Posts Tagged ‘Slab pie’

Random Act of Pie

Every now and then, six or seven firefighters sit in a row of chairs in front of the firehouse at dusk, sometimes after dark, cooling off. I’ve driven by on my way home and there they are, side by side, sitting on folding chairs in the driveway, facing the street. Makes me smile.

And because of that, I decided to bake them a slab apple pie (also known as apple pie bars).

Picked up Jonathan and Cortland apples from the farmer’s market. Used vodka, along with water, in the dough for the first time because Cook’s Illustrated says it makes the best pie crust. It’s all about science and gluten (which makes tough crusts). When water is combined with flour, it forms gluten. Replace some of the water with vodka and you don’t get as much crust-toughening gluten. I probably won’t do it again. My original crust was easier to work with. Just sayin’.

Also tried adding apple cider to the glaze, rather than my standard milk.

Then it was time for the delivery. I stopped in just as the firefighters were finishing dinner. “Here’s the dessert I ordered,” said the guy who held the door open for me.

It made the guys smile. Which made me smile. Again.

Here’s the recipe:

Slab Apple Pie

3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
½ cup ice water
¼ cup ice cold vodka or water

1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
8 cups sliced apples
1 recipe Vanilla Glaze (below)

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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. Read More >>


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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A Slab Pie Kind of Summer


Last summer, I spent some time in the tiny cowboy town of Dubois, Wyoming playing in the most amazing little bakery. I taught the baker about slab pie which is baked in a 15×10-inch pan. She taught me all about sourdough bread and homemade goat cheese.
Fellow traveler, Michelle, and I (in photo) made Rhubarb-Bing Cherry slab pie because the rhubarb was ready to be picked and Michelle had just bought bing cherries at the market. The experiment was a success.
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