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Apple Slab Pie is a winner in my big list of holiday bash recipes.
What apples are best for apple pies? There is no right or wrong answer. When it comes to the variety of apples to use in this Apple Slab Pie recipe, it’s up to you.
Today, I am mixing tart Granny Smith with just a couple of sweet Golden Delicious. Regardless of the variety you decide on, be sure not to pass by this recipe for Apple Slab Pie.
Have you ever volunteered to ‘bring a dessert,’ only to realize that you need to make something that will serve twenty plus people? Yeah, been there, done that. Now, I’ve got Apple Slab Pie.
A slab pie is a pie that is baked atop a rimmed rectangular sheet pan or baking pan. Exchanging a broad baking surface area for a traditional round pie plate means a high crust to filling ratio and a whole lot more pie.
Slab pies are the home chef’s solution to dessert for a crowd. This is especially clever when entertaining your crew at Thanksgiving or Christmas. This is because a slab pie yields enough for seconds and even thirds.
Additionally, they can be sliced in advance of guests arriving. Simply pre-plate to provide for an ‘ample’ dessert table or on one end of your Groaning Board.
Sometimes called Cookie Sheet Apple Pie or Apple Pie In A Pan, this colossal Apple Slab Pie is baked atop a jelly-roll pan. It is THE PIE for feeding a mob of guests! Think Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!
As readers of Not Entirely Average already know, I am a junker on weekends. I will hit up a flea market, an auction, or a neighborhood-wide garage sale until my feet hurt. I say I am a junker, but I really seek out new-ish kitchen items for actual use, and old-ish stuff for use as props in so many of my photos.
This week, I found a neighborhood-wide sale. It was instantly a frenzy darting from one house to the next to discover people’s unwanted wares. This sale was apparently well advertised as there were HUNDREDS of cars all aimed in different directions, and folks dashing to and from. BUT I SCORED!
My Dad thinks he has somehow beat the system and likes to start in the very back of a neighborhood. While everybody is shuffling in the sales immediately located in the front of the community, we can relaxingly browse almost all by ourselves at the homes at the end of the line for most.
Accept all of the glory and accolades bestowed upon you after baking up this dessert!
A very cute Sur La Table Christmas cookie plate still in the box, a few solid copper cookie cutters, and a sweet wood-handled tool like my Gram used to use to make egg salad were the ‘stuffs’ among my haul. These, and two brand new high-rimmed Wear-Ever jelly roll pans. They were still in boxes, still with the plastic sheets needing to be peeled from their pristine surfaces. I scored both for $1. Thank you, lady, in the brick house!
I was not even comfortably back in Dad’s truck before exclaiming that I was “doing a slab pie” with one of these jelly roll pans. That is because many methods for slab pie call for using a full-size sheet pan. These are 9 ½” x 13” and are labeled as ‘quarter sized.’ Well, ‘quarter sized’ is perfect for my crew, because unless I am hosting a holiday, a full-sized sheet pan slab pie is too much pie. Yep, feast or famine.
Seriously y’all, this is the recipe you will want for the coming holidays!
As local crops begin to shift at the farmers market, I am observing more much-loved autumn and winter produce become the norm. Winter squash are everywhere, which means I’m already baking my Easy Squash Casserole and my much-acclaimed Oven Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sherry and Cream.
I know I have been promising y’all pumpkin. I did not lie, I’m getting my pumpkin on, I swear. Here in Charleston, South Carolina, and despite a few days of cooler temperatures, it is simply NOT FALL YET. It’s hard for a gal to get her pumpkin on when it’s still 90 degrees outside.
Fall in general makes me happy. Apples make me a woman motivated to BAKE!
Besides, heirloom apples are also arriving, and we all know what that means. I have abandoned the deep dish apple pie recipe with homemade pie dough and a beautifully brushed egg wash lattice top for this, a recipe for slab apple pie.
