A few years ago, I began baking pumpkin slab pies. Pies this size make sense when you’re serving dessert to a crowd. I love them because the filling to crust ratio is perfect. In this version, there’s no choosing between a crumb or pastry topping. Life is too short to make such dire decisions when it comes to pie, so that’s why I settled on the best of both worlds with this Apple Crumb Slab Pie.
Those who know me might be raising an eyebrow on perusing the recipe below. Yes, friends, there is cinnamon in the filling. I know—I have very strong feelings about apples and cinnamon together. I find a great apple pie doesn’t need to be camouflaged with cinnamon—it should be able to stand on its own merits.
My time baking up at Grazin’ in Hudson has taught me to bend my thoughts about this. I mean, if people prefer cinnamon in their apple pie, who am I to be such a hard ass about it when baking for the restaurant—that’s not what cooking for others is about. If like me, you prefer your apples unadultered, feel free to leave it out. If you want something different, something new, try swapping in allspice or cloves.
As for apple varieties, I like to use a mix, as each apple has its own unique taste, with a rotating cast of Jonah Gold, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Fuji, and sometimes a sweeter variety added to the mix, like Golden Delicious. I prefer a “just sweet enough” pie, letting the sugar support the apples’ flavor instead of masking it with an overly sweet filling.
Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to pie, so keep that in mind. Let it cool completely before cutting. I know it seems an impossible thought when that pie comes fresh from the oven, but it’s well worth the wait for a well-rested, perfectly cut piece of pie.
Eight Years Ago: Apple Cranberry Crumb Cake, Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie, No Cook Cranberry Salsa.
Seven Years Ago: Instant Turkey Pot Pie, Brown Butter Apple Pie, Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce, Spice Scented Cranberry Sauce, Homemade Creamed Corn.
Six Years Ago: Chocolate Chess Pie, 100 Days.
Five Years Ago: Coconut Custard Pie
Four Years Ago: Banana, Walnut & White Chocolate Chunk Scones, Raspberry Croissant Bread Pudding, Homemade Pumpkin Syrup.
Three Years Ago: Pumpkin Slab Pie, Mashed Potato Pie, Homemade Bagels, Marathon Soup, Foolproof Pie Crust.
Two Years Ago: My Best Pumpkin Pie, DIY Advent Calendar, Gruyere Cheese & Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuits, How to Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes, DIY Brown Sugar.
One Year Ago: Chewy Oatmeal Walnut Allspice Cookies, Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk, Apple Cider Doughnuts, No Churn Maple Vanilla Ice Cream.
Apple Crumb Slab Pie
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 5 large apples, peeled & sliced ⅛-inch thick
- ½ to ¾ cup (100 to 150 grams) granulated natural cane sugar
- freshly grated zest & juice of 1 small lemon
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup (50 grams) flour
- Perfect Pie Crust (recipe here)
- ½ batch of Buttery Crumb Topping (recipe here)
- 1 egg, beaten with a splash of milk or cream
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the apples and sugar. Cook, stirring a few times, until the sugar has melted, and apples begin to caramelize slightly, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon zest, juice, and cinnamon. Cook for 1 minute.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the flour, and cook until the mixture has thickened, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Roll one of the piecrusts, on a lightly floured counter, out into a 12-inch by 15-inch rectangle (30-cm by 38-cm). Place the dough into a 9-inch x 13-inch x 1-inch sheet pan (rimmed baking sheet). Gently press the dough into the bottom, and up the sides, folding an overhang inside the pan (watchthis video to see how to roll out the crust).
- Spread the filling evenly across the crust.
- Roll out the remaining crust ⅛-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to press out desired shapes.
- Evenly sprinkle the crumb topping over the apples. Arrange the cutout pieces of dough as desired. Brush the cutouts and edges of the crust with the egg wash.
- Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Bake 20 to 25 minutes more, until filling is bubbling, and crust is deep golden.
- Let cool completely before cutting & serving.