07 November 2019

Pumpkin Slab Pie - Perfect for a Party Dessert Bar

Pumpkin Slab Pie - Perfect for a Party Dessert Bar / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pumpkin pie is an autumn favorite, and for everyday purposes a regular 9-inch pie is great. But when you're serving lots of people, especially if there will be multiple desserts on offer, it's time for pumpkin slab pie.

Even if you're not doing a "dessert bar," chances are if it's a special occasion or you're having lots of people over, there will be two or three different kinds of pie and most people won't choose just one. You know the drill: "I'll take just a sliver of each." And those slivers are impossible to cut, so it turns into a big old mess.

Easy solution: slab pie. Made in a 13x9x1-inch quarter sheet pan, it can be cut neatly into squares or triangles as small as you like.

Pumpkin Slab Pie - Perfect for a Party Dessert Bar / www.delightfulrepast.com


The problem with most pumpkin pie recipes is that they attempt to address the issue of high temperature needed for the crust and low needed for the custard by starting high and turning it down, and the compromise doesn’t always succeed. The filling is overcooked and, well, soggy bottoms! For a pumpkin or any custard pie, I fully pre-bake the crust to avoid the soggy bottom problem.

When I'm being fancy, I cut off the edges of the pie and save those for snacks, cutting uniform "center cuts" to put on a pretty platter or tiered stand. For less formal occasions, serve directly from the pan, edges and all.


What are your favorite items for a dessert bar?

Pumpkin Slab Pie - Perfect for a Party Dessert Bar / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pumpkin Slab Pie 


(Makes one 13x9x1-inch pie, 12 to 16 servings)

The Pastry

1 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (7.5 ounces/213 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon non-GMO baking powder
1 1/4 sticks (5 ounces/142 grams) unsalted butter, well chilled

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons ice water
Additional ice water, a teaspoon at a time, if needed


The Filling


2/3 cup (4.67 ounces/132 grams) sugar* 
1 tablespoon non-GMO cornstarch 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs 
1 15-ounce (425 grams) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) or 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) milk 

* I use just 1/4 cup when making it for just us.

1 In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. With coarse grater, grate about 3/4 stick of butter into flour bowl. Cut the remaining butter into 1/2-inch cubes. With fingers, quickly work the grated butter into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add the cubed butter and work it into the crumbs, leaving some pieces the size of small peas. 

2 In small bowl, combine vinegar and ice water. Sprinkle over flour mixture while stirring with large fork. Add a little more water, a teaspoon at a time, if needed. 

3 Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten slightly into a 5-inch round disk with smooth edges; double wrap; refrigerate for one hour or up to four days. May be frozen for up to a month; defrost, wrapped, in the refrigerator.

4 If dough is thoroughly chilled, let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling. Line a 13x9x1-inch quarter sheet pan with a piece of baking parchment. On lightly floured surface, roll out disk to a 16x12-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Place pastry in pan, being careful to not stretch the dough. Leave a 1/2-inch overhang of dough. Crimp the edge. (Sometimes you need to chill the pastry a bit before crimping.) Flute the edge higher than usual to contain the filling. Cover loosely and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. 

5 Fit the sheet of aluminum foil in the shell and fill with ceramic pie weights (baking beans). Bake the thoroughly chilled crust for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes.

Note: I use two boxes of the ceramic pie weights (which fit nicely into a 200-gram tea tin for storage) for a 9-inch pie or this quarter-sheet slab pie.

6 Remove fully pre-baked pie shell from the oven; let cool completely before filling, at least 30 minutes or hours ahead, whatever suits your schedule.

7 Once pie shell is cool, preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. In medium bowl (using a 2-quart glass measure makes it easy to pour the filling into the crust), whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices. Whisk in the eggs, then the pumpkin and then the milk and cream. 

8 Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell. Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted midway between edge and center comes out clean or until it registers 185F/85C on an instant-read thermometer.

Note: After you've made pumpkin pie a few times, you can tell just by looking whether or not it's done. It will look darker and shinier and may have puffed up a bit and then fallen, and it should be fairly firm but still have a little jiggle left in the center.

9 Cool completely on wire rack for 2 hours, then lay a square of wax paper over the top and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve with softly whipped cream. I sweetened and flavored 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 4 teaspoons of real maple syrup and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.


Note: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

46 comments:

Vee said...

That makes serving nice and easy! Wonder how the family would feel about giving up the traditional pie shape serving. 🙂

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Vee, just cut squares, then cut them in half diagonally. The triangular shape might lull them into a false sense of security! :D

Pauline Wiles said...

I love this approach to easy, smaller portions! It's often nice to have "just a taste" without taking a full slice.

Angie's Recipes said...

The pie bars look incredibly delicious. Can't get enough of pumpkin at this time of the year. Thanks for sharing, Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Pauline. I'm one of those "just a taste" people myself!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. I'm a real pumpkin fan, too!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Now we’re into main courses! Pumpkin pie, slab style. Works for me. I’ll just carry a can of whipped cream around in my back pocket. Minor gaffe: portion control. Portion control for me is an omega sign. Hate to leave a mess or a leftover. 5 cleavers.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I am honored to be the recipient of the coveted 5 Cleavers Award! Don't misunderstand about the portion control, though. Better for you to take several small portions than someone else to be hacking away at a regular size slice of pie, trying to cut "just a sliver" and leaving behind a mess that nobody is going to want!

