance of my “adult” tastebuds to overly sugary sweet. this looks wonderful and i am definitely making this once all my moving is done and i have my bakeware.

  135. I wish you lived closer to WI. Door County is in the middle of cherry season and the red tart cherries are to die for! I’d send you a bunch if I could!

  136. I made this for a party this weekend, with an apple pie filling recipe (from this site) as a base filling, but instead of 7 apples, I used 5 plus blueberries (maybe a cup) and a couple peaches. I kept the sugar low in the filling, and so the glaze was a nice touch.

    I also used whole wheat pastry flour for the crust, and it gave it a nutty flavor that was wonderful.

    The pie was a HUGE hit, and I must make it was sour cherries. I will be trying Trader Joe’s Morello cherries (preserved in a glass jar) for starters… maybe some reconstituted chopped dried Morello’s too… with a touch of Amaretto.

    Because my counter space was limited when making this, I pieced together the bottom crust (no one was the wiser), and did manage to roll the top fairly well to cover.

    Delicious and beautiful. Thank you Deb!

  137. I made this over the weekend and it was a huge success. Plus, having red stained fingers and nails was the perfect excuse for a Sunday manicure! Thanks for the great recipe, Deb.

  138. Thanks for the cold advice on the pie crust. It made all the difference here in hot Florida. I substituted fresh Georgia peaches and half of my slab pie was gone before I could get it to the church pot luck.

  139. I picked a whole bunch of sour cherries off of my mom and dad’s tree last night and made this today. My husband called it “luscious” and I have already eaten two pieces. Thank you for an amazing recipe!

  140. That pie crust is the EASIEST I have ever tried. It rolled out beautifully. The slab pie is in its final minutes of baking and looks so beautiful! I cant wait to try it! I love your recipes and my coworkers love the results! Delicious! Keep on cooking and I’ll keep being smitten with your kitchen.

  141. Okay, having tried the pie, which came out so pretty and rustic, I must say that pie crust is amazing! I had to opt for canned sour cherries packed in water, but I must say it worked just great! Thanks again!

  142. This looks wonderful. We just returned from our week in Northern Michigan where, unfortunately, they had not started harvesting the “tarts” due to the cool summer. Do you think high-quality and well-drained canned tarts will do?

  143. Jen, the baker in our family just made your cherry slab pie. Holy guacamole is this a good one. Post already up on my blog (linked). 10-buh-zillion thank yous for posting this.

  144. Deb, this is an excellent recipe.

    To make it in a standard half-size sheet pan (about 12 by 15 inches), two batches of your pie dough is perfect, along with 4 pounds of fruit (200 cherries). Leaving the other filling ingredients the same worked fine.

    Transferring the rolled out dough from board to pan is the hardest part. Using parchment paper or a Silpat mat fitted to the bottom of the pan makes the process pretty easy. For the bottom crust, roll it out on top of the mat/parchment, rolling the dough 1 inch beyond all four edges. Use a pastry scraper to lift up the near edge of the dough, and slide the pan all the way under the dough so it (along with the mat or parchment) slips right into place. For the top crust (once the filling is in the tart), roll it out on another mat or piece of parchment, extending about 1/2 inch beyond the edges. Put the rolling pin in the center, running lengthwise, and using the mat/parchment to assist, fold the dough over the pin, then lift the pin to transfer the dough onto the tart. Peel away the mat/parchment, seal the edges, and it’s ready to dock with a fork.

    1. (Realize this might have been helpful to note in the recipe.) I usually just gently fold my rolled-out dough into quarters, lift it, and unfold it in the pan. Try it next time — it’s pretty drama-free.

  145. This is so wonderful looking!!! Everyone,loves my “Blueberry,and other fruit Braids”,but I can see this would beat it hands down!! I did see someone,mention,the Canadian book,”Company’s Coming”.I have been looking for ever since I saw it somewhere else,but there are so many “Company’s Coming”,out there in the World.I would like to know,the author,or something to run it down!! Hey,”Ladies”,Love your ideas,hard work,and wonderful recipes!! Thanks!!

