Friday, June 12, 2009

Slab Pie Wedding

I have a little tiny wedding cake business.
This is turning out to be a slow year. Recession and all that donchaknow. The caterers and florists tell me it's the same with them.

Friday I had a pie wedding booked. No cake, just pie and a couple cheesecakes for those un-American types that don't eat pie.

I didn't mean that. But really, is there anyone who would choose cheesecake over pie?

Oh yea, Mr. Dirtywrench would in a blink of an eye.

Anyway, to save my clients a bit on their budgets, I offer slab pies. This makes serving a crowd of 110 guests a little easier than having tables full of round pies at six slices each - though I have done that too.

Here's how I spent the last two days in my kitchen-

First I made a small wagon load of pie dough.
My food processor is my favorite possession in the world.

(The cookies were a result of my multi-tasking. Expertec Automotive Repair chowed through an exceptional number of cookies this week!)

I divided the dough into the batches I would need for four two-crust slab pies.

I have quite a pie history that I won't bore you with here.
Needless to say, I've made a ridiculous amount of pie in the last ten years.
It all started when I won our local pie contest, twice, pocketing $2000 in prize money.
Now people think I'm an expert. HA! Ha! ha! he he he ho.
I am so not and at the end of the post you will see why!

Anyway, I teach pie making classes for the community ed program in my county and this is the method that works for me and is great for beginning pie makers.

It's all about the parchment paper, baby.

I roll my crusts between sheets of parchment (wax paper works too). This keeps the dough tender and flaky because I am not adding extra flour to it. It also makes handling the dough a breeze. It is essential when I am rolling out large sheets of dough for the slab pies.

If pie crust scares the socks off you like it does so many people, try this method.
It'll turn you into Suzy Pie Maker.

The dough flips easily into the pan, even a big pan like this. No tearing or swearing.

I had lots of kids so there would always be one handy to do the menial tasks I need done.

Why do brides want to have apple pie in June?
Apples are not in season in June.
It's a pain to find decent baking apples in June.
There should be a ban on apple pies in June.

Berries are in season in June.
Just barely.
Or just "berryly". He, he. Hm.

I repeated the dough rolling and baking all day.

Marion berries, an Oregon icon.

Rhubarb. Now here's something in season in June!

I try to make the pies extra purty for weddings.

Four finished slab pies: blueberry (top), marionberry (left), apple, rhubarb.

The one on the far left, the marionberry, kept niggling at me. It was over-browned. I'm sure it would taste just fine but you see, I have this problem with, uh, let's call them "standards".
All my adult life I've had this stern person at my shoulder checking my work. And when I finished the pies, there she was with her clip-board in hand, making notes: "Mm, hm. Pie for paying wedding customer over-browned."

So I had to make it over again.

My daughter said, "Mother! It's fine!"

I know it's "fine" but it's not good.

So I made another one. This one came out much better. But since it was still slightly warm and those dang marionberries are so juicy, this is what happened when I tried to deliver it:


So not a pie expert!

So I ended up taking the over-browned pie instead as the lesser of two evils.

This is the special pie for the bride and groom.

Thank goodness, they wanted rhubarb.
Not only was it in season, the juices know how to behave themselves!


  1. Oh, what a fortunate mistake. That means you got a whole, juicy, delicious, marionberry slap pie to yourself (and your pack of starving children).

    I wanna piece. You've made me hungry for pie...

  2. Haha! "Slap" pie. Eh-hem. Slab pie.

  3. I've never heard of pies for a wedding. Slab pie is a great idea. I had to rearrange my wedding cake thinking when my daughter got married last month. She works for a catering company and knew what she wanted. It wasn't a traditional cake...Lemon Blackberry. Wow. That's all anyone could say. For under $200 and it fed all 125 guests with no problem. Now I'm always recommending something different!

    Is a Marion berry like a raspberry/blackberry?

  4. Slab pie is a bit oxymoron-ic. After all, I'm going to make the uneducated assumption that pie comes from pi which is related to things circular. So slab pie is rectangular which would make it... something that's not pi... no?

    You're know-it-all kid strikes again.

  5. Say wha? Kristin? Uh....who knows!

    Southern Gal - yes, marionberries are a blackberry. They only grow in warm zones (7).

    I'd like to hear more about the Lemon Blackberry. I've done lots of lemon cakes with marionbery filling too. I can't imagine how the cost of one could be less than $2 a serving though! Wow to that!

  6. hi! i am hoping to serve pies at my wedding next summer and really want to have some slab pies. your pies look great! you don't happen to be in the seattle area?


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