TONY said...

Cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cloves!! I bet the smell is wonderful,Jean. All those flavours have got me wishing for a slice of this. I’m not too concerned about the pumpkin part though which, I realise, is obviously the main ingredient.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Great idea to fully bake the pie crust, Jean! I like the idea of a slab pie. My favorite Thanksgiving pie is pecan, but I’m sure that would never pass your low sugar requirements! I’ve made pecan pie bars though, and they’re always a hit.

TONY said...

Just a thought,Jean. We have caramel slices sometimes topped with a thin layer of chocolate all on top of a biscuit base which I always enjoy. I think you can describe that as a type of slab cake.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Tony. I like things to taste like what they are, so I've tried to get in all the spicy flavors I love without totally obliterating the pumpkin and pastry.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kitty, thanks! Yes, I like pecan pie, too. And my version, https://www.delightfulrepast.com/2010/10/pecan-pie-without-corn-syrup.html, if sliced into 12 pieces has 5 teaspoons of sugar per slice.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Oh, your slab pie looks so yum, Jean! I confess, I can eat pumpkin pie ANYTIME because I love it so much! I guess it's my favourite. The idea of a slab pie is such a great idea when serving a big group of people. It looks fabulous on your blue and white platter, by the way! Thanks for sharing at my party!

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Looks nice served that way!! Thanks so much for linking up at #AThemedLinkup 4 for All Things Thanksgiving. Shared.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, that sounds like what we here call a bar cookie.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sandi. I enjoy pumpkin pie all year round, too. And thank for noticing my favorite platter!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dee, thank you. Of course, you can serve it straight out of the pan too.

ellen b. said...

Looks like a great idea for a crowd.

Margie said...

This looks great, Jean! I'm not fussy about shapes--it all tastes the same, right?!?

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ellen. Great for potlucks.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Margie. Yes, it all tastes the same (though I can't truthfully say I'm not fussy about shapes!).

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Ummm, this is a great way to make pie when having a variety of desserts. I just may be making this for Thanksgiving, Jean. Love this idea!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Martha! I hope you'll let me know how it turned out for you. Happy cooking!

Tamago said...

Haha indeed, those 9-inch pies make big mess at a dessert bar. I love the idea of slab pies instead. They look pretty and are easy to put on your plate :-)
Your pumpkin slab pie looks very yummy. The banana sheet cake from your link looks yummy, too! (I looove bananas!)

tea lady said...

Was going to make a Pumpkin cake roll for Thanksgiving buy now will make this instead, will be easy.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tamago. Yes, slab pies and sheet cakes are the way to go when serving a crowd. If you love bananas, you should definitely try the cake!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, tea lady. Do let me know how it turns out for you. I like pumpkin cake rolls, too, but I like pie more!

Victoria Zigler said...

Great idea. As you said, especially for those times when you're entertaining and want to be able to give people "just a slither" of a few different pies/cakes.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Victoria. It's so much easier to serve or for people to serve themselves.

Debbie Harris said...

What a great looking recipe and so ideal for big gatherings,I love it!
When we lived in Canada for awhile I discovered what "squares" were real quick as they make them a lot there. You know, squares are really quite unique when serving to big crowds and the recipes are endless if you look for them.

Richard Sheppard said...

I love the idea of "pie bars" because they would be great for art show openings. And I loooooove pumpkin pie!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Debbie. AND thanks for telling me about "squares," a Canadian thing I hadn't heard of!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Richard, I'll remember that for when I have my first art show! :D

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Jean - Love your hint to fully cook the crust first. Make perfect sense. I always par-bake mine and then brush it with egg white. That barrier has always helped. Also, really like the slab version!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, David. Since there are three eggs in this, it would be a simple thing to just use part of one white for brushing and reserve the rest of the egg for the filling, so no waste.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

That's my kind of dessert pie. I love the idea of small party desserts, although I don't come across homemade versions too often. Sounds perfect for the time of year.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Phil. I must have a lot of cooks in my circle because when I go to a "do" where everyone brings something, almost everything is homemade. Of course, I'm so fussy about my sugar intake I usually only eat a dessert I or a close friend made.

Gerlinde de Broekert said...

Your slab pie is the perfect solution for portion control. Although I would probably end up eating several pieces. I love the amount of sugar in your recipe, it’s so much less than most recipes.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Gerlinde. I've been making my recipes with less sugar for so many years now that I can hardly stand more than a bite or two of desserts in restaurants.

Lowcarb team member said...

This type of dessert is ideal for larger gatherings, thanks for sharing the recipe and idea :)

All the best Jan

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Jan! Thought people might be able to use it right about now.

Jeanie said...

This is really an excellent idea, Jean -- and it looks scrumptious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jeanie. Small desserts are perfect for afternoon tea as well.

April J Harris said...

Although I always aim to please, and am totally on board with folks wanting a small piece, my heart often sinks if asked to cut a pie that way. As you say, Jean, a mess usually ensues! Your Pumpkin Slab Pie is not only the perfect solution, it looks really lovely and very delicious too. I also agree with Pauline, I love the idea of being able to try small portions of different things. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe and wonderful idea with the Hearth and Soul Link Party. I'm featuring it at the party this week. I hope your week has started off well!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you so much! Well said, "Aim to please … heart sinks." Thank you for featuring this at #HearthAndSoul!

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