  146. Delicious!! I picked my sour cherries today. I have a variety called Carmine Jewel. They are a deep dark red sour cherry. I made this amazing pie today. I added 11/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract and left out the lemon juice. The almond really brings out the cherry flavor and the deep burgundy red color is stunning.

  147. Very Super!! Like I said it would be good,so I made it,with peaches today.Got it out of oven,about 2:45 pm,as of 6:00 pm,its all gone,except 4 pieces!! I did put a bed of Cream Cheese(1 cup),little sugar to taste,1 teaspoon of vanilla ,below peaches.Family and friends went wild!!! Thanks Again!!

  148. I made this yesterday and it was great. This is my first ever pie attempt, and it was so nice! I changed it up with apples (4c) and blueberries(2c) (my brother hates cherries, weirdo). I had a hard time stopping the crust from cracking while I was rolling it out though–I’m going to look at crust 102 but is there a quick solution or ready answer to this?

  149. Long time reader, first time commenter. I just had to tell you what a big hit this is with my visiting relatives. Made it with sweet cherries and just 1/2 c sugar, with the glaze as written. The dough was the best I have ever made, and I have been making pies for many years. This doubled as dessert last night and breakfast this morning! Thanks for all your good work.

  150. Made this today with a bumper crop of blackberries today, in a half sheet pan since I don’t have a 10×15. So I used two times Deb’s double-crust recipe, and then about 10 cups of blackberries (they aren’t as dense as cherries and I thought they’d cook down more….8 cups would have been enough, though). I loosely followed a well-rated blackberry pie recipe from Allrecipes for the filling: 10 cups fruit, 1.5 cups sugar, 3/4 cup flour, big pinch salt, and 1/2 t almond extract. I glazed, adding a touch of almond extract to the glaze, then sprinkled with toasted almonds.

    Yum. I love this pastry. The filling has great body, doesn’t ooze, but isn’t gelatinous or floury-tasting. I like the almonds, which were inspired by all of the comments about Danish Kringle. And I love the ability to shower the neighborhood with pie. I cut the half sheet into 30 pieces and have been foisting them off on pieless families everywhere. Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven. Thank you so much for the introduction to the slab pie. There will most definitely be more.

  151. I was so inspired to make a slab pie that I jumped right in with 2 lbs of marionberries I had in the freezer, plus a few blueberries tossed in to get a generous six cups. Mixed in some sugar and then went to grab the corstarch – ALL OUT! I found an expired box of tapioca which I had bought sometime before Cooks Illustrated told me that cornstarch tastes better in fruit pies. With my fruit already macerating, I dumped in some tapioca and hoped for the best. THEN I went to roll out my dough to the 18×12 specifications – carefully transferred to the pain, only to discover that my pan was larger than I had thought, so the crust definitely was not hanging over the edge. To make a long story short, I just decided to wing it. I carefully put my tapioca-thickened berry filling in the middle of the crust, laid the second rectangle on top and pinched the edges together. It just baked in the middle of the pan which seemed to work out fine. My filling leaked out a little but ultimately thickened up nicely and tasted fine. Cornstarch probably would have been better but unless you are tasting them side by side as CI does, who is really going to know? My husband loved the giant pop tart, as did my 2-1/2-year-old. Keeping my eyes peeled for some sour cherries to try that version! Thanks for this website, Deb. Amazing stuff that I am always inspired to try.

  152. This pie is freaking fabulous — people are still talking about the one I made over a week ago….I’ve suddenly become very popular!!
    The slab pie is a gorgeous grown up Pop Tart — mine turned out perfect, baking time was right on the money and everyone thought that a professional had made it. My boyfriend loved so much in exchange for ordering a stockpile of frozen cherries so I could make the pie year round and I got a Sur La Table shopping spree (hello cherry pitter…here I come…but the Martha Stewart paper clip method was suprisingly efficient at pitting the cherries quickly and intact.)
    Your recipes are always sensational Deb — I’m new to the comments but have cooked my way thru Smitten Kitchen…this one take the cake!
    xoxoxox

  153. This recipe is one of my husband’s family’s favorites. To contain any juices, they sprinkle the bottom crust with a couple of handfuls of oatmeal before pouring on the fruit. Once cooked, you never know the oatmeal is there, and the juice doesn’t pour out or get gloppy with too much cornstarch.

