Apple Slab Pie
Why this recipe works:
Unlike a traditional apple pie, a slab pie is prepared in a baking sheet and can feed up to 20 people. Its filling is thickened to ensure neat slicing, and it’s topped with a sugary glaze. But rolling out the dough to cover both the bottom and top of this mammoth pie proved problematic, as was making the filling thick enough to hold up to slicing. To avoid these challenges, we used store-bought crusts for our Apple Slab Pie recipe, which proved sturdier than homemade. Gluing two crusts together with water and then rolling the dough into a large rectangle allowed us to get the crust into the large pan without a tear. To improve the bland flavor of the pie crust, we rolled it in crushed animal crackers, which contributed a sweet and buttery flavor to the crust of our Apple Slab Pie. Flour helped thicken our apple filling, but the result was too pasty. Cornstarch made the filling slimy, but tapioca thickened it well without making it starchy.
- Pie8 Granny Smith apples (about 3 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, and sliced thin
- 8 Golden Delicious apples (about 3 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, and sliced thin
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups animal crackers (see note)
- 2 (15-ounce) boxes Pillsbury Ready to Roll Pie Crust
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 6 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Glaze3/4 cup reserved apple juice (from filling)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
Serves 18 to 20
We prefer an 18 by 13-inch nonstick baking sheet for this pie. If using a conventional baking sheet, coat it lightly with cooking spray. You will need 4 ounces of animal crackers
1. For the pie: Combine apples, 1 cup sugar, and salt in colander set over large bowl. Let sit, tossing occasionally, until apples release their juices, about 30 minutes. Press gently on apples to extract liquid and reserve 3/4 cup juice.
2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse crackers and remaining sugar in food processor until finely ground. Dust work surface with cracker mixture, brush half of one pie round with water, overlap with second pie round, and dust top with cracker mixture. Roll out dough to 19 by 14 inches and transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Brush dough with butter and refrigerate; roll out top crust in the same way.
3. Toss drained apples with tapioca, cinnamon, and lemon juice and arrange evenly over bottom crust, pressing lightly to flatten. Brush edges of bottom crust with water, and arrange top crust on pie. Press crusts together and use a paring knife to trim any excess dough. Use fork to crimp and seal outside edge of pie, then to pierce top of pie at 2-inch intervals. Bake until pie is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 1 hour.
4.For the glaze: While pie is cooling, simmer reserved apple juice in saucepan over medium heat until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and butter and let cool to room temperature. Whisk in confectioners' sugar and brush glaze evenly over warm pie. Let pie cool completely, at least 1 hour longer. Serve.
Make Ahead: The pie can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.