Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet and Savory Slab Pies by Cathy Barrow

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Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Southern-style tomato slab pie with a cheddar cheese crust

    • Laurendmck on August 06, 2019

      Phenomenal! I've made tomato pies before. This hits all the right notes. The layer of mayo on the bottom is lovely as is the cheddar crust.

    • averythingcooks on September 05, 2022

      This was a really great use for some garden tomatoes & green onions served with a green salad. To echo anya_sf, I also made a 1/2 recipe of the pastry for an open faced pie and had to add extra water to the dough...but it ulitmately did come together easily and rolled out beautifully. I added fresh basil to the tomato layer and to the top of pie as it came out of the oven. I would make this again for sure.

    • anya_sf on July 14, 2020

      I made an open-faced pie. Half the crust recipe was plenty for the full bottom crust and we liked that ratio of crust to filling. I did have to add a little extra water for the dough to come together. The pie was absolutely delicious.

  • Pan-roasted mushroom and kale slab pie with an all-butter crust

    • MollyB on November 23, 2018

      Delicious pie! We had it as a vegetarian main dish for Thanksgiving, and it was a big hit. A lot of work, but worth it. One caution - the weight for fresh kale seemed off (too much). Once we chopped the amount of kale as listed, there was no way it would fit in the pie; I would go by the volume measure (5 c) on the chopped fresh kale, not the weight.

    • anya_sf on June 11, 2021

      I made a single-crust, open-faced version. I just had 10 oz frozen spinach (instead of kale), which seemed like enough relative to the mushrooms, although more would have fit. I used the sherry but omitted the red pepper flakes. The pie was very tasty. Without the top crust, this served 4 for dinner with a side salad. I would make it again the same way, but with even more mushrooms and the full amount of greens, and perhaps some blue cheese for added flavor.

    • Lsblackburn1 on December 16, 2018

      This was delicious. My first slab pie was not pretty, but made a great vegetarian option for a casual pie-themed dinner party.

  • Beefy empanada slab pie with a cream cheese crust

    • MollyB on May 20, 2019

      This pie was great! A nice savory filling with some hits of sweetness from the raisins. I might add a little bit of chipotle powder or other ground chile if making it again. My bottom crust didn't really crisp up enough - I think I didn't preheat the oven with the baking steel quite enough.

    • hirsheys on October 27, 2020

      This slab pie has a pretty traditional picadillo-style filling, though it is flavored with smoked paprika (as well as a few other spices), which I found a bit overwhelming taste-wise the first day, but it mellowed over the next few days. I followed the recipe exactly except for one rather huge change - the “patties” in my freezer that I thought were beef turned out to be pork bratwurst. After frying it up and draining (per the recipe), I tasted it and determined that it was lightly flavored enough and would be a fine substitute for the beef. Anyway, I’d make this again - probably making the filling the day before to let the flavors meld. The crust was delicious, and overall it was a big success.

  • English-style pork slab pie with a hot water crust

    • MollyB on February 25, 2020

      Very good, simple pie (simple taste-wise that is - not simple to make!). This was my first time working with a hot water crust, and it turned out well. The filling did shrink in some from the edges as it cooked, but I don't see how you can avoid that. This was a big hit with my 8 yr old, who wanted the leftovers for several meals in a row.

    • anya_sf on February 26, 2020

      I'm not sure if I rolled the dough too thick (didn't seem like it), but I did not have extra dough scraps for decorations. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to pour only 1 tsp of gelatin stock in each hole or use the whole cup, but the author was kind enough to clarify that it's as much as the pie can take - anywhere between 1/2 - 1 cup. In my case it was barely 1/2 cup and several of the holes overflowed as I tried to fill them. Once I cut into the pie, I could see that much of the gelatin went in between the filling and edges, but overall that didn't seem to matter. This was a very hearty, tasty pie, best with mustard, pickle, and beer.

  • Peanut butter slab pie with a chocolate wafer crust

    • MollyB on February 25, 2020

      This recipe was the first failure I've had from this book. Somehow the flavors just did not come together for me, and even my 8 yr old wouldn't finish a piece. (I did omit the optional cayenne.) It seemed hard to go wrong with the ingredient list, but it just didn't taste good for us when completed.

    • sberes on February 26, 2019

      Excellent! I scattered honey roasted peanuts over the top and it was the perfect touch!

