Sweet Cherry Slab Pie

Nothing is better than a freshly baked pie for a summer cookout, especially if it can be made into a perfectly portable dessert like this incredible slab pie. I have had my eye on making a slab pie ever since I stumbled upon it over at Smitten Kitchen a few years ago. So when Andrew and I were invited to another 4th of July cookout last weekend, I knew exactly what I was going to bring. It was a huge hit! 🙂 Everyone loved that you didn’t need to fumble with plates or forks to eat this pie. I used my favorite cherry pie filling recipe from Cook’s illustrated. It uses an unusual ingredient in the filling…plums! The plums are used to tame the cherries’ sweetness and get them to break down into a wonderful juicy texture as well as letting us cut back on the amount of sugar that was needed in the filling. If you are looking for that perfect portable dessert to bring to your next summer get together, look no further! This recipe is certain to be a hit! 🙂

One Year Ago: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins 

Two Years Ago: Cuban Sweet Potato Salad 

Sweet Cherry Slab Pie

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For the Slab Pie:

  • Doubled batch of basic pie dough (enough for a 9-inch double pie crust)
  • 2 red plums, halved and pitted
  • 6 cups (about 2 pounds) pitted sweet cherries or 6 cups pitted frozen cherries, halved
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons instant tapioca, ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water

For the Glaze:

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice or milk
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  1. Follow directions to make a doubled batch of basic pie dough.
  2. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line the bottom of a 15×10 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the plums and 1 cup halved cherries in food processor until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Strain puree through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids. Stir remaining halved cherries, sugar, salt, lemon juice, bourbon, tapioca, and cinnamon into puree; let stand for 15 minutes.
  4. On a floured surface, roll out one batch of dough into an 18-by-12-inch rectangle.
  5. Transfer to a 15-by-10-by-1-inch rimmed baking sheet, allowing the dough to hang over sides of pan). Transfer the cherry mixture to the dough-lined baking sheet; set aside.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining piece of dough into a 16-by-11-inch rectangle. Lay over cherry filling. Fold overhang under, tucking it into pan, and crimp edges. With a paring knife, cut slits on top to vent. Brush top and edges of pie with egg mixture.
  7. Bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 40 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until just warm to the touch, about one hour.
  8. While the slab pie is cooling, make lemon glaze. Combine lemon juice (or milk) and confectioners’ sugar until you achieve a thick, opaque icing. Drizzle over slab pie. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yields: about 20 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 55 minutes

Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen, originally adapted from Martha Stewart, cherry filling adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

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15 Responses to Sweet Cherry Slab Pie

  1. Linda Gartner says:

    I would love to make this! What can I use in place of the Bourbon?

  2. I wondered about the plums with cherries in another of your desserts — now I know why you use them — it’s sort of like making fake sour cherries — I’ll have to try it some time.

  3. Elisabeth says:

    I made this the other day with strawberries and rhubarb. It was a HUGE hit at our pot luck!!!!

  4. This is so perfect! I have two plums and LOTS of cherries to use! Gah! Can’t wait!!

  5. Oh, wow! This looks heavenly! Cherries on sale at my Whole Foods this weekend too!

  6. ChgoJohn says:

    This would be big hit at any party or barbecue. And with sour cherries in season right now, I bet they’d work, too.

  7. mmmmm this looks so yummy!

  8. hooplahicktx says:

    Would you say the pan is a jelly roll pan? I was wondering with those weird dimensions.

    • Christina says:

      Yes a jelly roll pan will work as well. Just make sure it is close to the dimensions that I listed. If you give it a try I would love to hear how it turns out for you! 🙂

      • Victoria says:

        I’m severely disappointed.

        I used the pie dough you suggested & it had the poorest turn out I’ve had with pie dough. It fell apart when handled & didn’t make nearly enough dough. I had heeded your warning about using a jelly roll pan & used one slightly smaller than you stated, A 11×9. Maybe if the dough was tripled it would have worked. I handled it very little & it shredded when lifted. I put the dough on the parchment to try & get it to work nicer & barely reached the rims much less hang over the edges. I tried to forced the remaining dough into a longish rectangle but it was miserably shorter than it should be. I’ve made many pies in my day & I’ve never had such a problem. So I’m not a fan of your chosen pie dough.

        The filling wasn’t really an issue but I do thi you should clarify for those using frozen cherries; drain them after thawed. They are extremely wet when thawed & you don’t need any extra liquid. They don’t carry instant tapioca here in North Dallas, so I bought cook n serve by jello. It worked as a sub.

      • Christina says:

        I hate to hear that you had such trouble with the pie dough! 😦 I have used that recipe for dough for many years and it has always turned out great. As for not having enough dough, did you double the recipe?

  9. joy says:

    The pie looks wonderful. I have yet to try to make this type.

  10. Michelle says:

    Like a decadent, real fruit, awesome pop tart (justifying this being breakfast 😉

  11. huntfortheverybest says:

    sounds good!

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