4th year going strong!
Every year on or right around the 4th, I like to share an American classic that also happens to be my favorite dessert on the planet AND one of my favorite desserts to bake. Who says apple pie should be limited to only the cooler fall months? This beauty is a year-round MUST. And there’s a billion ways you can make it.
July 4th flashbacks:
This year, I’m changing its shape and giving it an all-butter crust makeover. When I make this classic, I always default to my beloved buttery flaky pie crust, a dough using a mix of butter and shortening. I won’t go into how, why, what, when, and where right now, but you can hop over to this post which is essentially a dumping ground for all my thoughts on pie crust. BUT! This independence day begged for a change. A bigger pie with a more buttery crust. We’re making an all butter crust today and we’re super-sizing it.
And yep, I’m officially addicted to slab pies now. While they feed a large crowd and the name is obviously glamorous, slab pie is really just pie baked in a sheet pan. It’s thinner so there’s less filling in your “slice” but there’s more crust. So if you’re a crust person, slab pie needs to be on your must-make list this summer. I see many in my future and I hope you do as well! Pie goals, remember?
Since the pie is so long, it takes some TLC to roll the pie dough large enough but if I can do it with -80,489% patience, you’ve totally got this too. Before I forget, go ahead and pick up a 10×15 sheet pan/jelly roll baking pan because you’ll be making a ton of slab pies after you try today’s. Don’t try to fit this pie into a larger pan because it’s nearly impossible to roll the dough out any larger! Here is the one I use (the jelly roll sheet option). There are tons of options on Amazon and they are all usually below $15. No need to pay more.
For the pie dough, the most important ingredient you’ll need is cold butter and you’ll need a lot of it. Remember, for the most tender and flaky crust– you need quite a lot of fat to coat the flour. And that fat must always be cold. Other ingredients for this all butter pie crust: all-purpose flour (a nice quality flour– I like King Arthur), cold-as-heck ice water, a bit of salt, and a touch of sugar. Easy, right? As long as you use cold ingredients and chill the pie dough for a few hours before rolling it out, you’ll be on the right track to awesome slab pie.
For the filling, let’s begin with apples. I always suggest using a mix of apples for superior apple pie taste– a sweeter variety and a tart variety too. For this I used Honeycrisp and Granny Smiths. You get a much more complex flavor in each bite using a combination.
You’ll peel the apples before chopping them into little bite-sized pieces. I find bite-sized pieces, rather than thin slices, are best for slab pie. Since the pie is thinner, you can’t really layer the slices together to get enough apple in each bite. And I notice the picture above displays my lazy man’s way to peeling where I peel the sides but leave the tops. Sloppiness. Pretty colors though, ok?
Next you’ll just top the pie with the other crust. Fold over the edges, seal it shut, and crimp them down. It’s all quite simple because if you’re using the correct size pan, you’ll have more than enough crust to work with to really seal those edges shut.
An egg-wash for achieving shiny, golden crust perfection! And don’t forget to slit some holes so the filling can breathe. Don’t just score those holes, you want slits cut all the way through the crust.
Your house will smell like Thanksgiving and your mouth will be watering when that drizzle of maple glaze first hits the crust. Maple glaze was most definitely an afterthought but quite possibly the best apple pie decision in the history of apple pies. And the great news about slab pie is that you’ll likely have a few slices leftover.
Your life is literally pie for days. ♥
The corner pieces of this apple slab pie with maple icing are the best because you get the most amount of pie crust possible. Dibs!
Have fun and happy 4th!!
And don’t forget to enter the baking bundle giveaway. 🙂
Apple Slab Pie with Maple Icing
- 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 and 3/4 cup (3.5 sticks; 400g) unsalted butter, very cold and cubed
- 3/4 cup (180ml) very cold ice water
- egg wash: 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
- optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on top
- 10 cups peeled and chopped apples (about 4 - 5 lbs)1
- 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
- enough milk or heavy cream to thin (a couple teaspoons)
- Make the pie crust: Mix the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal (pea-sized bits with a few larger bits of fat is OK). A pastry cutter makes this step very easy and quick. Drizzle the cold water in, 1 Tablespoon (15ml) at a time, and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon after every Tablespoon (15ml) added. Do not add any more water than you need to. Stop adding water when the dough begins to form large clumps. I always use about 3/4 cup (180ml) water. Transfer the pie dough to a floured work surface. Using floured hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the butter pieces. The dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky. Form dough into a ball. Divide dough in half. Flatten each half into 1-inch thick discs using your hands. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (and up to 5 days) or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
- Make the filling: Mix all of the filling ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Roll out the chilled pie crust: Remove 1 disc of pie dough from the refrigerator.Keep the other in the refrigerator as you work. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into (roughly) an 18x13-inch rectangle. Make sure to turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls. Carefully place the dough into the pan; there will be overhang on the sides-- trim it to be about 1 inch. Smooth the crust out so it fits nicely into all the corners of the pan.
- Spread filling evenly on top of crust.
- Roll out the 2nd pie dough disc in the same manner and size as the first. Drape over filling and fold the bottom crust's overhang over the edges. Seal them shut with your fingers and crimp down the sides with a fork. Cut slits into the top of the crust, then brush with a thin coating of egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake the slab pie for about 40-46 minutes until the crust is golden brown and you can see the filling bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on top of a wire rack for a few hours. You can serve this pie a little warm or at room temperature (or cold!).
- Before serving, whisk all of the glaze ingredients together and drizzle over pie. Cut into slices and serve. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Make ahead tip: The pie crust dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. Baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
- Use a couple different apple varieties for best flavor-- always a tart variety like Granny Smith and a sweeter variety like Pink Lady, Fuji, Honeycrisp, etc.
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More ways to get your apple pie fix:
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