Thursday, July 31, 2014

cherry streusel slab pie.

Guys I made a cherry pie!
(Can finally cross that off my list of summer foods to make.)

I didn't think it was going to happen this summer with all that's going on. Road trips to Maine, friend's weddings, flea market trips, and that little thing that involves a lot of planning (aka our own wedding) but it did because if there is anything I was going to make time for it was baking a cherry pie.  

(Have you seen the cherries this year?  They are beautiful.)

This also wasn't just any cherry pie. It was a cherry slab pie which is probably the greatest kind of pie that ever was.  It's portable! It's handheld! You don't need a fork (!) which means you can eat it on the go or on picnics or on the beach.  Slab pie also feeds a crowd which means it's a party pie (and everyone loves a party).  

The rye crust is nutty and substantial, providing the perfect base for a plethora (and I mean plethora) of cherries. The streusel topping is my favorite part. A little bit sweet, a little bit crunchy, and a whole lot of almond flavor. The almond flavor as everyone knows is brilliant with the cherries (one of my personal favorite combinations) which is how I found myself gobbling up pie faster then should be allowed.  

Cherry Streusel Slab Pie

For the filling

Generous 5 cups of cherries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

For the strussel topping

1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/2 cup rye flour
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
5 tablespoons butter

1 rye crust (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375ยบ F and line a 9- by 13-inch rectangle baking sheet with parchment paper.

Gently toss the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a bowl and set aside. 

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a roughly 9- by 13-inch rectangle, 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick (dough can come up the sides of the pan). Gently move the dough to the prepared baking sheet and put the whole thing in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Make the streusel - Blend all of the ingredients together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until the mixture becomes crumbly.  Or you can blend the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until large chunks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove the dough from the fridge and pour the cherry mixture on top.  Sprinkle the streusel mixture over the cherries.

Bake the pie until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting into squares and serving with ice cream or whipped cream.

Rye Crust
Recipe from Yossy Arefi 

6.75 ounces all-purpose flour
6.75 ounces rye flour
9 ounces unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 to 9 tablespoons ice water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar

To make the crust, combine the flours, sugar and salt in a bowl. Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut half of the butter into the flour until it is the size of peas, then cut in the other half until it is the size lima beans. Some of the butter will be completely worked into the flour, but you should have lots of visible pieces of butter in the dough, too. Add the apple cider vinegar to the water and make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Use a gentle hand or wooden spoon to mix about 8 tablespoons of water into the flour until just combined. If the dough seems very dry, add more water a couple of teaspoons at a time. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together without it falling apart. Press the dough together, form into a disc, and wrap the disc in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using, or overnight.

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