  154. I have been saving this idea for a end of summer barbeque/pool party while visiting relatives in the midwest. I swapped the sour cherries for fresh peaches and it turned out wonderful.
    I tossed 6 medium peaches thinly sliced (my grandmother and I decided sliced would look prettier in the baked version then chopped) with 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.
    Great great recipe, I only wish I would have got pictures, it was gone before I could get to my camera.

  155. i was so excited when my sister forwarded me this website and i read this article, and i was hooked. slab pie inspired me to cook again when i had the every day dinner repeat blahs. this recipe is divine, and it is a new crowd favorite- my parents each had 3 slices, i had 4 in one afternoon (my husband only had 2)! i think it was definitely worth all the work. i enjoyed the all butter crust – my dad said it must be filo dough. (guess i fooled him) it was so flaky and delicious. i’ve never made all butter crust before,and it will definitely stay in the recipe book. my dad did have one final comment: next time, try apple!

  156. I am *not* a person who makes pastry doughs frequently, but I was very inspired to follow this entire recipe exactly as written. After things turned into an amazing mess rolling the bottom crust, I thought all hope was lost and that I had wasted a lot of man-hours pitting (sweet) cherries by hand, but omigoodness! This dessert was amazing! Even though the filling leaked through somewhere, I left it at room temp in the parchment-lined pan, and it set up so there was no mess at all when it came time to cut slices. A HUGE hit!! Thanks!

  157. My mom has been making this since I was little! However, ours is a twist with strawberry-rhubarb filling. Half strawberries, half rhubarb with strawberry jello and sugar to taste the filling. It seems like rolling out the crust is always the toughest part but rewardingin the end :)

  158. It was a coincidence that about the time I saw your cherry slab pie recipe I was introduced to a tree in a friends yard that produced sour cherries. She offered up her cherries to anyone who would pick them before the birds did. I made a cherry pie instead of a slab and I used your 101 pie crust. My first pie crust and it was really, really good. I didn’t have vodka so I just used water. One day I will try it with vodka. Thanks for a great recipe.

  159. I didn’t know this had a name! My mother has made apple pie in a jelly roll pan for my dad’s birthday for as long as I can remember. He wakes up the morning of his birthday (today, actually), cuts a 6×6 inch block out of the middle, and hides it in the house so he doesn’t have to share. I’ll have to call them tonight and let them know this brilliance has a name!

  160. I baked a quadruple berry slab pie for Thanksgiving – it was supposed to be triple-berry (made with three bags of frozen mixed blueberries/raspberries/blackberries) but once I poured the filling into the crust it looked kind of skimpy, so I ended up adding cranberries that I had leftover from another recipe, along with extra sugar and cornstarch. It turned out tasting great, looked absolutely lovely, and was a huge hit with the family! And it was nice because it was easy to transport in the cookie sheet (held up well over a three hour drive).

  161. I’m considering making this for a friend who does not like cooked fruits. Would it work with cinnamon inside? I could just make her your cinnamon rolls but its for a dessert so I’m thinking pie would make more sense.

  162. Made this over this weekend with cherries I’d canned last summer. Positively perfect in every way! We had leftovers from the dinner party so were faced with one of life’s most pressing questions: is leftover pie a breakfast food?

  163. DELICIOUS!!! This pie was soooo good. i would just leave out the sugar frosting, and leave it simple. It was so good that it didn’t need that extra sugar.
    Thanks for this recipe!