  • Absolutely peachy slab pie with an all-butter crust

    • hirsheys on September 12, 2019

      This came out really well, though I wished that I had just stuck with vanilla rather than adding the almond. (I think my almond paste may have been slightly off and missed the pure taste of peach, regardless...) That said, it came out very well and I was impressed with how easy the crust rolled out.

    • Jviney on August 11, 2019

      Delicious, loved the almond flavor. This was my first attempt out of this cookbook, and I'm really excited to explore into the savory dishes. I used my baking steel as recommended, with parchment paper; was worried the juices would drop onto the oven floor but they stayed on the parchment paper and it all worked perfectly.

  • Classic pimento cheese

    • hirsheys on December 15, 2019

      Not my favorite - the smoked paprika is too overwhelming to the rest of the flavors. I also missed the worcestershire and onion taste in some of the other recipes.

  • Favorite turkey chili Frito slab pie with a cornbread crust

    • sberes on February 24, 2019

      My husband and I enjoyed this a lot! I cut back the chili powder but would try with the whole amount next time. I also would cut back the green onions to 1/4 or 1/3 cup. Mix some taco sauce and sour cream for the side

    • mamacrumbcake on October 14, 2020

      Second time I’ve made this. It was really delicious with some salsa (roasted hatch tomatillo) and sour cream. 4 stars with toppings, 3 stars without—the pie is very savory and the acidity and brightness from salsa and sour cream, complement it perfectly. This is kid-friendly comfort food. Since there is not a lot of chopping, it’s actually pretty easy to make. I used all of the turkey chili, including the liquids and the cornbread crust turned out fine—not soggy. Though it fills up the quarter sheet pan, it does not overflow—just remember to remove a ½ cup of the cornbread batter.

    • anya_sf on November 12, 2019

      I made the vegetarian version using the black bean chili in this book. I didn't have chipotle in adobo, so I used chipotle chile powder mixed with New Mexico chile powder. That added some smokiness, although the overall chili was very mild. We added hot sauce at the table, and also topped it with diced avocado and a squeeze of lime. My family liked this, but wanted more filling relative to crust. Next time I'll use a casserole dish so I can use all the cornbread crust batter (the "extra" one was rather bland on its own) and load up on filling (I'll probably add ground turkey to the veggie chili).

    • Jviney on September 19, 2019

      This is a keeper recipe! I kept the adobo sauce and spices exactly as called for and the dish did not have much heat, which is fine, but I might experiment with adding a chipotle chili next time. I served with lime and sour cream, and I think the contrast of both benefitted the dish.

  • Italian sausage and pepper slab pie with an all-butter crust

    • averythingcooks on June 13, 2022

      This is a very tasty & filling open faced pie. I used a mix of fresh & frozen spinach and although I ultimately had less than called for, it seemed like plenty. I also cut back on the tomatoes ...the 28 oz can seemed like too much & so I used a 14 oz can topped up with some pizza sauce from the freezer. I also added shredded mozzarella (as suggested) to the top. Like all of these pies, there is a fair bit of prep - I started everything early & assembled it just before dinner.

    • anya_sf on November 06, 2019

      I used a full pound of frozen chopped spinach, squeezed as dry as possible, and sprinkled the blind-baked crust with a bit of parmesan to help it remain crisp. Note that the weight (4 oz/113 g) and volume (1/2 cup) of parmesan cheese don't match; use however much you want. Per the suggestion, I added some mozzarella as well. This pie was a lot like deep dish pizza. My family loved it so much that it only fed 4 hungry people.

  • Caramelized onion crust

    • averythingcooks on May 03, 2021

      I made a single crust to use in a smaller oval (1/2 the volume of the 9 x 13 slab pie pan) for a double crusted pie and it fit perfectly. Once the butter is made/chilled, the pastry comes together quickly & it rolled out beautifully. You can taste the onions and it baked up golden & flaky. I used the heated pizza stone method to ensure a crisp bottom crust - I will do that again. My plan now is to have some full and 1/2 portions of the butter in the freezer waiting for more uses of this pastry...I'm pretty sure it would also be great for a beef pie.

    • anya_sf on November 09, 2019

      This was easier to make than I expected. Note that the amount of onion butter listed is just the amount of butter prior to adding the onions. I assumed I should use all of the onion butter (mine weighed 280 g). I made the dough 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated it before using.

