I know, it doesn’t look like much, but believe me that this pie will change your life. At least when it comes to making pie for a crowd. The weather changed rather abruptly last week. Between that and the sudden realization that Thanksgiving was around the corner, my cravings for pumpkin pie, both eating and baking it, kicked into high gear.
I’ve been doing a lot of baking for the school store, and I wondered the best way to sell the pie there without needing plates or utensils. Slab pie came to mind. Rather than baking it in a round pie plate, you use a jelly roll pan, creating bar-like pieces. The yield is also incredible, turning what would’ve normally been a deep dish pie for 10 into a more suitable serving size of 24 square bars.
It gets better, though. If you’re convinced that baking isn’t your thing, or that every pie crust you’ve tried has left you in tears, then let me assure this is a pie even a five-year-old can make. No joke. I baked three of them with 24 kindergarten and first graders this week. They had a blast, and the pie crust is so forgiving, it was able to handle a vigorous workout by my very enthusiastic helpers. You can probably skip the rolling all together, and simply press it into the pan, but I love rolling out dough. There’s something about the ritual that I find so soothing. Just in case you need more convincing about the ease of making this pie, I made a video for you. I let the kids watch it first so they could see the steps, and then anticipate each step as we made it together.I feel like I had a million thoughts in my head as I mentally wrote this post. There’s
this story I wanted to share with all of you. It’s very heart-warming, and a reminder that quite often helping others rewards us in ways unimaginable.
Between now and Thanksgiving, 10% of the proceeds on all orders of Simple Scratch Cooking will be donated to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Back Pack Buddies program. My dear friend, Ilina, does a great amount of volunteer work with this organization in North Carolina. They provide an invaluable service of free meals during the weekends to children who rely on free or reduced lunches during the school week. You can learn more about the program here.
We’re off on a 500-mile road trip next Tuesday morning to see Ilina and her crew for Thanksgiving. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pop in here before then, so just in case, I hope you all have a peaceful, loving, and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday. And if you have any suggestions for food along our journey from upstate New York to Raleigh, NC, please let me know in the comments. Last time, I didn’t plan properly, and the snacks we had only got us so far. I’d love to hear some easy detours we should consider making for a lunch break on the way there, and back home.
Pumpkin Slab Pie
Music Pairing: Pie in the Sky by Johnny Cash
One recipe Foolproof Pie Crust (recipe is here)
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated natural cane sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) ground cloves
1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground ginger
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk (try this recipe to make it at home!)
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Roll the pie crust out into a 12-inch by 15-inch rectangle. Place the dough into a 10-inch x 13-inch x 1-inch jelly roll pan (rimmed baking sheet). Gently press the dough into the bottom, and up the sides, folding any overhang inside the pan (watch the video). Place the pan in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
Add the sugar, eggs, salt, and spices to a deep bowl. Whisk until the eggs are bit fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the pumpkin puree. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, slowly stir in the evaporated milk.
Pour the filling into the pan with the pie crust. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling puffs up slightly (don’t worry, it’ll fall soon after coming out of the oven), and the center looks set. Let cool for at least one hour before cutting into 24 squares. May be refrigerated overnight, and served cold or at room temperature the next day.