  164. Ha ha! I didn’t know this had a name — my mother used to make pie in her broiler pan at least once a week when my brother was a teenager — if she wanted enough pie left for our family of 6 to each have a slice by dinnertime, she had to make the pie big enough that his after school sneak-a-snack didn’t wipe out dessert entirely. As a kid, I only ever saw round pies at diners and church socials, and thought they looked cute. To this day, I’m pretty sure my mom wouldn’t “waste her time” making a pie smaller than 9″ x 13″.

  165. Hey Deb! Just wanted to let you know that I made this yesterday and it turned out great! I couldn’t decide between regular cherry, or peach pie, so I did half of each. I think this pie lends itself perfectly for that sort of thing. There was a bit of overlap in the middle, and that was the first to go. Perhaps next time I’ll do more mix, and less separation. Either way, I can’t wait to make this again!

  166. Deb – just made two slab pies. One is sweet cherry and the other is strawberry rhubarb. I used my grandmother’s crust recipe (she was french and the best baker I have ever known!!) but followed your format. Let me just say that these slab pies are absolutely gorgeous! They are supposed to be for a family get together tomorrow but I doubt they will make it intact!!! Thanks for another great idea in the kitchen!

  167. If you want to experiment with an apple slab pie this fall, I’ve been going nuts trying to find something like the apple slab pie my husband said his mother made for their family in the ’60s. The biggest difference from most recipes is that he said it wasn’t a traditional pie crust, it was a sugar cookie dough, rolled extremely thin. His cousin suggested that it might have been her rugelach dough, but I tried that and he said that wasn’t it. She pricked the top and sprinkled it with sugar. The apples were tart, and the filling was somewhat runny like regular pie filling – not thickened and cooked into the dough – pieces of apple would fall out unless it was chilled. I keep trying various recipes, but he says the dough/crust is never quite right, and definitely not thin enough (I just can’t seem to get a thin enough crust that I can still peel off the countertop…)

    Love your blog! Our favorite recipe has been the Crispy Black Bean Tacos – I make them often, using broccoli slaw instead of cabbage.

  168. I am in love with your all butter pie crust…I have used it in a local pie contest and it can’t be beat. My question is this: I am intrigued by your sour cherry slab pie…thinking about making it as a traditional pie with either a lattice or covered crust…what do you think about the addition of mascarpone cheese in the filling(1 egg, 1 cup whipping cream, 4 ozs. mascarpone cheese, room temperature)? Would the flavors work together? I have done some research and it seems it has been done, but can’t find a solid recipe.

  169. I never get to things on time. But this was so inspiring I made it for Valentine’s Day with frozen sour cherries. Not the Montmorencies, which are mouth-puckering, but what we call Persian cherries locally, sort of sweet-sour. So used the lower amount of sugar…and followed slavishly your icing instructions.
    Bliss. Bliss. Bliss.

  170. I made a strawberry rhubarb version of this pie for a cookout yesterday, it was delicious! I made the filling using the strawberry rhubarb pie recipe from this site. I also made it in a 9-by-13 inch pan, which I thought worked out well because the filling was a little thicker. I only needed a 1-1/4 recipe of the pie dough for this size pan, and I rolled the dough out to a 16-by-12 inch rectangle for the bottom crust and then made a lattice with the top.

  171. Just made this for the first time after seeing the recipe a few years ago in Martha Stewart Baking. Picked the cherries in the 90 degree heat this afternoon, pitted them, and baked this. It turns out very well-easy to cut which I was worried about. Tastes like a giant cherry homemade Pop Tart!

