This Ham Cheese and Onion Puff Pastry Slab Pie is a savory dish that is usually served as a main course. It is made with puff pastry and a filling of slightly caramelized onion, ham and cheese.
Ham Cheese and Onion Puff Pastry Slab Pie
Easy to make and delicious, this pie can be served any day of the week, but you can also make it for times when you entertain as it works as an appetizer, as well.
Elegant enough but also casual, the pie goes well with a refreshing summer salad as well as veggie/ winter salads, along with a glass of light white wine. If you are looking for a variation from the classic “meat and potatoes” type of dinner, this recipe is for you.
You can use puff pastry sheets that you can find at any grocery store. I recommend to keep in your freezer some additional sheets at hand for other delicious pie dishes. (see here Minced meat pie).
What is a slab pie? I never heard the term before:
A slab pie is a shallow pie made in a rectangular, rimmed baking sheet. It is bigger and perfect to feed a crowd, which makes a wonderful option for your holiday table, a potluck or when you entertain.
Slab pies start usually with refrigerated pie crusts or puff pastry and can be made savory or sweet. You definitely can’t go wrong with these pies because they pair well with a lot of things. Sometimes, these slab pies, when savory, can serve as appetizers as well.
What is puff pastry?
Puff pastry or pate feuillete or feuilletage in French, is a rich and delicate pastry made up of very thin layers of dough and butter.
To make puff pastry from scratch is a lengthy and complicated procedure. Butter is incorporated into a rolled-out dough of flour and water. The dough is then folded, turned at right angles, rolled out and folded again.
This procedure is repeated a number of times and the dough is left to stand and chill between each turning. The more turns there are up(up to eight, usually, according to Larousse Encyclopedia) the greater the number of layers in the finished pastry.
Because of the long process, almost nobody makes this pastry from scratch anymore, so don’t feel bad if you buy it in the store. Even the famous chefs don’t waste their time making it from scratch.
Note: Puff pastry is usually not sweetened and it is used for pies, tarts, pastries and many other dishes. It is usually baked at high temperatures so the air trapped during rolling expands.
The melting fat content and heat set the layers and give the pastry the characteristic crisp texture.
How to make Ham Cheese and Onion Puff Pastry Slab Pie:
Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
Defrost the puff pastry no more than 40 minutes at room temperature; otherwise it will be simply hard to work with it.
Slice the onion thinly and dice the ham.
In a large skillet, heat up the butter or the oil and add the onions and ham.
Cook onions until they are soft and slightly caramelized, about 7-10 minutes. Stir often, so the onions don’t burn.
Add salt, nutmeg and pepper. Taste and make sure the amount of salt is enough. If not, add a little bit more.
Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool for few minutes.
Beat 3 eggs and add them to the mixture.
Also add the shredded cheese.
Note: Cheddar cheese works perfect, but there is no rule to add whatever shredded cheese you have around.
Maybe you want to mix cheddar cheese with a little bit of gruyere, or maybe you have a bag of Mexican cheeses, or even Feta cheese. Suits well!
Stir to combine.
In a 9×13 inch baking pan, place a puff pastry sheet on the bottom of the pan.
Add the mixture of onions and ham and spread it evenly over the puff pastry sheet.
Cover the mixture with the second puff pastry sheet and tuck the edges of the puff pastry inside the tray.
Beat an egg and brush the entire surface of the pie with it.
Also, grab a fork and poke the puff pastry top everywhere.
Bake at 400F/200C for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Slice it in squares and serve it warm.
Can I make this recipe in advance?
If you want to make this recipe with some time in advance, you can put it together, then freeze it. On the day of serving it, just heat up the oven and bake it.
What about leftover? How long they last in the fridge? Can I freeze them?
Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or in the oven for a few minutes. I do not recommend freezing the leftovers as the pastry will get soggy.
Leftover pie should be good in the fridge for maximum 3-4 days.
Can I use pie crust instead of puff pastry?
Yes, you can. However, the texture of the puff pastry is very different than the pie crust one, but if you like that better or don’t have access to puff pastry, go ahead and use what you have. Keep in mind that the two of them are not the same, so the results will be quite different.
I don’t have ham, can I use something else?
Ok, if you don’t have ham, go buy some. However, you can replace the ham with sausages, like kielbasa style, or cooked steak.
I don’t like onions, what else can I use?
You might be surprised how many people ask this question. Leeks would be a good option if you hate onions, but keep in mind that they are from the same family of vegetables. Leeks are also sweeter and have a slightly different texture.
Suggestion for a sweet slab pie:
Suggestions for other recipes that use puff pastry:
- 1 package puff pastry(17.25oz)
- 3 large onions(2 white, 1 red) sliced thinly
- 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 16 oz cooked ham diced
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground peppers
- 3 large eggs for the filling
- 1 large egg for brushing the pastry
- 8 oz shredded cheese(Cheddar, Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, crumbled Feta etc)
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
- Defrost the puff pastry according to the package. (Do not let it sit at room temperature more than 40 minutes.More than 40 mins sitting at room temperature and the puff pastry will be difficult to work with.)
- While the puff pastry is defrosting, slice the onions thinly and dice the ham.
- In a large skillet, heat up the butter or the oil and add the onions and ham. Cook them until the onions are soft and slightly caramelized, about 7-10 minutes. Stir often, so the onions don't burn.
- Add salt, nutmeg and pepper. Taste and make sure the amount of salt is enough. If not, add a little bit more.
- Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool.
- Beat the 3 eggs and add them to the mixture. Also add the shredded cheese. Stir to combine.
- In a 9x13 inch baking pan, place a puff pastry sheet on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the mixture of onions and ham and spread it evenly over the puff pastry sheet.
- Cover the mixture with the second puff pastry sheet and tuck the edges of the pastry inside the tray.
- Beat an egg and brush the entire surface of the pie with it. Also, grab a fork and poke the puff pastry top everywhere.
- Bake at 400F/200C for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 368Total Fat: 23.1gSaturated Fat: 9.1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 821mgCarbohydrates: 21.9gFiber: 1.2gSugar: 1.7gProtein: 18.7g