I adore any sort of pie. Sweet or savory, it makes no difference. And I love blueberries.
My mother made the best pie crust for 60 years. For a two-crust 9" pie it was 2 cups flour, 2/3 Crisco, 2 teaspoons sugar, pinch of salt, and 4-6 Tablespoons ice water. That was it! I made her crust for years until I got my Cuisinart and read online that all butter was a better way to go.
Phooey! I over mixed in the food processor. Beside the fact that butter is more expensive, I didn't care for the flavor of a butter crust. I know! Right? What's wrong with me?
Lard makes everything better, especially pie crust. So I've settled on a new mix: 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup cold lard, 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, 1 Tablespoon sugar, pinch of salt, and 5-7 Tablespoons ice water.
My kids and grandchildren were coming over for dinner Sunday. I always make dessert for a Sunday meal, particularly because the boys were coming. I love to spoil them!
I decided a slab pie would do the trick! Sweeten us up and leftovers! I wasn't in the mood to make pie crust, and I'd have to make a lot for such a big pie. Alas, I reverted to refrigerated store bought pie crust. And fresh blueberries - how simple and quick is that. Just rinse 'em off and they're ready to be baked up into a scrumptious pie!
If you decide to make this delicious slab pie or any slab pie, you'll need two boxes of refrigerated pie crust. When you roll it out, place one circle on top of the other, and then roll it into a rectangle. And do the same for the top crust.
It was the perfect size. More than enough to drape over the sides of a jelly roll pan (15"x10"), and to crimp the edges.
A college roommate of mine bakes pies and desserts for her restaurant. She told me that store bought crusts are made with lard. Wow! That does make a difference. The finished crust is flaky and browns beautifully.
Admittedly, over the years I developed into a pie crust snob, believing homemade ones were the only way to go. After all, Mom did it all her adult life. I've had to rethink my attitude about refrigerated store bought pie crust. Think of it this way - I will bake more pies! Yes!!
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Roll the bottom crust and place it in a 15"x10" jelly roll pan.
Put 2-3 pounds of fresh blueberries in a bowl. Add zest of one lemon - blueberries and lemon are remarkable. Mix and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 3 Tablespoons flour (or cornstarch or tapioca flour - I use tapioca to thicken fruit pies.) Mix and pour over the blueberries. Gently mix until all the berries are coated with the flour mixture.
Pour the berry mixture into the crust. Really, I could have used 3 pounds of berries and will next time.
Roll the top crust and place over the filling and edges of the pan. Crimp along the outside. And, using a sharp paring knife, cut vents along the sides of the top crust. And cut something cute in the middle -I designed an "M" for Mimi!
Brush the top with a beaten egg. I sprinkled demerara sugar on top. You can use regular sugar, but I like the color and texture of demerara on flaky pastry desserts. It also adds a little crunch.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the berry juices bubble and the crust is golden, brown, and delicious.
I mean, seriously, in 20 minutes my slab pie was in the oven. Remarkable!
Try your hand at one. Don't like blueberries, use sour pie cherries or apples, make a lemon meringue slab pie or how about strawberry-rhubarb? Yum!