Pie! Oh, my…

State Fair judging, Round 3: Pies.

I have a pie hangover.

Why did I have those warm, sugary mini-donuts as I entered the fairgrounds in the morning? Even though I wasn’t judging the pie contest until 2 p.m., I knew better. I had no idea there would be 150-some pie entries. Luckily there were about 10 judges so we divvied them up.

I only had to taste 9 pecan pies, 7 coconut cream pies, and 3 peach-raspberry pies. They brought me the 7 coconut cream pies first. Big mistake. I was so full of sugary-sweet custard and billowy whipped cream that my teeth were protesting before I started in on the pecan pies. My favorite? A pecan pie made with caramels and a generous splash of spiced rum. It didn’t take top honors tho because the caramel filling was way too runny. Good idea tho.

The overall winner of the contest sponsored by the Machine Shed? A pumpkin pie with chai spices.

Personally, I swing toward fruit pies. In case you missed this recipe some months ago, here’s my recipe for a “slab pie,” so called because it is baked in a jelly roll pan and is cut in slabs that will remind you of a bar cookie: a pie bar, if you will. I say, if you’re going to go to all the trouble of making pie, make a big, honking pie and have plenty to serve a crowd or to stash in the freezer for warming up when you’re in the mood.

My grandfather was a professional baker and served pieces of slab pie to his customers back in the day. This is my spin. (Forgot to take pictures of this version, so the photos in this poste are actually of my rhubarb-cherry version. You can use just about any fruit of choice as long as you pile in a total of 8 cups. Grandpa often did a simple Slab Apple Cake.

Peach-Blueberry Slab Pie

3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter (or 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening)
1 egg yolk

1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
5 cups sliced peaches
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not thaw)
1 recipe Vanilla Glaze (below)

1. For pastry, stir together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut in shortening and butter til mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Lightly beat egg yolk in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to the egg yolk to make 3/4 cup; mix well. Mix egg yolk mixture into flour mixture until dough holds together in a ball. Divide dough into two-thirds and one-third portions.

2. On a floured surface, roll the larger portion of dough into an 18×12-inch rectangle. Transfer carefully into a 15x10x1-inch baking pan (jelly roll pan). Pastry should hang over edges of pan. (I roll pastry around rolling pin and then unroll over baking pan.)

3. Preheat oven to 375 F. For filling, stir together sugar and cornstarch. Add peaches and blueberries (or fruit of choice). Toss to coat. Spoon into prepared crust.

4. Roll remaining dough into a 16×11-inch rectangle. Place dough over fruit. Bring bottom pastry up and over top pastry. Seal edges with tines of fork. Prick top of pastry surface all over with fork.

5. Bake in preheated oven about 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on rack. Drizzle with Vanilla Glaze.

Vanilla Glaze
Stir together 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and enough milk (5 to 6 tsp) to make of drizzling consistency.

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2 Responses to “Pie! Oh, my…”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by educatedblue, Jeanne Ambrose. Jeanne Ambrose said: Judged an Iowa State Fair pie contest. A lotta pie eating. http://tinyurl.com/26sdrtt […]

  2. sue parkin says:

    Dennis is making this for me on Sunday. we’re already drooling!!!

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