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If you've ever been assigned pie duty for Thanksgiving, you understand how much additional work goes into making more than one at the same time. Making two or more pies can require additional batches of dough, more ingredients, additional pie plates, extra fridge space for chilling, precise oven rotations... well you get the idea. I enjoy that kind of challenge exactly once a year, so for other gatherings that require more than the standard eight wedges, there's slab pie.
A slab pie is bigger than the standard 9-inch round, slightly thinner, and designed to be enjoyed without forks (just a napkin to catch the juices). I bake mine in a standard-sized jelly roll pan, the kind that's immune to warping in the hot oven and has a solid, inch-high wall around the edges to adequately support the crust. Many slab pies require the addition of a batter in the bottom to help manage the juices, but this apple and cranberry version contains enough natural pectin to help bring it together once it's cool. It's the perfect treat for tailgating, Halloween parties, and other fall exploits that are more fun en masse.
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About the author: Lauren Weisenthal has logged many hours working in restaurant kitchens and bakeries of Brooklyn and Manhattan. She is a graduate of the Artisan Bread Baking and Pastry Arts programs at the French Culinary Institute and holds a CS Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. You can follow her on Twitter at @evillagekitchen.