A slab pie, in my opinion, is the best way to serve dessert to a crowd. Instead of baking your pie in a round tin, as is traditional, it’s baked in one big sheet pan.
Cut into squares, everyone gets their own “slab” of pie!
With slab pie, you usually only add a thin layer of filling, so there’s also a much higher crust-to-filling ratio. This means more flaky, golden pie crust in every bite, and in my experience, we’re really all in it for the crust!
I also love that slices of slab pie are so easy to cut and lift from the pan — you avoid the dreaded removal of the first wedge of pie. Maybe it’s the food stylist in me, but it always gives me such stress! It’s almost always a mess and this rectangular version makes for a much more graceful transfer from pan to plate.
I am a firm believer in using more than one apple variety in my apple pies. I like to use 2 or 3 types (Granny Smith, Braeburn, and Honeycrisp are a favorite mix) so that my pies have some chunks of tender apple that hold their shape, while others become as soft as applesauce. I also think a mix of apples makes for a more complex and interesting flavor.
Just like any pie, remember to keep your dough well chilled before baking for maximum flakiness!
Apple Slab Pie RecipePrint
For more detailed instructions on mixing and rolling the pie dough, see No Fail Sour Cream Pie Crust, though note that the ingredient amounts are slightly different (this slab pie uses 1 1/2 full recipes of Sour Cream Pie Crust).
For the pie crust:
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks, 337g) cold unsalted butter
- 3 cups (390g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3/4 cup (173ml) full fat sour cream
For the filling:
- 2 pounds mixed apples (I like Granny Smith, Braeburn, and Honey crisp)
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Sanding sugar for sprinkling
- 9 1/2 x 13-inch quarter sheet pan with a 1-inch rim (or jelly roll pan of similar size)
1 Make the pie dough and chill: Cut the cold butter into cubes and set aside for 5 minutes to take the chill off. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the cubes of butter and work them into the flour with your fingers. Pinch and rub the cubes of butter together until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some chunks of butter. Add the sour cream and use a fork to mix it into the flour-butter mixture until it forms big curds of dough.
Turn the dough out onto a counter and use your hands to gather it into a large ball. Cut it in half with a knife and pat each half into a thick rectangle. Sprinkle each rectangle with a little flour, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to a day ahead (or freeze and then thaw overnight in the fridge).
2 Roll out the dough: Roll out 1 of the rectangles of dough into a thin rectangle roughly 11 x 15 inches (slightly larger than your pan). Gently transfer the crust to a quarter-sheet pan or jelly roll pan, and fit it into the corners. The crust should hang over the sides by about an inch. Do not trim.
Transfer the pan to the fridge and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
3 Prepare the apple filling: Peel and core all of the apples. Cut them into 1/2 inch chunks. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cut apples, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
Remove the bottom crust from the fridge and spread the apple filling evenly over the surface of the crust.
4 Roll out the top crust: Remove the remaining rectangle of dough from the fridge and roll it into a large rectangle roughly 10x13 inches (about the same size as your pan). At this point, you have two choices:
Traditional Top Crust: Transfer the rolled-out dough over the apples. Roll and crimp the edges. Cut six vents in the top; three on top and three on the bottom.
Lattice Top Crust: Cut the rolled-out dough into strips and weave or braid the strips into a decorative lattice top crust. Roll and crimp the edges.
5 Chill the pie and preheat the oven: Transfer the pie to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes while the oven heats. Heat the oven to 375F.
6 Brush the top of the pie with egg wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
7 Bake the pie: Place the pie on top of a larger sheet pan or baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is golden and the center of the pie is bubbling.
8 Cool completely: Cool the pie completely before serving, about 45 minutes.
The fully baked pie can also be covered in foil, stored on the counter, and served the next day. Warm briefly in the oven if desired before serving. Leftovers will also keep, wrapped in foil, for about 2 days at room temperature or about 5 days refrigerated.
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