Pumpkin Slab Pie (Feeds a Crowd)
My heart pours out to all of you affected by the hurricane over the weekend. Hope you are all safe, warm, and picking up the pieces as the week goes on. Hugs and prayers to anyone who lost a loved one or a home in the massive storm. ♥
With a new week comes a new pumpkin recipe and I’ve been holding onto this one for about a week. I made it for all our friends who visited this weekend and while the pumpkin filling received glowing reviews, everyone commented on the thick, buttery, flaky pie crust. And the pie crust leaves too! Always pie crust leaves.
Please excuse the hideous dollops of whipped cream. Does anyone know how to make pretty dollops?! Is there a way? Tell me your secrets!!
But seriously. We’ve all faced the problem before– not the weird dollop problem– but the “I need to feed an actual army of people dessert on Thanksgiving and don’t feel like making 1200 pies” problem. Or even just the “I’m totally in the fall spirit and want to bring pumpkin pie into work but don’t feel like making 1200 pies” problem. I know this is exactly how you think.
Today = problem S-O-L-V-E-D. A pumpkin pie for an actual army of people.
Channeling the great pumpkin pie recipe, I pretty much doubled each ingredient to make a much larger pie. I kept the egg count to only 4, as my 1st test pie tasted egg-y. The last thing we want with pure & creamy pumpkin pie. Want to know what makes this pumpkin pie extra creamy? Actual cream. Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream create the most luxurious pumpkin pie you’ll ever taste!
Now let’s jump right into the sugar situation. I only sweeten this pumpkin slab pie with brown sugar. I used a mix of light brown sugar (1 cup) and dark brown sugar (1 cup) for a layered flavor, though you can use either. My friends loved that little extra flavor and couldn’t quite put their fingers on what it was. It was the slight molasses in the dark brown sugar. Perfect in pumpkin pie.
How about one more layer of flavor? Glad we agree on that. Remember the secret ingredient from the great pumpkin pie recipe? Black pepper, my friends. BLACK PEPPER. It’s bizarre, but I’ve gotten a lot wonderful feedback from readers on this! No one will know it’s in there except for you. But all your pumpkin pie eaters will fall in love with the sweet spiced flavor.
You can use canned pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin puree, but I always have the best luck with canned pumpkin in pie recipes. I recommend it over fresh.
For the crust, you know we’re making that from scratch. Remember the all-butter crust we used in the apple slab pie this summer? Consider today its sequel! I love this all-butter pie crust. It’s enough to be the foundation for this pumpkin slab pie and you’ll have enough leftover to make these adorable leaves. Make sure your pie crust ingredients are extra extra cold and you can even begin the crust the night before to save time. I always let my pie crust chill over night before rolling/shaping and highly recommend you do the same.
Here are the cookie cutters I used for the leaves if you want to decorate your pie this way. Bake the leaves separately. I like how the leaves look placed on top of the baked pie rather than baking them directly on the pie. They sort of move around and end up looking a little funky if they’re baked on the pumpkin pie filling.
The pie takes about 35-45 minutes to bake through– and there’s no need to pre-bake this crust. I found it to be a waste of time and not at all necessary. The crust baked through without taking this extra step.
The most important part! Use the correct size pan. Any larger and you won’t have quite enough dough. Any smaller and you’ll have some overflow. You’ll need a 10×15 inch jelly roll baking pan/sheet pan. I own and love both this one and this one.
It’s creamy, spiced, sweet, brown-sugared, and accompanied by the most buttery pie crust ever. There’s enough to go around!
Pumpkin Slab Pie
- 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 and 3/4 cup (3.5 sticks; 400g) unsalted butter, very cold and cubed
- 3/4 cup (180ml) very cold ice water
- egg wash: 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
- 2 (15 ounce) cans pure pumpkin (about 4 cups total; 900g)1
- 2 cups (400g) light or dark brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
- 1/4 cup (60ml) whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper2
- optional: whipped cream
- Make the pie crust: Mix the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal (pea-sized bits with a few larger bits of fat is OK). A pastry cutter makes this step very easy and quick. Drizzle the cold water in, 1 Tablespoon (15ml) at a time, and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon after every Tablespoon (15ml) added. Do not add any more water than you need. Stop adding water when the dough begins to form large clumps. I always use about 3/4 cup (180ml) water. Transfer the pie dough to a floured work surface. Using floured hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the butter pieces. The dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky. Form dough into a ball. Cut off about 1/4 of the dough; this will be for the pie crust leaves and the rest will be for the actual pie. Flatten both into a 1-inch thick disc using your hands. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (and up to 5 days) or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using. *If not making pie crust leaves, just wrap all the dough up, chill, and use it all for the bottom crust.
- Make the filling: Whisk all of the filling ingredients together in a large bowl. It will be a little thick. Cover and refrigerate until you need it; or refrigerate up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Roll out the chilled pie crust: Remove larger disc of pie dough from the refrigerator. Keep the other in the refrigerator as you work. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into (roughly) an 18x13-inch rectangle. Make sure to turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls. Carefully place the dough into a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan (I like this one too); there will be overhang on the sides. Smooth the crust out so it fits nicely into all the corners of the pan. Crimp the edges with your fingers, if desired. Brush edges lightly with the egg wash. Reserve remaining egg wash for step 6.
- Spread filling evenly into the crust. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the filling is only slightly jiggly in the very center. Remove from the oven, set on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely.
- Pie crust leaves: As the pie cools, roll out remaining dough. Roll out into any shape you really want (doesn't matter) and 1/8 inch thickness. Using leaf cookie cutters, cut into shapes. Brush each lightly with egg wash. Cut leaf veins into leaves using a sharp knife or toothpick, if desired. Place onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside to cool before decorating pie.
- Decorate pie with pie crust leaves and/or whipped cream. Leftovers keep well covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Make ahead tip: The pie crust in step 1 can be made ahead of time, chilled for up to 5 days (see step 1) or frozen up to 3 months (see step 1). The filling can also be made, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days. See step 2. Baked pie freezes well up to 3 months.
- I prefer canned pumpkin, not fresh pumpkin puree in this recipe. I like to use Libby's brand.
- I like to use a heaping 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper in this slab pie. If you like spice flavor, increase to 1/4 teaspoon.
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