Pumpkin pie is, in fact, my favorite pie, HOWEVER, when I eat it (and please don’t hate me for this), I only eat the part near the crust, because I need a near-equal crust to filling ratio when I eat pie. Yes, I said it, and yes, you’re probably making a weird face at your screen right now, but I am who I am and I said what I said! So, since I’m out here trying to solve these real world problems (read: pie crust ratios), I present to you: sheet pan slab pie! Not only is this dessert HUGE and perfect for a crowd, especially during the holidays, but it truly solves my crust to filling ratio problem.
Now, even if the layer of filling is thinner, I’m absolutely not skimping on flavor. You have the classic, creamy pumpkin filling, but to give it even more spice and to make this pie an even more beautiful thing to behold, I added a cinnamon filling swirled throughout. It’s packed with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, so it hits all the fall flavor notes! Every bite is a different mix of the two fillings and the amount of crust you have, which makes eating a slice even more fun. This pie will be a show stopper on your Thanksgiving table (or if you’re me, any time of year) not only for its size, but for the beautifully swirled filling and the bounty of crispy, buttery crust!
1. Pie Dough Tips
There are so many! The ones most important with a crust this large are 1. Make sure your butter is in relatively small pieces. If you aren’t sure how far to break it down, an easy shortcut is to grate your butter on the largest holes of a box grater, freeze it for 30 minutes, and then mix it into your dry ingredients before adding ice water. 2. Don’t be afraid to refrigerate your pie dough at any point if it gets sticky or becomes hard to handle. The more fridge time it has, before, during, and after rolling, the better it will bake and hold its shape.
2. Custard Pie
Custard pie fillings – fillings that are thickened with eggs – tend to rise while baking, and then can crack when they’re cooled too quickly. To help avoid that, once the pie is baked, turn the oven off, crack the door, and allow the pie to cool in the oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove the pie and place it on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
3. Swirl Technique
The thing to remember when swirling fillings together like this is that less is more! I dollop big spoonfuls of the cinnamon mixture over the pumpkin – it doesn’t matter if they’re messy since you’re going to swirl them anyway – then use a butter knife to draw large, loose “S” shapes across the surface of the pie. I usually draw 4 to 5 “Ss”, rotating the pan 90 degrees to make sure I swipe through each dollop once. Remember, you can always add more swirls, but you can’t take them away!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Slab Pie
For the Dough
- 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cubed, or grated and frozen
For the Pie Filling
- 8 large eggs
- 2 (15-ounce) cans pumpkin puree
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup heavy cream, very cold
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
For the Swirl
- 1 cup reserved pumpkin filling
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- Whipped cream
For the Dough
- In a large, shallow mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. If using cubed butter, add it to the bowl and use clean hands to toss butter so that cubes are well coated in flour. Using hands or a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour until it is the size of small peas, no larger than ⅓ inch. If using grated butter, place in flour and mix until well coated and distributed in the flour. Drizzle ¾ cup ice cold water over flour mixture, and use a rubber spatula to gently stir and fold together until a shaggy dough forms. Use clean hands to gather dough together in one mass. If dough is too dry to hold together, add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until it does.
- Pat dough into a rectangle, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to 2 days.
For Rolling the Dough
- Lightly flour a large work surface and remove dough from refrigerator. Firmly hit dough with a rolling pin, starting in the center and moving toward each edge. This will flatten cold dough more quickly and easily than rolling it. Once dough is about ½ inch thick, begin rolling into a very large rectangle, flouring the dough and rolling pin to avoid sticking. If dough edges crack or tear, immediately press back together. Continue rolling, rotating dough 90° often, until it is a 20×15 inch rectangle.
- Transfer dough to a sheet pan by gently folding dough in half long ways, and then in half again. Gently lift the folded dough and place into a quadrant of the pan, with about an inch of overhang on both edges. Gently unfold the crust to cover the entire pan. Make sure dough is pressed into the corners of the pan, with 1 inch of overhang around all sides. Fold dough overhang under to create a double layer of dough around the rim. Place in refrigerator while you make the fillings.
For the Filling
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs until well combined, about 1 minute. Add pumpkin puree and sugar, and whisk again until well combined. Add cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves and whisk well. Finally, add heavy cream and vanilla extract, and whisk very well, about 1 minute.
- Remove one cup of pumpkin filling and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Remove pie dough from refrigerator and pour in pumpkin filling, spreading evenly. Use a large spoon to dollop cinnamon swirl filling across pumpkin filling, then use a clean butter knife to swirl cinnamon filling through pumpkin filling, being careful not to prick the pie dough.
- Place pie in oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until filling wobbles slightly in the center and crust is golden brown. Turn off oven, crack oven door, and allow pie to begin cooling in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Serve at room temperature, with whipped cream if desired.
- Pie keeps covered at room temperature for 2 days, 1 week in the refrigerator, or 2 months in the freezer.