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Streusel-Topped Double Cherry Slab Pie

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Serves 10

  • by Abigail Johnson Dodge from Mini Treats & Hand-Held Sweets

This open-faced hand tart uses a combination of dried and fresh fruit and simmered them to concentrate their flavors before filling and baking the tart. Although it’s an extra step, it will reward you with a richly flavored dessert.

For the dough
  • 10 Tbs. (5 oz.) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1/4 cup very cold water
  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-2/3 cups (7-1/2 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
For the compote
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (3-1/2 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dry rosé
  • 2 strips of orange zest
  • 2 strips of lemon zest
  • 12 oz. fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 1 Tbs. cherry- or orange-flavored liqueur
For the streusel topping
  • 1/3 cup (1-1/2 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (2-3/8 oz.) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs. (1 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz.) slivered almonds, lightly toasted
For assembly
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbs. water
Make the dough

Cut the butter in half lengthwise, cut each half lengthwise again, and then cut each strip into 8 pieces. Pile the butter onto a plate and slide it into the freezer until ready to use. Combine the water and lemon juice and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Whisk the flour, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well blended. Add the cold butter pieces and, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the pieces are pea-sized, about 3 minutes. (You can also do this in a food processor using short pulses, scraping the blended mixture into a large bowl before proceeding.)

Pour the water over the flour and, using a rubber spatula, stir and fold until it forms a shaggy, moist dough with some floury bits remaining (If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, use one hand to mix the dough and the spatula in the other.) Scrape the dough and any remaining floury bits onto the counter and knead a few times until the dough is evenly moist and holds together.

Shape the dough into a 4x6-inch rectangle, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours

Make the compote

Put the dried cherries, sugar, wine, and orange and lemon zests in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the cherries are very plump and almost breaking apart and the liquid is reduced, 15 to 17 minutes.

Add the fresh cherries, water, lemon juice, and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are very tender and the liquid is reduced to a very thick syrup (you’ll have about 3 or 4 Tbs.), 20 to 25 minutes. Slide the pan from the heat and pick out and discard the orange and lemon zest. Add the liqueur and stir until well blended. Set aside, stirring occasionally, until cooled to room temperature.

Make the streusel

In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Drizzle the melted butter over the top and, using a fork (or your fingers), mix the ingredients unti well blended and they form small crumbs. Add the almonds and stir. Pop in the fridge while you assemble the pie.

Assemble and bake

Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a nonstick liner. Put the egg and water in a small bowl or ramekin and, using a fork, mix until well blended.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle slightly larger than 7x18 inches. Using a sharp paring knife and a ruler, trim the edges to get a neat rectangle that measures 7x18 inches. Gently roll the dough around the pin and arrange on the center of the prepared cookie sheet. The two short ends will hang over the edges of the cookie sheet.

Spoon the cooled filling down the length of the dough on the cookie sheet, leaving about a 1-1/2-inch border on the long sides and a 1-inch border on the two short sides. Fold the dough border over the filling, pressing firmly on the overlapping corners. Using a small pastry brush, brush the dough border with egg wash. Scatter the streusel evenly over the filling and the dough border.

Bake until the crust and streusel are well browned, 41 to 43 minutes. Move the sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Using two long offset spatulas, move the pie from the cookie sheet onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

Make Ahead Tips

The pie is best when served the same day, but the dough can be made and stowed in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before using or frozen for up to 1 month.

Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.

The compote can be made and stowed, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before using.

Photo: Miki Duisterhof

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