Cherry and Apricot Slab Pie
Servings 8 people
- 430 g plain flour
- 200 g unsalted butter
- 100 g icing sugar
- 0.5 tsp flaky sea salt
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp milk cold
- 700 g apricots pitted and quartered
- 250 g cherries pitted
- 100 g golden caster sugar
- 120 g groun almonds
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
- Rub (or pulse) the flour, butter, icing sugar and salt into a breadcrumb-like consistency. Add the vinegar and cold milk, and press into a ball. Divide the pastry into two not-quite-equal pieces, push into rectangles about 3cm thick, then wrap both and refrigerate for at least an hour, and ideally longer.
- The pastry is very buttery and can be tricky to handle, so roll out between two sheets of baking paper: the smaller one so it’s the same size as your tin (this will be the lid), the other big enough to line the base and sides, and both to 2–3mm thick. You’ll be able to break off bits that are not in the right shape and place them where they should be as you go. Refrigerate for at least an hour (again).
- Mix the fruit and caster sugar in a bowl and leave to macerate. After 20 minutes, add half the ground almonds, stir and set to one side.
- Butter the baking tin, dust with flour, then line the tin with the larger pastry sheet. Use a knife to trim the pastry so it’s flush with the top of the tin, using the excess to patch up any holes or thinner areas. Sprinkle the base with the remaining ground almonds, then tip in the filling, ensuring it’s evenly distributed. Brush the edges of the pastry base with milk, then place the lid on top, pressing down firmly to seal. Trim any overhang, brush with milk, then sprinkle liberally with demerara sugar. Refrigerate one final time for at least 30 minutes (the pastry needs to be cold and the oven fully to temperature).
- Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Put the baking tin on a larger sheet (to catch any spilled juices) and bake for 45 minutes, until the pastry is hard and golden, with some of the fruit bubbling through. If after 35–40 minutes the pie is looking very bronzed, turn down the heat to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4, but do keep it in for the full amount of time. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving with big dollops of creme fraiche.