Cheese-Potato Slab Pie
I barely followed this recipe at all, and yet it still turned out delicious. I had never made a pie crust and I didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I just threw together a basic dough and stretched it over the bottom of the pan, and then over the top of the ingredients. The important part of the recipe is the filling, and sticking with the amazing spices and herbs that should be incorporated with the ingredients.
I decided to go ahead and bake this pie, and then cut it into 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares, wrapped them in wax paper, stuck the little packets of goodness in a freezer ziplock bag, and saved them in the freezer. I essentially had delicious, homemade, and not disgusting hot pockets. (I’ll admit, sometimes hot pockets can hit the spot, but these are way way better.) All I needed to do was stick them in the microwave for about 2 minutes and boom, delicious lunch.
It does take a bit of work, but having them in the fridge for meals when you don’t feel like making anything makes them so worthwhile.
For the Crust:
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, cubed (keep cold in the freezer)
- 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
For the Filling:
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 4 large red-skinned potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), unpeeled
- 2 gala apples, unpeeled
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 5 ounces mortadella or ham, thinly sliced
- 10 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
- Heavy cream, for brushing
Make the crust: Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add 1 stick butter and pulse until combined. Add the remaining 2 sticks butter and pulse three times, or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the vinegar, then gradually add 1/3 cup ice water through the feed tube, pulsing four times, until evenly combined. Squeeze the dough between your fingers. If it doesn’t hold its shape, add up to 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse two more times (the dough should still be crumbly). Turn out onto a clean surface and press into a ball; divide in half, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into two 1-inch-thick rectangles. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Make the filling: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until slightly brown, 5 to 7 minutes; season with salt and let cool. Slice the potatoes and apples very thinly; toss in a bowl with the thyme, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides. On a floured surface, roll out one piece of dough into a 12-inch square, about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to the prepared dish, tucking the dough into the edges and corners; do not trim the overhang. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the dough and add the onion. Lay the mortadella on top, then sprinkle with about one-third of the cheese. Layer half of the potatoes and apples on top in a single layer; Season with salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with another one-third of the cheese. Top with the remaining potatoes, apples; season again and finish with cheese.
Roll the remaining dough into a 12-inch square and place on top of the filling. Press the overhang of the two crusts together, then roll the dough under itself and pinch to make a 3/4-inch-high edge. Make slits in the top crust with a knife to allow steam to escape. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Bake the pie until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F, brush the crust with cream and continue baking until crisp, about 35 more minutes. Cool 25 minutes, then lift out of the pan and slice.