Want to know how to make a slab pie extra easy? Start with store-bought pie crusts and use a baking sheet instead of a pie plate. The chocolate and splash of almond extract are the perfect complement to the ruby summer fruit.
Special equipment: A 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet
Put the cherries, granulated sugar, chocolate, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extracts and salt in a large bowl. Toss until the cornstarch dissolves. Let stand at room temperature until juicy, about 30 minutes. (If using frozen cherries, leave them frozen and toss them with the above ingredients).
Adjust an oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease the bottom and sides of a 10-by-15-inch baking sheet with butter.
For the crust: To form the bottom crust, place 1 pie crust between two large pieces of floured parchment paper and roll into a 14-inch round. Lay the round over half of the prepared baking sheet; there will be overhang on the edges. Repeat the rolling process with a second pie crust. Lay it over the remaining exposed side of the baking sheet so that the two crusts overlap in the center of the pan; there will be overhang on the edges. Press together the overlapping crusts to make a tight seal. Transfer the filling to the crust and spread in an even layer. Dot the top with the butter.
For the lattice crust: Repeat rolling the remaining 2 pie crusts into two 14-inch rounds. With a chef’s knife or a pizza cutter, cut each crust into 1-inch-wide strips. Lay half the strips diagonally across the entire pie, about 1-inch apart. Weave the remaining strips diagonally across the first strips to make a lattice pattern. Trim the the lattice ends leaving an overhang, Press together the ends and the bottom edge of the crust to seal, then fold and crimp the edge as desired.
Brush the lattice and edge of the crust with the cream and sprinkle generously with some granulated sugar. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 45 to 55 minutes. (If the crust browns too quickly during baking, cover the pie loosely with foil.) Let cool.
Meanwhile, whip the cream, sour cream and brown sugar in a large bowl to medium peaks. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Serve the pie warm or at room temperature with dollops of the whipped topping.