ed. note: As Thanksgiving approaches, we’ve been spotting tons of “slab pies” around the web and love their rustic look and (most of all) their ability to easily feed a crowd. We called in our go-to expert on all things pastry, chef Callie Speer, to share her most delicious slab pie recipe with a few tips on achieving crust success. Stay tuned for her return to the blog next week, when she’ll give us all the details on creating the cutest pie crust toppings to crown your Thanksgiving creation! (and ps – you can sneak a peek at a few details on her newest venture here, which we’re beyond excited about.) Take it away, Callie –
Making multiple pies around the holidays and getting each of them to look just right can be next to impossible for many of us. This is where slab pies can come in to save the day! They’re perfect for big get togethers because instead of making several small pies, you make one big gorgeous pie in less time. Also, their rectangular shape makes them a breeze to slice and serve. A major component in getting your pie just right is creating the perfect pie crust, which can be daunting… but the key here is to not overthink it. Someone once told me that butter can sense your fear, and as silly as it may sound I think about it all of the time when baking, because it’s totally true. Keep scrolling for my tips on getting your slab pie just right, every time, plus my favorite recipe for the Thanksgiving feast.
*photo credits: ashleigh amoroso
Tip #1: Follow the recipe to the letter.
I know it sounds silly, but if a recipe says “Don’t overwork the dough,” really be mindful that you don’t do it!
Tip #2: Keep the butter cold.
You want your butter to be really cold: the water will quickly evaporate while baking, and you’ll get that awesome flaky crust everyone loves. Warm butter just melts and seeps into the dough, making it tough and chewy.
Tip #3: Mix minimally & let the dough rest.
It’s important from the beginning to mix minimally. This keeps the dough flaky and tender. Also, make sure to let your dough rest in between making it and rolling it. This helps the gluten relax and allows the dough to hydrate, making it easier to work with.
Tip #4: Don’t forget the finishing touches.
The last couple of steps are what will really take your pie to the next level and give it a nice shine and sparkle. Brush your finished product with egg wash, (I use two eggs, mixed well enough with water to make it easy to paint with) followed by a generous sprinkling of sugar.
Tip #5: Have fun!
You can make a showstopper out of a boring ol’ pie if you aren’t afraid to think outside the box and just have fun with your decorations. After all, it’s just a pie!
Stay tuned next week for more tips from Callie on decorating your pie crust!