  • Loaded baked potato slab pie with a caramelized onion crust

    • averythingcooks on May 03, 2021

      First job = ruler & some math to find the perfect pan (correct dimensions & importantly - the suggested height) to use for 1/2 recipes from this book and I now have "the one" - a shallow oval. There are a lot of steps here but I spread them easily over the day and the result was a very rich & tasty pie with a lovely golden, flaky crust. We did use ham in place of bacon this time & I agree with anya sf - there is a lot of filling! Even a 1/2 recipe made a substantial pie....but my breakfast piece was still really good.

    • anya_sf on November 01, 2019

      This pie has a lot of components, but many can and should be made ahead of time. The dough was surprisingly quick and easy to make. Note that it calls for 225 g onion butter, which is the weight of the original butter without onion - I assumed I should use all the onion butter (280 g). There was a lot of filling, but I mounded it and that worked. Using frozen broccoli straight from the bag also worked. The pastry baked up tender and nicely browned on all sides, with a subtle onion flavor. The filling was hearty and delicious. I'm going to assume the stated serving sizes are appetizer or light lunch portions; in our house, this served 6 hungry people for dinner.

    • WaterPenny on May 19, 2022

      Very, very good! I made it with the onion pastry and it turned out to be one of the best pie crusts I’ve ever made. Served with extra sour cream on the side really helped too.

  • All-butter crust

    • averythingcooks on June 13, 2022

      This served as the base for an open faced, very rich sausage & spinach pie so its a little hard to comment on its taste, but I will say that it came together beautifully, rolled out very easily & although I was worried, it did not shrink much at all during the blind bake. The edges were very crisp & flaky and I would like to try this again with a sweet filling.

  • Butter and shortening crust

    • averythingcooks on August 17, 2020

      This a lovely pastry recipe! I used it to make some ground beef “hand pies” (not from this book) and it rolled beautifully and baked up flaky & crisp. I don’t use the vodka trick in every pastry recipe I make but every time I do, I get excellent results. Her instructions re: how to wrap the dough in plastic wrap seemed a bit over the top but I guess they would help you ultimately roll a rectangle for one of her slab pies. I will make this pastry again!

  • Cheddar cheese crust

    • averythingcooks on September 05, 2022

      This crust was made to go with her southern slab tomato pie and it is lovely. I did have to add extra ice water to get it to come together in the food processor, but after chilling it rolled out beautifully and baked up with a crisp, flaky bottom and edges. I would make this pastry again for this pie and other uses.

  • Cookie crumb crusts - graham cracker crust

    • averythingcooks on May 07, 2022

      Needing a graham crust for a different dessert, I came here because I wanted to start with whole graham crackers and she actually gives that measurement as whole crackers & the mass of crackers & the cups of crumbs expected from the 1st 2 measurements. My only issue is that I think the bake time is too long (20 minutes?) but other than that (noted in my book) I would use this recipe again

  • Good morning cheese Danish slab pie with a puff pastry crust

    • anya_sf on November 09, 2019

      The easiest cheese "danishes" ever! My puff pastry sheet was slightly larger than the pan so I created a lip around the edges, which worked fine, although they needed a few extra minutes in the oven. I used whole milk ricotta instead of farmer cheese and raspberry jam. Really delicious!

  • Any-season raspberry slab pie with an all-butter crust

    • anya_sf on September 06, 2022

      I used a mixture of fresh raspberries, fresh blackberries, and frozen blueberries. 680 g berries did not look like nearly enough to fill the pie. I ended up using around 850 g, without increasing the other ingredients, and was very happy with the ratio of fruit to crust as well as the sweetness. The pie was still very good the day after baking.

  • Pear and frangipane slab pie with a puff pastry crust

    • anya_sf on November 29, 2019

      Poaching the pears a few days ahead made this pie easy to bake on Thanksgiving morning. I failed to roll the crust wide enough to get edges, so a little bit of syrup leaked over the sides, but the pie was fine. We enjoyed it plain, as it was plenty sweet enough on its own without the suggested ice cream.

