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S’mores Slab Pie

It’s so hard to believe that Labor Day is just around the corner. It’s a holiday of mixed emotions, one I both really enjoy — it’s a great party weekend in Cincinnati — and dread, as it signals the symbolic end of summer.

Sunday of Labor Day weekend is the big celebration day in Cincinnati. Our nationally famous WEBN fireworks show occurs that evening, preceded by Riverfest, a day-long party lining both sides of the Ohio River (Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky), where a half-million people converge early in the day to stake out their little plot of ground with blankets and lawn chairs, jostling for the best view of the river — and therefore the fireworks — when 9:30pm rolls around. (The fireworks are launched from barges on the river, with the exception of the spectacular “waterfall” display, which completely lights up one of the bridges spanning Ohio and Kentucky as bright white sparklers drift down to the water in one huge mass — always my favorite part.)

These days, Riverfest is a bit much for me (at 500,000 strong, it’s too many people to take in all at once, and you have to plan on sitting in traffic for an hour or so after the fireworks end as those half a million people try to exit an area that sees barely 10,000 on a typical day).

(I’m a certified curmudgeonette (especially when it comes to large crowds), and yes, I would yell at kids to get off my lawn {fist shake} if I lived in a time when kids still played on lawns.)

I prefer to hang with my tribe, at home. The fireworks are televised on local channels and aren’t half bad on a big screen TV (and are absolutely fabulous when one considers that I’m snug under my blankets by 11:00 while the crowd on the river is only beginning to see movement out of their parking spots, much less merging onto gridlocked highways).

One last grill-out of burgers and dogs, cold fizzy drinks, a beautiful sunset — maybe a few rounds of Jarts, metal points and all (no children will be in attendance) — and easy conversation.

And summery desserts. Like these s’mores for a crowd. In slab pie form, s’mores are easy to assemble and readily feed a hungry mob.

What’s a slab pie? Well, it’s a huge-ass, free-form pie, usually made in a half sheet pan. (Pie dough fearers, fear not: this pate brisee is easy to work with, very forgiving, and totally patchable. At 13″ x 18″, you know it’s going to have cracks and fissures and weird angles, so just accept that going in and all will be well.)

(Hm. I might not know much about life, but I know this for certain: I’ll never be a hand model. I definitely inherited my father’s massive hands, not my mother’s slender fingers, whose wedding ring barely — barely — fits my pinky finger. And thanks to this food blog, the entire Interwebs knows I’ll never be a hand model. No matter — I’ll console myself with some slabs of s’mores.)

Karen xo

S’mores Slab Pie


for the Pate Brisee, bottom crust
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 cups ice water

for the pie
14 full sheets (about 7 ounces) graham crackers
1/2 heaping cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
18 ounces chocolate chips (use your favorite, milk, dark, white, or a mix)
6 ounces miniature marshmallows (about half a standard bag)

Special equipment: a half sheet pan (about 13″x18″)

1. Make the dough for the bottom crust: place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor* and pulse 2 or 3 times to mix. Add the very cold butter and pulse until the mixture becomes course with pea-sized butter clumps here and there. With the machine running, drizzle in the water and allow to mix until the dough comes together (often described as “riding the blade,” because the dough ball clings to it and circles the bowl rather than being cut through by the blade).

2. Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and kneed once or twice to bring all the scraps together. Press the dough into a rough a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the graham cracker topping: Break up the graham sheets into 1″ pieces and add to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse two or three times to reduce the crackers into a pea-sized bits. Add the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and pulse to mix. Pour in the melted butter and vanilla and pulse until the mixture becomes clumpy and sticks together when pinched.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F and position a rack in the center.

5. Prepare the crust: let the chilled dough warm up for a couple of minutes, then place on a large, well-floured board or rolling mat. Roll out the dough in a rectangle about 16″ x 20″ (if you’re using a baking sheet smaller than a half sheet pan, roll out the dough to these dimensions anyway, or your crust would be too thick). Don’t worry if there are cracks and fissures – you can patch them once they’re in the pan.

6. Transfer the dough to a parchment sheet lined pan, and gently press the dough smoothly into the pan’s edges and corners. Trim any overhang to about an inch.

7. Assemble the pie: pour the chocolate chips on the crust and spread evenly. (The chips do not have to completely cover the crust – they will spread as they melt.) Dot the chocolate layer with marshmallows (again, the marshmallows will not completely cover the chocolate). Spoon the graham cracker mix over the top (it’s okay if the marshmallows peek out – do try to cover the chocolate, though). With the palm of your hand, gently press down on the graham mixture. Fold the dough edges over onto the pie top to create a little containing rim.

8. Bake for 30 minutes. The marshmallows should be puffy and lightly browned on the top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for one hour. Slice and serve to your cheering crowd.

9. The pie is best served on the same day it’s made, warm and gooey. To reheat, warm in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes.

*This recipe pushes the limits of my 9-cup food processor. If you have a smaller machine, you’ll need to work in two batches, and then combine the dough balls in the second step. Or, prepare the dough by hand in a bowl, working the butter into the flour using a pastry blender or your fingers.

Prep Time: 30 minutes       Cook time: 30 minutes       Yield: a half-sheet pie (13″x18″)
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Tuesday 11th of September 2012

Whoa. You had me at "S'mores" and also "Slab Pie." I'm totally making this (a half batch) to take to a schmancy picnic we're going to on Saturday. Nice!


Thursday 23rd of August 2012

I love recipes with food processor dough, so much easier than using the stand mixer or hand kneading it. Perfect for a picnic/summer evening recipe, as are the s'more flavors and the crumbly cinnamon graham topping.


Tuesday 21st of August 2012

You know, I didn't even notice your hands! I was so busy drooling over your photos of this AMAZING looking slab pie! I AM MAKING THIS. Thank you so much for this great recipe :-)


Tuesday 21st of August 2012

Ah, I haven't been to those fireworks since I was 17 - which was, well, a lifetime ago :-) But I do remember them being pretty awesome. I have a feeling that these bars could be very dangerous very quickly. Very, very dangerous...


Tuesday 21st of August 2012

By the way, there is now a slab of dough in my refrigerator. Dangerous...

Sprigs of Rosemary

Monday 20th of August 2012

I wholeheartedly agree with saffronandhoney -- your photography is superb. And I agree with you that television viewing of great fireworks is a great option to crowds and standstill traffic. I just wish I liked marshmallows more; then I would be totally agreeable. (I have to admit that the pie is very tempting, marshmallows or no.