  172. Yep..I just commented on the blue berry muffin recipe…guess what else I made with blue berries that same weekend (actually I made the muffins while I was waiting for my crust dough to get cold? SLAB PIE. I used your all butter crust recipe..It’s worth mentioning that I used to be afraid of making my own pie crust..thanks for the tutorial, it was great. So instead of sugar I used dark maple syrup, about 1/2, the blue berries were really sweet. I also used arrow root, because I didn’t have any cornstarch…it was OK..still a little runny, I also attribute this to the maple syrup. Next time I’ll use cornstarch for sure. Turned out awesome. The boyfriends parents were impressed, even his sister inlaw kept saying out good it was. This pie was a dry run for a cherry slab pie I’m making next weekend for the Boyfriends Birthday. Wish me Luck! Thanks :)

  173. This was fantastic. I made it with the Baking Illustrated pie crust recipe (includes shortening) but either way, SO delicious. I love crust, so I was thrilled with corner pieces. Even my non-fruit dessert-eating husband ate it for dessert and for breakfast. It really was like the best version of a homemade breakfast pastry and truly stayed together to be held in the hand. I used mixed berries, less sugar, and it was amazing. The group of friends for whom I made it raved.

  174. I just made an altered version of this and OMG!!! Thanks for the idea, it was just what I was looking for. I had one can of tart cherries and I had planned to make a cherry pie for my daughter on our annual “Pie Day”. However 1 can of cherries just about doesn’t make any pie…
    I used the can of cherries drained, 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of corn starch, pinch of salt and my recipe for a crisco flaky pie crust. Made into a small pie pan It’s really thin, and could use less sugar but my daughter likes it sweet. After baking you can eat it like a slab. So yummy. I can see why you’d want to try a whole slew of variations. Easy too!

  175. I made this for my future father-in-law, and used store-bought puff pastry because the rolling pin and pastry cutter has not yet been purchased from our registry. It turned out pretty well- sort of like a danish. I’m not really a fan of cooked cherries, but everyone else seemed to like it, including the fiancee, which is most important. ;)

  176. It was my husband’s birthday yesterday and he requested I make something with cherries. I had never made pastry before, and thanks to your very helpful notes, it was soooo much easier than I imagined. Before rolling, I floured the table and rolling pin quite liberally, and had no issues at all. I altered the filling and used arrowroot flour and about 8 cups of cherries instead of 6 as my pan was slightly larger than the one you recommend and 6 cups just wasn’t enough. Oh, and I accidentally put the egg wash in with the cherries, but everything turned out incredibly delicious, much to my astonishment. There will be more pie in my future thanks to you!

  177. I recommend those who are using frozen cherries to wait until they are COMPLETELY defrosted. I was too anxious and added sugar and lemon juice and cornstarch mixture thinking thye were pretty much defrosted. I got lift with alot of liquid. It was a pain in the arse to have to drain before adding to pie.

    Its in the oven now, cant wait to try it when it comes out

  178. I went to the farmer’s market on Saturday and bought 2 quarts (at least that’s the size I think they were) of sour cherries just because I had never managed to find them fresh before, and I knew I had to have them. Luckily, that was just the right amount for this recipe (actually, about a cup more, but my pan was slightly larger). I am not very experienced with pie dough, but I managed to do this and it came out great. I was concerned about whether I should use more than 3/4 cup of sugar, but it was just right – the flavor of the cherries really came through. The slab pie was absolutely delicious. The only thing people should know is that this is a big dish, so plan a party or share it with your friends – they’ll love you for it. And be sure to buy a cherry pitter before you undertake to make this, as it’s a big job to pit the cherries.

  179. When my newborn son was 8 weeks old, my beloved husband brought home organic sour cherries from the farmer’s market. He was so excited – he loves sour cherries – and your recipe had inspired him. I, however, wanted to clobber him because I felt compelled to offer to make this pie: I offered, then spent the next year in a cycle of sleep deprivation and nursing. So. Our son is now 2 years old and today at last we all three made this recipe together. We used store-bought puff-pastry instead of pie crust, using an 8″ square pan. [2.5 cups of cherries and half all other ingredients]. It was delicious, and fun, and wonderful to recognize how far we’ve come since our little guy was a newborn. Thanks for the inspiration and best wishes to your family. My little one is talking about pie in the crib as I write this….

  180. … I should note… my husband is amazing and makes dinner nearly every night. I usually handle the sweet stuff, hence my wanting to make the pie for him. I read the post and it kind-of made him sound like a jerk… he’s very much NOT. (hi, honey).

