Apple Slab Pie

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My pie experiments continue. They started with hand pies, but my skill with crust and my crust recipe did not result in hand pies that could hold their shape. It was senseless pie destruction:

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But I’m stuck with this crust. I love it! It’s incredibly tasty. It just doesn’t work with small pies. So why not go big?

Like really big?

Apple Slab Pie: a pie made on a baking sheet and made to feed a crowd. In this recipe, I keep the spices to cinnamon and vanilla, but browned butter and brandy offer delicious counterpoints.

Browned Butter Apple Pie

yield: one quite large slab pie that serves 16

*when in doubt, use your favorite recipes. For this slab pie, I used two batches of double crust dough and 1.5 times the normal filling recipe as shown below*

  • Two double crust batches of pie dough
  • 10 granny smith apples
  • 8 tbsp butter, browned
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup brandy or other alcohol (bourbon, applejack, etc.)

Peel and dice the apples into pieces of roughly similar size. (Tip: I peel the apples first, then quarter them all, slicing in on a diagonal to remove the bits of core. Then I make three long slices into each piece followed by 5 or 6 slices width-wise).

Toss the apples with both sugars, flour, cinnamon, and salt.

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Cook the apples in the browned butter over medium heat along with the vanilla and brandy. Cook until they are beginning to soften and the liquid thickens, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool. It’s helpful to make this in advance and have it ready to go at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare your pie dough by rolling out a double-crust recipe of your choice to fit the bottom of a half-sheet baking pan. If you’re like me, you won’t have much in the way of trimmings.

Add the cooled filling, spreading it out to make it even. Top with another layer of crust in whatever pattern or design you like. If you got for a full double crust, create slits periodically to allow steam to vent. Below, I made one of my first lattices, and braided dough together around the edges. Brush the top of dough with a beaten egg.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 25 minutes until the crust in the center is golden brown. The edges will likely be a little darker.

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In addition to the slab pie, I made a traditional, 9-inch deep dish apple pie (I used a foil cake pan rather than a pie plate).

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