When you need a dessert for a lot of people, this is it. This beautiful pie is baked in a rimmed sheet pan and serves at least 12 people. It's perfect for the Fourth of July because cherries are in season right now. If you have even more people to feed,you can even make two pies - one with cherries and one with blueberries for a real Fourth of July look.
And I have a fool proof tip for rolling out pie dough. Most people flour their working surface and then roll out the dough and end up getting frustrated. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on your working surface, dust with flour, place your dough on that, dust dough with flour, and then place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough. When you roll out your dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, you won't believe how much easier it is. And if you've adequately floured them, they just peel right off. The plastic wrap trick also makes it easier to roll up your dough around your rolling pin for easy placement on the sheet pan.
When I had to pit cherries in the past, I used a handheld cherry pitter and it was a mess and slow and difficult. This cherry season, I purchased the Leifheit Cherry Pitter and what a difference this makes. It's very quick to pit a batch of cherries and I don't have to wear an apron to do it.
adapted from Martha Stewart Baking Handbook
for a printable recipe, click here
- 3 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
- ½ cup ice water
Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds.
With machine running, slowly pour the ice water through the feed tube until the dough just comes together in a ball.
Divide the dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten a little, dust with flour and wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.
For the Pie Filling
- 2 ½ pounds (about 6 cups) fresh cherries, pitted, or 2 ¼ pounds (about 6 cups) of fresh blueberries
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- juice of ½ lemon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, stir to combine, set aside.
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- ¼ cup sanding sugar or granulated sugar
To make the pie:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger piece of dough into a rectangle, a little bit larger than your baking sheet. The original recipe calls for a 15x10 baking sheet, but I used a 13x10 quarter sheet pan. To make this easier, place a piece of plastic wrap on your working surface, dust with flour. Place pie dough on top, dust with flour and place another sheet of plastic wrap on top. When your dough is the right size, lay your rolling pin on top of the top sheet of plastic wrap. Start rolling the dough around the rolling pin, leaving the bottom sheet of plastic wrap on your working surface. Dust the dough around the rolling pin as you go, so it will not stick to itself. Lift rolling pin over your baking sheet on one end and unroll dough. Remove plastic wrap from top. Fit into your rimmed baking sheet, pressing into corners (pastry will hang over sides). Spread filling into pie shell.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining piece of dough to the size of your pan. Using same method as above, drape dough over filling. Fold edge of bottom dough over top dough. Pinch edges to seal Prick the top dough all over with a fork. Brush the entire surface of the pie with the cream and sprinkle with the sugar.
Bake until crust is golden brown about 40 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool just until the pie is still warm to the touch. Serve warm or a room temperature. Cut into 12 pieces. Slab pie can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.
For more Fourth of July recipes from one year ago: