What’s Cookin Wednesday: Snacks and Desserts

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Cherry Pie Slab Bars

Try this delicious twist on a mouthwatering classic dessert: the cherry pie!

Prep time: 15 mins

Additional time: 2 hrs 45 mins

Total time: 3 hrs

Yields: 12-16 servings


3 3/4 c. (510 g.) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

3/4 c. (167 g.) plus 1 tbsp. sugar divided 

2 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided

1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cubed

9 c. sweet dark cherries (about 3 lb.), pitted

6 Tbsp. cornstarch

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)

7 drops Angostura bitters (optional)

1 large egg, beaten to blend

3 Tbsp. demerara sugar


Directions

In a large bowl, whisk flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 1/4 teaspoons salt until combined. Using your fingertips, rub butter into dry ingredients until butter is in large flattened pieces about the size of a quarter. Gradually stream in 3/4 cup very cold water while stirring with a fork until a shaggy mixture forms. Squeeze together with your hands into a rough dough.

Turn out dough onto a work surface. Knead a few times until it just comes together. Flatten into a rectangle, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, rub lemon zest into remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar until damp and fragrant. Add cherries, cornstarch, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and bubbling, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, vanilla extract, almond extract (if using), and bitters (if using). Transfer to a heatproof container and let cool at room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 425°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a rough rectangle, then fold onto itself in thirds like a letter. Portion off one-third of dough; reserve in refrigerator. Roll out remaining dough to an 18” x 14” rectangle. Transfer to 13” x 9” baking pan. Press dough into bottom, sides, and corners of pan, leaving a slight overhang.

Roll out reserved dough to a rough 13” x 9” rectangle. Cut out decorative shapes as desired.

Spread cooled cherry filling into baking dish. Place top sheet of dough (or decorative shapes) over filling, folding any excess into overhang. Brush dough with egg wash; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place on a baking sheet.

Bake slab pie 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue to bake, tenting with foil if crust is getting too brown, until crust is dark brown and filling is bubbling throughout, 60 to 90 minutes more. Let cool to room temperature to allow filling to set, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

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