Perfect for summer, the slab pie seems to be everywhere these days… in food magazines, on websites and blogs. CLICK HERE for a recent such example in the Denver Post. This pie variation doesn’t completely re-invent the wheel but it does put a new spin on it. A slab is simply a shallow pie made in a rectangular jelly-roll pan instead of in the traditional round pie plate. The benefits? You can press the dough into the pan by hand (no need to roll it out), it’s easy to cut and serve with a spatula, and it’s a great summer dessert for feeding a crowd. Any fruit or berry pie recipe will work in this format. Just double your filling recipe (so you have enough to fill a 15-by-10-by-1-inch pan).

One idea is to try making a slab pie with Colorado peaches (in store during the month of August; Ranch Foods Direct peaches come from Austin Family Farms of Poania, shown above). For the filling, toss together 3 pounds (6-10) sliced fresh peaches, with 1½ cups firmly packed brown sugar, the juice of one lemon, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg in a large bowl until the cornstarch dissolves. Proceed to make your pie using the slab pie method. (You’ll need about four pie crusts, if you want to make a lattice topping. Or use a crumb streusel.)

Find fresh fruits and produce at Ranch Foods Direct, arriving weekly from area farms.

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