Cherry Blueberry Slab Pie

Thanks to Huey Lewis and the News and their 1986 hit song, we all know it’s hip to be square. But if you’re a pie maker, you should know it’s even hipper to be rectangular. I’m talking about slab pie, if you hadn’t guessed, that sheet pan kin to pie-in-the-round.

Courtesy Ken Haedrich, dean of The Pie Academy

Pie in a sheet pan? You’d be forgiven for asking why bother. Does a slab pie taste any better than its circular counterpart? Is it easier to assemble? Can slab pie lay claim to a rich and previously unexplored history we should examine more closely?

Well, it’s not really like that. Slab pies use the same everyday ingredients that round pies do, so it’s not a question of flavor. And they’re only slightly more involved than putting together a traditional pie. As for history, professional bakers have been making pies in sheet pans for as long as I can remember. All the bakeries in Plainfield, New Jersey, where I grew up, sold pieces of pie this way. Same for the mess hall cooks in my Navy days.

Which gets us to the heart of the matter: we can admire their handsome linear architecture and great taste, but much of a slab pie’s appeal is purely practical. For essentially the same amount of work required for a round one – and only a little more dough and filling – you can have a pie that feeds 12 or 15 or more people instead of just eight.

Courtesy Ken Haedrich, dean of The Pie Academy

Take the pie you see here – Cherry Blueberry Slab Pie. The bottom is a double crust recipe – our Slab Pie Dough – and the top is a single crust batch. You could use the Three-Grain Butter Crust, Food Processor Pie Dough or another personal favorite to the top.

Most deep-dish pies we make call for about 6 or 7 cups of fruit; this one has 8 to 9 cups of frozen fruit. I always use frozen fruit when I make this pie because it’s less expensive than fresh and I can make the pie anytime I want – like now, in March, when I’ll start climbing the walls if I don’t have a taste of a summery pie very shortly.

Courtesy Ken Haedrich, dean of The Pie Academy

There is one extra little step here that makes this pie so attractive and I think you’ll buy in to my conclusion. Look again at the first photo up top and the last one below. See how evenly distributed and level the filling is? That’s no accident. It’s the result of precooking the filling on top of the stove, letting it cool, then distributing it evenly in your slab pie shell. I haven’t always precooked the filling, and don’t for apple slab pies. But you simply can’t get the same tidy look without precooking the filling here.

Courtesy Ken Haedrich, dean of The Pie Academy

So there you have it. Summer is right around the corner. That means graduation parties, summer potlucks, national holidays, and tailgate events. Everyone in your pie circle will be wondering what new tricks you have up your sleeve. This slab pie won’t disappoint.

*Scroll down for the recipe*


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Cherry Blueberry Slab Pie

Yield 12-15 servings


  • Slab Pie Dough, modified as in step 1 below (see article for link to recipe)
  • Food Processor Pie Dough, Good Basic Pie Dough, or another single crust recipe (see links in article)
  • 5 cups frozen cherries
  • 3 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup cranberry or apple juice
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Milk or half-and-half to brush on the pie
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk


  1. If you haven't already, prepare the Slab Pie Dough and line your jelly roll pan. Be sure to use the recommended pan. Don't trim the excess dough. Instead, let it come above the sides of the pan. Refrigerate the shell until needed.
  2. Roll the other half of dough - the single crust recipe - into an approximate 10- by 15-inch rectangle. Using a pastry wheel or paring knife, cut the dough into 12 equal squares, making three equally spaced cuts crosswise and two lengthwise. Spread these sqaures out on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
  3. Combine the frozen cherries and blueberries in a large, heavy, non-reactive pot. Slowly heat the fruit, partially covered, until it is juicy and mostly thawed. Stir in the 1 cup of sugar and lemon juice. Raise the heat slightly, and continue to heat until the mixture is very juicy. 
  4. Pour the cranberry or apple juice into a small bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the cornstarch and mix well. Stir into the fruit and bring to a boil, stirring nonstop. When the fruit comes to a boil, lower the heat slightly and continue to boil for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring nonstop. Remove the fruit from the heat, cool briefly, then transfer the fruit to a shallow casserole dish and cool thoroughly. When the fruit has cooled, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch. Shake this mixture over the fruit and stir it in thoroughly. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 400° when you're ready to assemble the pie. Put one rack in the lower part of your oven and another in the middle. 
  6. Transfer all of the fruit filling to your slab pie dough and smooth it out with the back of a spoon. Working with one square of dough at a time, lightly brush the square with milk and butt it in a corner of your pan, against the shell. (Milk side goes up.) Apply milk to another and place it right next to the first one, in the middle position, overlapping the first one very slightly. Continue in this manner, overlapping them slightly, until all of the squares are in place. Fold down any excess dough from your shell and pinch it against the squares of dough along the edge. Sprinkle the top of the pie with sugar. 
  7. Put the pie on the lower oven rack and bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375° and move the pie up to the middle oven rack, rotating it 180 degrees. Continue to bake until the top of the pie is golden brown and the fruit bubbles thickly, another 25 to 30 minutes. You'll probably see it gurgling up through seams here and there. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool.
  8. To make the glaze, whisk the confectioners' sugar and 3 tablespoons of the milk in a small bowl. Gradually add more milk, by the teaspoon, to make a smooth drizzly glaze. Drizzle it on top of the pie before serving. 


If you'd rather not make this pie all at once, spread it out over a weekend. I do this all the time, with so many of my pies. You could make the doughs one day, and get the shell into the pan, and perhaps make the filling the same day. Then just assemble and bake the pie the next day. Whatever works.