Blueberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie

Serves 12 to 16.

Note: This dough recipe makes enough for 1 double-crust 9-inch pie. For the larger slab pie, you’ll need to make the recipe twice, one for each crust. The pastry is best when allowed to chill overnight. Slightly adapted from “The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book,” by Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen.

• 2 recipes of Pie Crust (recipe below)

• 1 tbsp. soft butter, for pan

• 1 1/2 to 2 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1/2-in. pieces (4 to 5 c.)

• 4 to 5 c. blueberries (about 1 1/2 lb. fresh)

• 1 large baking apple

• 1 c. light brown sugar, packed

• 2/3 c. granulated sugar

• 1/2 tsp. ground allspice

• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

• 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

• 3/4 tsp. salt

• 7 tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot

• 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 2 to 3 dashes cocktail bitters, if desired

• Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 tsp. water and a pinch of salt)

• Demerara or other coarse sugar for finishing

Directions

Remove both rectangles of chilled dough from the refrigerator.

Butter an 11 1/2- by 16-inch sheet pan with a 1-inch rim, then line with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured work surface, unwrap 1 rectangle of dough and roll into a 16- by 20-inch rectangle. Fit the dough inside the sheet pan, letting the edges overhang.

Roll the second dough rectangle into a 13- by 17-inch rectangle. Place on a second sheet of parchment paper, then lay that on top of the bottom crust and place in the refrigerator to chill while preparing the filling.

Combine rhubarb and blueberries in a large bowl, crushing about half of the blueberries with your hands. Peel and grate the apple, then add to the mixture, along with both sugars, allspice, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, salt, cornstarch, lemon juice and bitters; mix thoroughly.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and set the top crust aside. Pour filling into the sheet pan. Position the top crust rectangle squarely over the filling, then roll and pinch the excess crust inward to create an edge all the way around the pan. Crimp this edge as desired. Create several steam vents in a decorative pattern using a sharp paring knife.

Chill pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry.

Meanwhile, place oven racks in the bottom and center positions and preheat to 425 degrees.

Brush the chilled pastry with the egg wash and sprinkle with desired amount of sugar to finish. Place pie on lowest oven rack and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees, move the pie to the center rack and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and juices are bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes longer.

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack for 2 to 3 hours. Pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.

 

Pie Crust

Makes 2 (9-inch) pie crusts.

Note: This dough recipe makes enough for 1 double-crust 9-inch pie. For the larger slab pie (recipe above), you’ll need to make the recipe twice, one for each large crust. Resist the urge to make both batches as one; it’s too much dough to handle well. The pastry is best when allowed to chill overnight. Slightly adapted from “The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book,” by Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen.

• 2 1/2 c. flour

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tbsp. sugar

• 1/2 lb. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in. pieces (or 1 stick cold butter with 1/2 c. very cold or frozen lard, cut into 1/2-in. pieces).

• 1 c. cold water

• 1/4 c. cider vinegar

• 1 c. ice

Directions

Stir the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter (or butter and lard) pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are OK; be careful not to overblend).

Combine 1 cup water, cider vinegar and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine. (You might not use all of the water mixture.)

Shape the dough into a small rectangle, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow.

If making a slab pie, make a second batch of the recipe.

If making a 9-inch double-crust pie, divide the dough in half before shaping each portion into flat discs. Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.

Nutrition information per each of 16 servings:

Calories 500 Fat 25 g Sodium 430 mg

Carbohydrates 67 g Saturated fat 15 g Total sugars 30 g

Protein 5 g Cholesterol 70 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Exchanges per serving: ½ fruit, 2 starch, 2 carb, 4½ fat.