  181. I made this last night for guests and it was a huge hit! I made mine with blueberries & diced strawberries. Instead of the glaze, I did brush with heavy cream and sprinkled lightly with raw sugar. Served it with a little vanilla frozen yogurt and huge hit! Definitely a keeper.

  182. Can I just say that I am impressed with myself! Made last night for a work birthday today. Scored some sour cherries from a friend that went to Door County, WI. It turned out beautifully. I made EXACTLY as Deb instructed (3/4 cup sugar) with the exception of the lemon juice in the glaze…ran out of lemons or definitely would have used. Also lined my pan with foil as I seem to fight with parchment when it is in a rimmed pan. Just enjoyed my first slice for breakfast…FANTASTIC. I will say that I am open to other fruits, but the cherries are phenomenal in this. Takes good cherries to work, though, and they are hard to get. My brain is now racing to figure out how to score more fruit. Thanks for yet another winner.

  183. I made this today — it was a big hit. I was very pleased with the crust and will use it again. Thanks for the pie tutorials 102 and 103 – they made the difference!

    BTW, I used 3 jars of Trader Joe’s cherries (Morello?) in a jar. It was a bit more fruit than called for, so I increased the other filling ingredients accordingly. It made for a perfect single layer of fruit in my jelly roll pan.

  184. One more comment – in the original Martha Stewart recipe the instructions for the dough indicated that when separating it into two pieces, one piece should be slightly larger than the other. I didn’t see those instructions here, but I did that anyway because it seemed it would give me a little extra on the bottom for overhang / folding over the top crust.

    1. Hi Holly — It would, but I didn’t find it very necessary. You’d really be talking about something like a 53/47 split, which seems hard to eyeball. But, if yours look uneven when you divide them, definitely use the larger piece first.

  185. this slab pie looks absolutely fabulous! I absolutely agree with you in terms of its infinitely more practical uses vs a traditional round pie! Question for you tho. Do you have a hard time with getting the dough to cook evenly? looks as if parts of the dough overlap and that might lead to some undercooked gummy parts. How do you address this?

  186. I made this today, and it turned out very well. For anyone wondering about Trader Joe’s jarred Morello cherries, I used 3 full jars of these for the pie. I drained them in a colander for a couple hours to make sure all the syrup was gone (I did *not* rinse them), and also note that TJ’s cherries are “pitted,” which is to say that 98% have the pits out, but you need to check each one to make sure, because a few pits stay. My rimmed baking sheet was 16×11 or so (not 15×10 as in this recipe), so I just made a bit more dough, but kept the fruit filling the same. Worked out really well. I made the night before I served it, and there was no problem at all. A real winner.

  187. I made this recipe as a surprise over the past weekend for my mom’s 80 birthday but added my own twist. I added in some frozen blueberries and a Tbsp of tart cherry juice concentrate. My mom grew up near the cherry farms in Northern Michigan and her favorite fruits are cherries and blueberries. We even got the frozen cherries from a Traverse Bay Farms, right near her childhood home. A few miles from were she grew up. She loved it and we are now going to take her for a trip this summer back to her childhood home near Traverse City.

  188. Five years after planting a sour cherry tree, I finally harvested 2 cups of cherries this year and made a 1/3rd slab pie with your recipe. It was terrific and the crust was perfect. It also made me a little nostalgic for my Polish grandmother, who always made apple slab pie because she didn’t feel like futzing with the pretty crimped edges of a pie and who never saw a fruit recipe for which she couldn’t halve the sugar. Thank you!

  189. Made the recipe *almost* exactly as written– turns out my pan is 12×17 but I didn’t realize that until I had made one and a half recipes worth of pie dough. I went ahead with it anyway and while pinching the edges together was a bit tight, I made it work. The crust is shatteringly crackly and delicious and the filling is perfect (I used a scant 3/4c sugar for just over 6c of cherries). Also– I made the glaze with bourbon and lemon juice. Amazeballs. Thanks again, Deb!

