Thanksgiving celebrations required not one but two apple desserts. The first was an apple slab pie made for a potluck of forty! This is one of the few recipes that is not toaster oven friendly, even though I have made pies in toaster oven.
To “save time,” I prepared the pie crust on Friday and popped it into the freezer. Despite reading on the internet that an hour or two on the counter top would defrost the dough, it was still hard as a rock and required much bashing with a rolling pin to soften it up. It would have been faster to make the dough and refrigerate as instructed. Do as I say, not as I do.
I was terrified that the dough would be tough and gray, the pie gods were smiling and the people enjoyed and complimented the pie. Except for the one person who said it was not sweet enough.
That being said, my favorite trick on rolling out dough is between two sheets of plastic wrap/ parchment paper. I find that it’s cleaner and I feel like the plastic wrap reduces splitting the dough.
Apple Slab Pie
ADAPTED from Smitten Kitchen
NOTES: I followed Smitten Kitchen’s measurements, but did find an inconsistency of the apples. She lists 3 1/2-4 lbs or 8 cups, but just 3 lbs of apple for me measured nine cups. I adjusted it accordingly but let me know if you get different measurements.
- 3 3/4 (470 grams) cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- 3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, very cold and chopped into tiny pieces
- 3/4 cup very cold water
- 2 tablespoons of milk (but you can also use heavy cream or an egg wash)
- 3 pounds apples, peeled, cored and chopped into approximately 1/2-inch chunks (about 9 cups)
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like your pies)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
DIRECTIONS FOR PIE CRUST:
Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of tiny peas. Gently stir in the water with a rubber spatula. Get your hands in the bowl and knead it just two or three times to form a ball. Divide dough roughly in half (it’s okay if one is slightly larger). Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten a bit, like a disc. Chill in fridge for at least an hour or up to two days. If you choose to freeze it, it will take 24 hours to defrost in the fridge.
Heat oven oven to 375 degrees F. Line bottom of 10x15x1-inch baking sheet or jellyroll pan with parchment paper or simply grease it.
DIRECTIONS FOR FILLING:
In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice until coated. Top with remaining filling ingredients and stir to evenly coat.
On a saran-wrapped surface — you can overlay the sheets — roll one of your dough halves (the larger one, if you have two different sizes) into an 18-by-13-inch rectangle. Transfer to your greased/parchment paper-lined baking sheet and gently drape some of the overhang in so that the dough fills out the inner edges and corners. Some pastry will still hang over the sides of the pan; trim this to 3/4-inch.
Pour apple mixture over and spread evenly.
Roll the second of your dough halves (the smaller one, if they were different sizes) into a 16-by-11-inch rectangle. Drape over filling and fold the bottom crust’s overhang over the edges sealing them together. Cut small slits to act as vents all over lid.
Make pretty shapes or letters with the dough scraps. Brush lid heavy cream or egg wash. Bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until just warm to the touch, about 45 minutes.