It’s summer! And while I can’t say it’s been the best one on record, all this time at home has produced some stellar desserts, like this easy Peach Slab Pie.
I’m a pie fanatic, so I’m super excited to share with you all my best tips for creating a pie that is juicy, buttery, and nearly perfect.
The techniques are ones I’ve picked up from my grandma (a true pie maven) and years as a pastry chef in restaurant kitchens.
This is the best way I know how to get a crust that is golden brown and the most flavorful (and not runny) filling.
Let’s Start With The Crust
The secret to a flaky, tender crust starts with butter.
Pie dough made with butter is crisp without being tough, and flaky without falling apart. Not to mention so much easier to mix, shape, and roll out.
Unsalted butter is best and I always look for butter made with 100% real California milk that feature the Real California Milk seal.
When I see the Real California Milk seal, I feel good knowing that the product is certified as having been made with 100% Real California Milk from California dairyfarm families.
99% of California dairies are family owned, so that makes me feel really good that what I’m putting in my pie is going back to the community where I live.
My partners at California Grown have put together an excellent guide with lots of great tips on how to support California farmers and their families. It’s actually much easier than you’d think!
Word to the wise about butter though, it has to be cold! I like to cut my butter into pieces then stick them back in the fridge for another 20 minutes so they are nice and chilled.
The cold pieces of butter melt and leave little air pockets in the dough making it flaky and crisp.
Warm butter begins seeping into the dough before it ever hits the oven, leaving you with a tough, chewy crust.
When you add the cold butter to the flour mixture, you want to work quickly with a pastry cutter and cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse sand with a few bits of butter in larger pebble-sized pieces.
Don’t forget the ice water! It helps keep everything cold too.
How To Roll Out Slab Pie Crust
Today we’re making a slab pie because, in my opinion, it has the perfect ratio of crust to filling.
It might look intimidating to have to roll out a crust that will fill a baking sheet, but the technique couldn’t be simpler, it just takes a little practice.
- Make sure the dough you are starting with is cold.
- Lay the dough onto a lightly-floured work surface and sprinkle some flour on top.
- Lightly dust the rolling pin with flour as well.
- Starting from the middle, roll the dough away from you. Then starting from the middle again, roll it back toward you. Do this a few times.
- Turn the dough 180°, flip it over and dust with more flour if it has any sticky spots, then repeat step 4.
- Keep repeating steps 4 and 5, dusting with flour as you go to prevent sticking until you’ve reached the size you’d like.
- If the dough cracks or rips, just patch it with another piece of dough and continue rolling.
Subbing Store Bought Crust
If the idea of making pie crust from scratch is just more than you can handle but you still want to give this peach pie recipe a try, substitute 2 (14-ounce) boxes of frozen pie crust and roll it into the slab pie shape.
Now For The Peach Filling
This peach slab pie is made with fresh peaches and you are going to need about 10 medium, ripe peaches for this big peach pie.
You want the peaches to be ripe, but not soft or mushy. They should be fragrant and just barely give when you gently squeeze them.
There are two kinds of peaches: freestone and clingstone.
The name pretty much gives away what the difference is, but essentially, freestone peaches easily pull away from the pit and clingstone stubbornly stick to it.
They aren’t typically labeled in the store, but if you are buying Farmer’s market peaches, ask what variety they are.
Freestone peaches are a million times easier to work with.
The filling itself is pretty simple to make, just combine the peaches, lemon juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, and all the other filling ingredients in a large bowl.
I love a good peach pie, but this recipe can be used for lots of different summer fruit. Use the same amount in weight of blueberries, apricots, apples, etc. to the peaches in the recipe.
To find out what’s in season, check out this awesome California Seasonal Produce Guide!
Can You Freeze A Slab Pie?
I personally think it’s best frozen, unbaked.
After you put on that top crust. Wrap the whole pie tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
Bake straight from frozen, but give it an extra 15 minutes of bake time.
If you bake the pie and want to freeze half for later, that’s fine too. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to three months as well.
Let the baked pie thaw at room temperature and then warm briefly in a hot oven to crisp up.
What To Serve With It
A scoop of ice cream, of course!
If you want to go all the way with this peach slab pie you could make your own ice cream.
I’ve got two, no-churn ice cream recipes that would be phenomenal with this slab pie recipe.
Making Homemade Pie Has Never Been Easier!
What’s stopping you? The next step is giving it a try! I hope that you’re as thrilled with this slab pie recipe as I am. If you try it out, let me know! Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram using @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno. Happy Baking!
For the Crust:
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup ice water
For the Peach Filling:
- 3 pounds (about 10 medium) ripe, but not soft peaches
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Turbinado or coarse sugar for sprinkling
Make the pie dough (This Step Can Be Done A Day In Advance)
Mix the Dry Ingredients + Butter: Combine flour, sugar, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add cold, cubed butter and toss to coat in flour. Using a pastry cutter cut the butter into the flour until it is in small pea-sized pieces.
Now Add the Ice Water: Drizzle ice water about 1/4 cup at a time and mix it in by scooping the flour up from the bottom and let the flour and water mix by falling through your fingers. It sounds weird, but you'll get the hang of it. Keep mixing in this motion until a clump of dough holds together when squeezed.
Wrap and Refrigerate: Gather about 1/3 of the dough and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and press down into a disk. Gather the remaining dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and press down into a disk. Refrigerate both pieces of dough for at least 1 hour or overnight. Pie dough can also be made and frozen for up to 3 months.
Peel, Pit, and Slice the Peaches: Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, make a small X in the bottom of each peach. Dunk the peaches ( a few at a time) into the boiling water for 15-30 seconds (the more ripe they are the shorter time needed). Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon to a cutting board and repeat with remaining peaches. Using a small pairing knife, cut each peach in half, then scrape up a piece of the skin in the spot where you made the X. Hold the peel firmly between the knife and your thumb and gently pull the skin off the peach. Repeat with remaining peaches, then remove the pits from all of them. Slice each half into 4 or 5 slices.
Heat Oven and Roll Out the Dough: Heat oven to 375°F. Roll out larger piece of dough (leave smaller piece in the refrigerator) on a lightly-floured counter into a 14 x 10-inch rectangle if using a 13 x 9-inch baking sheet or a 17 x 13-inch rectangle if using a 16 x 12-inch baking sheet. There will be enough dough for either, you'll just have more leftover if you are using a smaller baking sheet. The easiest way to know if your piece of dough is big enough is to set the pan you are going to bake it in on top of the rolled slab of dough. If it fits inside with plenty of dough around the edges, you'll be good.
Roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer it to the baking sheet. Tuck dough snuggly into the pan, trim any overhang, and decorate the edges with the back of a fork, if you want. Set in the freezer until ready to use.
Make the Filling: Combine sliced peaches, with the sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, ginger, and lemon juice. Stir until evenly combined. Don't do this step until you are ready to bake the pie or the peaches will release too much of their juice. Remove bottom crust from freezer and spread filling evenly in the pan.
Roll Out Top Piece Of Dough: For the top piece of dough you can simply roll it out into a 14 x 10 or 17 x 13-inch piece if you want to completely cover the top of the pie. If you'd like to do something more decorative like I did, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter (I used a star-shaped one). Then arrange them in a pattern on top of the pie. I used the whole piece of dough scraps and all for something a little different.
Brush the top crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.
Bake the Pie: Bake pie for 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbling. Let cool at least 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
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