When It Comes To Feeding A Crowd You Can't Go Wrong With Slab Pie

"Minimalism" is not a word foodies often use when talking about pie. Give 'em an elaborate lattice crust with a flaky, buttery bite. Pecan pie with Vermont maple syrup and bourbon and gingersnaps pressed into the crust? Deal. But can you make it à la mode? When it comes to pie, "bigger" is the name of the game, and that's exactly the idea we're talking about today. Introducing: slab pie.

Per Southern Living, slab pies are essentially super-sized versions of the classic pies home cooks know and love. Your traditional 9-inch pie is elevated to fit a rectangular sheet pan, typically 15-by-10 inches. These are called "jelly roll pans," says Pillsbury, and they come outfitted with a one-inch lip. With this method, you can quickly and easily assemble a massive apple or blueberry pie to bring to a big family Thanksgiving. You could even spread thin layers of mashed potatoes and veggies into that sheet pan for a savory Shepherd's Pie.

Slab pies yield twice as many servings as a round pie — enough for 16 people, according to The Spruce Eats. Plus, slab pies' square slices versus triangular ones maximize surface area while also making for convenient sharing at large events. It's the same reason why brownies and lemon bars are such a hit for easily feeding a crowd. Perhaps the best part? You can convert your favorite tried-and-true recipe into a slab pie — all it takes is some adjustment of metrics.

How to convert your standard pie recipe

If you're buying store-bought refrigerated pie crust, Southern Living recommends doubling the amount of crust you would typically need. If you're making crust from scratch, prepare a double batch. For slab pies with liquid-based fillings (like pumpkin pie or custard pies), Pillsbury recommends lightly pre-baking the bottom crust until browned. Popping it in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for six or seven minutes can make all the difference for a flaky, crusty mouthfeel. Some fillings (like pecan pie) have a higher fat content, explains Pillsbury, which can make it harder for the bottom crust to bake; Slab pies like these would benefit from a pre-bake, as well.

For the filling, King Arthur Baking says to make double the amount you would normally use for a 9-inch round pie. But, as a general rule, avoid overfilling slab pies. Slabs are slightly shallower than normal pies, making for a flaky crust-forward bite and mess-free sharing. It's the only time when "less is more" in the pie world. Bake time varies heavily depending on the type of filling you use, but the outlet recommends regularly checking the pie after 30 to 45 minutes in the oven. 

So, when you want to whip up a sweet potato pie that'll stun a houseful, the slab pie method will be ready and waiting. All you need is a baking sheet.