  • Eggs Florentine slab pie with a hash brown crust

    • anya_sf on May 24, 2020

      I made this for 3 people for dinner, using half the bacon and 6 eggs. The crust wasn't as much work as I'd feared. Next time I will let it brown more deeply and thoroughly since I love the crispy browned bits best. 2 Tbsp butter was enough to saute the filling and next time I'll reduce the cream to 3/4 cup as the full cup seemed excessive. I wasn't sure if the salt in the filling was table salt or kosher - I used kosher, then tasted it, and ended up adding more. I found it easier to make the wells with a soup spoon rather than a ladle (next time remember to make them large so the egg doesn't run out!) and just topped each egg with 1/2 Tbsp cream. My family liked this a lot. I'd love to try the smoked salmon version.

    • D.Barker on February 14, 2022

      This was very good on the day of. It was a bit time-consuming so likely won't be something I make frequently, but we enjoyed it and gobbled most of it up. I thought my kids would turn up their noses at this, but both (1 and 3) loved it and ate a huge slice each.

  • Asparagus, Fontina, and pancetta slab pie with a lard crust

    • anya_sf on May 12, 2020

      The instructions don't give the oven temperature for blind baking; I went with 400 degrees, the temperature for the filled pie. My asparagus spears were already only 10" long, so I trimmed them as little as possible and peeled the lower parts of the stems. Only about 12 oz asparagus fit in the pie. I just cooked 5 oz pancetta (which actually looked like about 1 cup) and thought it was enough. I omitted the chives and didn't miss them. The pie was quite delicious, the lard crust super flaky. The filling was a tad salty, which would be perfect if serving this as hors d'oevres. We had it for dinner, where it served 4 hungry people (could probably serve 6 normal appetites, but my teenager had thirds).

  • Cheesy cauliflower rarebit slab pie with a rye crust

    • anya_sf on December 24, 2020

      I made the crust a day ahead. It was fairly soft straight out of the fridge, but not too bad to work with, just needed lots of flour. I weighed 1 lb cauliflower for the filling, but it was barely enough to fill the pie; next time I will use at least 50% more. We all enjoyed this pie, along with a crisp green salad to balance the richness.

  • Christine's smoky fish slab pie with a caramelized onion crust

    • anya_sf on November 18, 2019

      I made 1/2 recipe using the all-butter crust. Note that the recipe indicates that nothing about this pie can be made ahead, but the crust needs to be. The cod took 25 minutes to poach in the oven. For the sauce, I used a local cheese that tastes like a cross between cheddar and Swiss. There was a lot of filling, so make sure your bottom crust has plenty of extra on all sides - mine was lacking and I got a bit of leakage. Fortunately, I'd placed parchment under the pan. The sauce also bubbled up through the cutouts, which made the pie pretty ugly, and also made it need an extra 10 minutes in the oven. The pie was absolutely delicious - I loved the combination of shrimp, mild white fish, and smoked salmon - and very rich, so I'm glad I only made half.

  • Nacho slab pie with a corn bread crust

    • anya_sf on September 18, 2020

      Good, but not as good as I'd hoped. The filling got lost in the large quantity of chips and cornmeal crust, although part of that might be my fault as I neglected to cure the pork. Best with lots of toppings. It was a bit tricky to assemble as the chips and cheese were piled quite high in the pan, and was hard to tell when done - I baked it an extra 5 minutes just in case. If I made it again, I'd use fewer chips and perhaps season the filling more. It was very filling!

  • Pork carnitas

    • anya_sf on September 18, 2020

      I jumped straight to the slow cooker instructions, which said to combine everything in the cooker, and missed seeing the part about cutting and salting the pork beforehand. The carnitas turned out well anyway, but were probably not as well seasoned as they could have been. The slow cooker method was very easy. My pork butt weighed 3.5 lbs and I got enough carnitas for 2 pies.

  • Onion butter

    • anya_sf on November 09, 2019

      I made the onion butter the day before making the caramelized onion crust. After mixing, the butter was very soft, so I didn't try to form it into a block, just covered the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and chilled it. It was a tiny bit harder to cut into pieces for the crust, but not too much so.

  • Sausage and biscuit slab pie with a Ritz cracker crust

    • Mtetpon on March 15, 2020

      I could only fit 16 biscuits on the tray. I might have made them bigger than recipe called for. This is very interesting with the Ritz cracker crust. I would take it to a potluck as it is very good and something no one has tried.

