Chocolate Pecan Slab Pie

Slab pies are to the pie world what sheet cake is to the cake-o-sphere: easy to serve to a crowd. This delicious recipe comes to us courtesy of writer and food stylist Erin Jeanne McDowell. You still have to make a pie crust (but bonus: it's chocolate!), and do the whole par-baking deal. But there's no fussing over making the edges pretty, and the bake time is shorter. And did we mention chocolate?

Recipe updated 10/27/17; see "tips," below.
Prep
20 mins
Bake
40 to 45 mins
Total
1 hr 45 mins
Yield
one 13" x 18" pie
Chocolate Pecan Slab Pie

Instructions

  1. To make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt. Add the butter pats, tossing them in the flour until well coated.
  2. Cut the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your fingers, flattening the squares into big shards and continuing to toss them through the butter as you work, re-coating the pieces of butter as you mix.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add 6 tablespoons of the ice water, mixing with a fork or dough scraper. Add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue mixing just until the dough comes together. As the dough begins to form, knead it a few times to make sure it's evenly moistened; but it's important to not over-hydrate the dough, which should never be sticky. It should hold together in a ball, but still feel almost dry to the touch.
  4. Form the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425°F, preferably with a baking stone on the bottom rack. Line an 18" x 13" baking sheet with parchment.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the chocolate pie dough to a slightly larger rectangle than the baking sheet: about 20" x 15". The dough will be thin, only about 1/8" thick (and potentially even thinner in some areas).
  7. Roll the dough up onto a rolling pin, and unroll it over the prepared baking sheet. Gently press the dough onto the bottom and into the corners of the pan; it should come up the sides of the baking sheet. Trim away any excess dough flush with the edge of the pan, using a paring knife. Keep the scraps handy for patching any holes in the crust when par-baking.
  8. Chill the crust for 15 to 20 minutes. Par-bake the crust, placing another sheet of parchment on top and placing a 9" x 13" pan on the paper. Use pie weights to weigh down the edges and keep them in place. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes.
  9. Remove the crust from the oven, remove the pan and pie weights, and return to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, until the crust no longer looks damp in the center. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
  11. For the filling: Scatter the pecans and chocolate in an even layer over the base of the cooled crust. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, salt, and vanilla until well combined.
  12. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the nuts and chocolate. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven, and bake until the filling is set around the edges, but still slightly jiggly in the center, 25 to 28 minutes.
  13. Cut the butter into the flour just until the pieces are about the size of walnut halves.
  14. Remove the pie from the oven and cool completely before slicing and serving.
  15. Store any leftovers, well wrapped, in the refrigerator.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Thanks to reader feedback, we've modified the recipe to create a larger volume of dough for the crust; this should make it easier to roll out.