I’ve never loved baking (rather, never been particularly good at it), so when a baking recipe works out for me, I consider it a huge success. After testing 3 damn pie crust recipes in one day, I finally was able to make a pie with a braided crust. Truth is, I’m very particular about pie. I’m not a big fan of lots of cooked fruit and the only kind of pie I really like is one that has an almost equal fruit to pie crust ratio. That’s why I was so drawn to a slab pie– it’s got the perfect amount of fruit! The thin pie is baked in a shallow baking sheet giving you, in my humble opinion, the best pie ratio! Originally I tried a butter-based crust that had never failed me in a regular pie, and is still a perfectly great pie crust. The base and lattice with a butter crust worked fine but when I started to braid the crust for the edges they would just break and fall apart. Lots of pie dough later, we finally decided to try a pie crust with shortening and it worked! I never use shortening so never have it on hand for a pie crust but I have to say this crust is fantastic. After you pull this pie from the oven, let it rest and get happy with the pie crust for a while. Serve this on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream–this is the ultimate summer dessert!
- Combine the filling ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.
- To make the crust, cut the butter and shortening into cubes. Process 3 cups of flour, salt and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter and shortening and process until the dough just starts to collect in clumps.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add remaining flour and pulse several times until mixture is even. Continue pulsing while pouring in the vodka and water and pulse just until the dough comes together. Divide and roll the dough into two even parts and flatten into a disk. Wrap each part in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- Roll one piece of dough into a rectangular shape so that it fits the bottom and up the side of a 13 x 18 inch baking sheet on a lightly floured surface. Lightly roll the pie crust onto your rolling pin to transfer and unroll it into the baking sheet.
- Pour the blueberry filling into the pan.
- To make the lattice, roll the second piece of pie dough into a rectangular shape the size of the pan. Cut 1 inch thick strips lengthwise.
- Place one strip diagonal from one corner to another and place subsequent strips, spaced about 1 inch apart, so that you have a diagonal strips across the pie. Trim and cut the strips if they're too long and reuse them for a shorter part of the pie.
- Fold back every other strip at the halfway point of each strip and place a strip of dough the other way across the pie so that is forms a criss cross with the longest piece. Unfold the strips over the crossing strip and place another piece of dough parallel to the criss cross dough and fold back alternating pieces. Repeat on each side until you have a lattice. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edge with a paring knife.
- Cut 9 1/4 inch thick strips of dough length wise so each strip is a few inches longer than the longest side. Braid three of them for the long side of the sheet pan. Do the same with another 3 pieces. For the remaining 3 pieces, braid these and cut them in half so that they fit on each short side of the baking sheet. Gently press the braids into the edges of the pie so they cover the top edge of the baking sheet.
- Cover the pie with plastic wrap and transfer the pie to the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Whisk the egg yolk and cream together and brush the top of the crust. Bake for 30-40 minutes until gold brown.
(images by HonestlyYUM)