What do you do when strawberries are on sale and you buy way too many because you think some how, some way, you’ll eat FOUR pints of them?! Well, stuff them in a flaky pie crust and top it with ice cream and call it a strawberry slab pie!
I’m definitely trying to up my pie game. My mom was always known as the pie maker in my house. She couldn’t make a cookie to save her life and her cakes always resembled the Grand Canyon in the middle, but she could make one hell of a pie and a damn good flakey crust too. She had the craziest method, and because she doesn’t live close, I haven’t had the chance to have her re-create it.
I remember we had this huge orange-yellow bowl and I think she would put them cubed butter and flour in it, cover it with the matching lid, and shake the crap out of it! Am I remembering this correctly or how this worked, I don’t even know, but I know she did it!
I use a slightly more modern (but definitely not as fun) method with a food processor. I’ve actually used my stand mixer too and I’m not quite sure which one is my favorite method.
Now back to the strawberry slab pie. This is a very rustic pie which is more like a bar than an actually slice of pie, but it has your standard pie crust.
My biggest advice for this recipe – use the pie weights! Or beans or rice, or whatever you have lying around. The first time around I thought, “pie weights, schmiii-weights” – and then mid-way through my crust was sliding right down the side of my square pan. Argh! Don’t be silly like me, use the pie weights.
The middle of these strawberry slab slices have the most amazing, jammy-like filling. They are so fragrant, every time I lifted the lid of the container I could smell the sweet strawberries. Really, not much beats a fresh strawberry pie.
- 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
- 2 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup whole milk, cold
- 4 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
- ¾-1 cup granulated sugar (depending on how sweet your strawberries are)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ¼ cup turbinado sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the flour, sugar and salt and mix on low speed just to combine.
- Add the butter and mix on medium speed until almost incorporated, with some pecan-size pieces remaining, about 1 minute.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the milk. With the machine on, drizzle the egg mixture into the flour until it just starts to come together, about 30 seconds. It should be crumble at this point.
- Dump the pastry onto a floured surface and gently gather it together. Form the pastry into a 1-inch thick disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8-inch square baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving about 3-inches on all sides.
- Cut one-third of the pastry off the dish. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the smaller piece to about 8-inches square. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate,
- Roll out the larger piece of pastry to about a 12-inches square disk. It should be about ¼" thick.
- Ease the pastry into the prepared pan, pressing it into the corners and up the side of the pan. Trim the excess pastry, leaving no overhangs. Line the pastry with pie weights (very important!). You could also use beans or rice as pie weights.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until just pale golden and set. Remove the pie weights and the parchment paper. If the bottom of the crust looks raw or not golden brown, return to the oven for about 5-8 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and salt. Spread the filling in the pie crust.
- Cover with the chilled piece of pastry crust, pressing it down around the edges.
- Brush top with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Make a few slits in the top of the crust and bake for 50 minutes, until the crust is a golden brown color.
- Transfer pan to a rack and cool completely, at least three hours.
- Carefully life the pie out using the parchment paper. Cut as desired and serve (preferably with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!).