    • taste24 on June 15, 2020

      Everyone enjoyed this dish. Next time, I would 1.5 or double the sausage gravy recipe (include more in the pie and some extra to spoon over the biscuits) and put a little less Ritz cracker crust in the pan. The crust crumbled a lot and did not hold its shape upon cutting into the pie.

  • Ham and Gruyère slab pie with an all-butter crust

    • Lsblackburn1 on April 14, 2020

      We loved this, but I made it with only a single crust in order to cut some calories (because I’m going to emerge from this pandemic a lot heavier than I was going in if I’m not careful!). That worked well and was probably a good idea because the filling layer is pretty thin.

  • Cowboy beef stew slab pie with a lard crust

    • Lsblackburn1 on August 23, 2020

      Wow - this was delicious! Very rich, so I kind of regretted not making a salad or something lighter to go with it. The lard crust was incredibly flaky.

  • Blueberry streusel slab pie with a shortbread crust

    • Lsblackburn1 on August 10, 2022

      Easy alternative to a pie because of the press-in shortbread crust. I also like how it can be cut into smaller squares. I used about 1.5 pounds of blueberries and kept the other ingredients the same and that seemed like a good choice. Took it to a gathering and people said it was delicious!

  • Zucchini, feta, and Kalamata olive slab pie with a puff pastry crust

    • Lsblackburn1 on July 13, 2021

      Delicious pie. I brought this to a summer potluck and it was a big hit. Made it just as written.

  • Easy-as-pie apple slab pie with an all-butter crust

    • Jviney on October 11, 2019

      This one kind of grew on me. I had never made an apple pie with shredded apples, but when time is short this really does make the process go quickly. Recipe notes state to expect 1.5-2” of shredded apples in the unbaked crust, and I definitely did not have that much. The crunchy sugar topping made up for the lack of apples and the pieces could be picked up and eaten by hand, which was novel. Not my favorite apple pie recipe, but I’d make it again.

  • Chocolate pecan slab pie with a chocolate crust

    • JulieCruz on November 24, 2022

      Mine was done in 30 minutes, not the 55 she calls for.

  • Banana pudding slab pie with a vanilla wafer crust

    • Padthai on October 03, 2022

      Was delicious-came out perfect

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Reviews about this book

  • RecipeGirl

    There are step-by-step techniques included for rolling and decorating. Barrow shows you that making slab pies can be easier and less-intimidating than putting together a traditional round pie.

    Full review
  • Eat the Love by Irvin Lin

    ...features both savory and sweet pies with a higher crust to filling ratio (slab pies are usually more shallow than their round counterparts.

    Full review
  • Eat Your Books by Jenny Hartin

    Pie takes on a new life in Cathy Barrow's latest, Pie Squared.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1538729148
  • ISBN 13 9781538729144
  • Published Oct 23 2018
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 256
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Grand Central Life & Style

Publishers Text

This book is part of our EYBDigital platform. Buy the book before Dec 31 and you get digital access to a portion of the book on EYB. Along with two advance recipes from the author's upcoming book, When Pies Fly. Read more in our Help pages.

The delicious new food trend of slab pies that makes it easy to serve sweet or savory pastry to a crowd-or just your family!

For those of you who aren't up on your Pinterest food trends, slab pie is just like regular pie-only better (and bigger)! Instead of crimping and meticulously rolling out a round crust, slab pies are an unfussy twist that are perfect for a potluck or dinner party or just a family dinner. Baked on sheet pans, slab pies can easily serve a crowd of people dinner or dessert. PIE SQUARED includes seventy-five foolproof recipes, along with inventive decoration tips that will appeal to baking nerds and occasional bakers alike. And this fresh, uncomplicated take on pie will surely pique the interest of those who have previously been reluctant to take out their rolling pin.

Barrow didn't invent slab pie, but she definitely thinks outside of the crust. In addition to traditional pie dough, she offers more than a dozen crust recipes-from cracker crusts and cornbread crusts to cookie crusts and cheddar cheese crusts. Using these as a base, Barrow then entices readers with both savory and sweet slab pie creations, with recipes like Spinach, Gorgonzola, and Walnut Slab Pie and Curried Chicken Slab Pie to Sour Cream Peach Melba Slab Pie and Grande Mocha Cappuccino Slab Pie. The first book of its kind, this will appeal to lovers of easy food trends like sheet pan suppers and dump cakes. Don't be surprised when you start spying slab pies at your next potluck!

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