How to Make Apple Slab Pie from Scratch

Apple Slab Pie is a delightful twist on the classic apple pie, baked in a large, shallow pan to create a thinner pie with a higher crust-to-filling ratio. This format is perfect for serving a crowd, offering the same warm, spiced apple filling and flaky pastry in a more accessible and shareable form. Whether you’re hosting a holiday gathering, a picnic, or any event that calls for a delicious dessert, Apple Slab Pie ensures that every guest gets a piece of this comforting, classic treat. It’s a versatile dessert that can be customized with different types of apples and spices to suit your taste.

The decision to bake an Apple Slab Pie for the first time came as I was looking for a dessert that could feed a large family reunion without the hassle of multiple pies. The experiment was a resounding success, not only for its practicality but also for how it turned the traditional apple pie into a fun, communal experience. Cutting into the large pie and sharing it among loved ones brought a sense of togetherness and joy that only added to the rich, spiced flavors of the dessert.

This Apple Slab Pie quickly became a requested favorite at gatherings, symbolizing not just a delicious treat but also the warmth of shared moments and memories created around the dessert table. It’s a testament to the idea that sometimes, reinventing a classic can lead to new traditions and cherished experiences.

Why You’ll Love Apple Slab Pie

  • Perfect for a Crowd: Easily serves more guests than a traditional pie.
  • Customizable: Experiment with different apple varieties and spices for a unique twist.
  • Convenient: Ideal for potlucks, picnics, and parties, thanks to its easy-to-serve format.
  • Deliciously Comforting: Offers the classic taste of apple pie with a fun and practical twist.
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Ingredients Notes For Apple Slab Pie

  • Apples: A mix of tart and sweet apples like Granny Smith and Honeycrisp offers the best flavor complexity.
  • Pie Crust: Homemade or store-bought crusts work well. You’ll need enough dough for a bottom and top layer.
  • Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice add warmth and depth to the filling.
  • Thickener: Flour or cornstarch helps to thicken the apple filling, ensuring it’s not too runny.
  • Sugar: Adjust the amount based on the sweetness of the apples and personal preference.

Recipe Steps

  1. Prepare the Crust: Roll out the pie dough and fit it into the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet, leaving enough dough for the top crust.
  2. Make the Filling: Toss sliced apples with sugar, spices, and thickener until well coated.
  3. Assemble the Pie: Spread the apple filling evenly over the crust. Cover with the second rolled-out dough and seal the edges. Cut slits in the top crust for steam to escape.
  4. Bake: Bake in a preheated oven until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly.
  5. Cool and Serve: Let the pie cool before cutting into squares. Serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Storage Options

  • Room Temperature: Keep covered for up to 2 days.
  • Refrigerate: For longer storage, refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Freeze portions for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in the oven for best texture.

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:

  • All-purpose flour: 4 cups
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Unsalted butter: 1 1/2 cups (cold and cubed)
  • Shortening: 1/2 cup (cold)
  • Ice water: 8-10 tablespoons
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For the Filling:

  • Apples: 8-10 medium, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (a mix of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp works well)
  • Granulated sugar: 3/4 cup to 1 cup (adjust based on the sweetness of the apples and preference)
  • Brown sugar: 1/2 cup
  • Cinnamon: 2 teaspoons
  • Nutmeg: 1/4 teaspoon
  • All-purpose flour: 1/4 cup (for thickening)
  • Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon

For Assembly and Topping:

  • Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Coarse sugar: for sprinkling on top (optional)
  • Milk or cream: for brushing the crust

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare the Crust:
    • In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Cut in the cold butter and shortening using a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    • Gradually add ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough just comes together. Divide the dough in half, form into rectangles, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 1 hour.
  2. Make the Filling:
    • In a large bowl, combine the sliced apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, and lemon juice. Toss until the apples are evenly coated. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to macerate and draw out some of the juices.
  3. Assemble the Pie:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 15×10-inch rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan.
    • On a floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a rectangle about 18×13 inches, then transfer it to the prepared baking sheet, pressing it into the corners and up the sides.
    • Spread the apple filling evenly over the crust. Roll out the second piece of dough and place it over the filling, sealing the edges by crimping with a fork or your fingers.
    • Cut slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Brush the top with the egg wash or milk/cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired.
  4. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Check halfway through; if the edges are browning too quickly, cover them with foil.
  5. Cool and Serve:
    • Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing and serving. This allows the filling to set, making it easier to cut.
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