  190. I made this pie with fresh tart cherries last year for our family’s 4th of July gathering & it was delicious. This year I’m using cherries I froze in 2012 – I drained them once they had defrosted (into a measuring cup to save the delicious juice), then again after I’d added the sugar, cornstarch & lemon juice. This second draining went into a saucepan & was reduced down until thick & syrupy, with an added splash or two of the cherry juice for extra oomph. The defrosted cherries were quite slumped, and next time I might up it to 7C of fruit to adjust for this, but otherwise it came together beautifully! Can’t wait to dig in. Thanks, Deb!

  191. I just made this in an 12×17 half sheet pan, used the same amount of crust, but 8 cups of cherries in the filling. Baked at 375 in a convection oven, for 40 minutes rotating after 20. Looks amazing, just waiting to cool so it can be glazed. Thanks for sharing this recipe and following Deb’s tips I had no major problems rolling out the largest pastry crust I have ever attempted! Use the plastic wrap you chilled the dough in on top and a dough scraper to fold into thirds before moving into the pan. Great recipe!

  192. Hi! So, my neighbor just gave me an ice cream bucket FULL of freshly picked sour cherries…I have never had this many cherries to deal with! (Other then the sweet kind you just sit around and eat, and well, then they just get eaten and I don’t have bake with them! ;) Anyway, so I got them all pitted and ready to go and after all that work I only ended up with barely 3 cups. I am in LOVE with this recipe, though! Do you think I could cut it in half? I do a lot of baking, but, am not familiar with pastries. If I were to cut the recipe in half, would I just half your pie crust recipe as well?

  193. Apple Danish Pastry Bars, similar recipe, been making it for 30 years.
    A tip to share: sprinkle bottom crust with 1 cup Cornflakes before spreading the fruit. Prevents a soggy bottom crust. My pie making friends now use this tip when making any fruit pie. Must admit I like the “slab pie” name, quick and easy to say & eat! Glad I discovered this site, too. Comforted to know people still make homemade pie…thanks muchly.

  194. OMG another awesome family favourite! Thank you Deb for all your generous recipes.
    I’m in London and made your Cherry Slab Deliciousness for my husbands birthday, it turned out exactly like you said it would. I served it cool with a choice of clotted cream or fresh vanilla custard (bit like ‘creme anglaise’) and it went down a treat with one and all.
    Thanks again and have a lovely weekend :)

  195. I only have 2 cups (unpitted) fresh tart cherries. Could I make a 1/3 slab pie by cutting all the ingredients by 3? Or will that mess up the proportions? Pastry novice here … Thanks!

  196. Julia — You could make 1/3 slab pie if you have, say, a 5×8 pan. Or, you could make a half in about an 8×8 cake pan, and the filling might just be a hair thinner.

  197. I’m so happy I found this recipe before seeing Martha Stewart’s. I would’ve put all that sugar in there without thinking of how overly sweet it would’ve been. Your pie crus just beat out the usual crust I always make. My new favorite dessert! Thanks for sharing!

  198. I made this with Spartanburg County, SC peaches yesterday, in a 9×13 quarter sheet pan, since I don’t have a 10×15. The extra pie dough made four lovely hand pies with some homegrown black raspberries added. The main slab got a scant 3/4 cup of sugar, and tapioca starch instead of cornstarch. I did use all the filling, even with the smaller pan, which worked fine, thanks to the collar of parchment holding the slight overflow in.

    Other than baking it on the lowest rack to make sure the bottom crust is as browned as the top I’d do it just the same again, and might, since I have 7 dozen more peaches…but first a peach buttermilk ice cream, and some peach ginger jam.

  199. Made this for an impromptu gathering with friends last night and it was a hit! Everyone had multiple pieces! I even had a piece for breakfast this morning!

  200. I ate this at a friend’s house and it was delicious! I would like to make it to take to a family gathering. Any suggestions on making it ahead?