Let’s remember this summer: the salty hair, sweaty naps, skinned knees, and sweet air of August. Nonna is in the kitchen with simmering pots of local traditions, the kids stomp muddy footprints over clean floors, we gather around the long outdoor table, 70 years between the oldest and youngest of us, we pass the bread, we pour the wine, we savor each bite.
This is a dessert made for a crowd: a “slab pie” is easier to serve than its classic deep-dish cousin, and when paired with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, it is absolutely irresistible. The recipe can be modified to include any fresh fruit of the season: apricots, blackberries, peaches, etc. Just don’t forget the most important ingredients: a handful of endless summer days, a house full of hungry kids and happy adults, and a heart full of memories in the making.
Blueberry-peach Slab pie
- 1, 10-by-14-by-1-inch (25 x 40 x 2 cm) rimmed jelly-roll pan
For the crust:
- 3 3/4 cup (470 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (40 g) sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 g) salt
- 3 sticks (340 g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1 cm pieces
- 3/4 cup (170 ml) ice water
For the filling:
- 3 lbs (1.4 kg) yellow peaches
- 4 cups (600 g) fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup (35 g) cornstarch
- 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon water
Make pie crust:
In a food processor with a metal blade, briefly pulse together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and quickly pulse until chunks are the size of peas.
Add the ice water, and pulse briefly. Mixture may be powdery but should hold together when pinched. Transfer to a plastic bag and briefly knead from outside of bag until mixture holds together. Divide dough evenly and form into two balls, wrap with plastic and flatten into disks. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (preferably overnight).
Wash, pit and slice peaches (you can peel them if you want, but I usually don’t. Delicately rinse and dry blueberries. In a large bowl, toss together sliced peaches, blueberries, cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice. Mix gently and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C.
Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin. Roll out 1 disk of dough to a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Roll dough over rolling pin then carefully unroll into a 10-by-14-by-1-inch rimmed jelly-roll pan. Press gently to fit into pan. Trim overhang to an even 1/2 inch all around the pan. Pour in the fruit filling, then transfer the sheet to the refrigerator while rolling out the other disk of dough.
On floured surface, roll out remaining disk to an 11-by-15-inch rectangle. Retrieve pan from the refrigerator, roll dough over rolling pin and carefully unroll over filling. Trim the top crust to match the 1/2 inch overhang all around the pan. Press the crust edges together to seal, fold under any overhang, and crimp edges with fingers. Transfer to the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes before proceeding.
With a small, sharp knife, cut slits on the top to act as vents. Stir together the egg with 1 teaspoon of water brush the top of the pie all over with this egg wash.
Press along moistened edges to seal. Fold under any overhang, tucking it into the pan. With your fingers, crimp edges.
With a paring knife, cut slits on top to vent. Place pie in oven, then reduce heat to 375°F (190°C). Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.