The recipe card below illustrates the ingredients and method for a full recipe. You will need an 18″ x 13″ sheet pan or jelly roll pan for the full recipe. In the photos and video in this post, I have elected to make a half recipe. You will need a 9 1/2″ x 13″ pie sheet or baking sheet/jelly roll pan for the half recipe. For convenience, and because Amazon Prime Day is literally next week, I am providing links to the correct sizes of baking sheets for both the full and half recipes below.
An Apple Slab Pie is an easier, unique, and a waaaay less intimidating kind of pie to bake!
Apple is something on rotation WEEKLY in our house from October and into January. One of my all-time favorite apple recipes has to be Apple Slab Pie. Why? Maybe because when slab pie was new on the foodie scene back in the 1980s, I felt like I was the one to introduce it among my family and friends.
Despite the multistage preparation instructions, everything is prepared quickly and easily.
In this version of America’s iconic dessert, the filling is thickened to ensure neat and tidy slicing. It is then frosted like a big gooey apple Pop Tart with a gorgeous sugary glaze. A 9-inch pie plate is not enough to feed everyone on a typical Holiday celebration.
Having just enough is not my thing. I always make sure that if someone wants seconds or demands thirds, there is plenty available. And it’s no extra work!
If I am baking and serving at my house, inevitably there are always additional desserts. Yet I cut the pie into smaller slices. I pre-plate and place them on the Groaning Board for folks to serve themselves. And, despite all the other desserts, it’s ALWAYS the one thing I almost NEVER have any leftovers of.
What are the components of an Apple Slab Pie?
As I sit typing this post, I am listening to Vic Mizzy and His Orchestra and Chorus. Who you ask? If you grew up with the television series The Addams Family, you know this tune titled simply ‘Gomez.’ I lap up upbeat and quirky when I cook, bake, or write. And, this IS a fall recipe two weeks before Halloween after all, so c’mon. I digress…
The components of any good apple pie are a sturdy yet flakey pie crust, sweetened and lightly spiced apples, and a crumb, raw sugar, or glazed topping. In the pie recipe we are making today, we will be preparing a bottom as well as top crust from store bought, ready made dough, the pie filling, and an apple pie glaze which is out of this world.
Having just enough is not my thing. I always make sure that if someone wants seconds or demands thirds, there is plenty available. And with this recipe, it’s no extra work!
The glaze comes directly from the juice the apples will give us. We will allow them to weep in a colander for 30 to 45 minutes. I recommend 45 minutes, but the recipe as it was presented by America’s Test Kitchen below specifies 30 minutes. You’ll know when you have enough liquid from the weeping apples just by looking at it. It then gets reduced on the stove top until thickened. Then, I combine with butter, lemon juice, and confectioners sugar to create an almost ethereal pie icing.
If this is your first time baking a sheet pan apple pie, I can pretty assuredly guarantee you that it will not be the last. Come November, and when you are putting your Thanksgiving shopping list together, the ingredients for this little number will be at the top of that list. It looks amazing on any dessert table or Groaning Board, is baked with much love, and is a damn good excuse to go splurge on some French vanilla ice cream.
Animal Cracker crumbs are used to flour the surface you will roll your pie crust out on. They act to ‘sturdy up’ the crust as well as to give a sweet and buttery flavor to otherwise dull refrigerated pie crust.
This method for a slab apple pie is basic. But, basic by no means lacking in flavor…
Since baking this up a week-ish or so ago, I have already been asked if this is the same recipe as the slab apple pie Pioneer Woman makes which is apparently an apple cream cheese slab pie. The answer is no. Not the same. And although Rhea’s sounds amazing, this recipe has been simplified for those of us who do not necessarily bake all that well.
This apple slab pie will incorporate animal crackers in the process. Yes. Apple Slab Pie with Pillsbury Crust and a mess of animal crackers. Why? A good dose of “buttery and sweet.” Store bought pie crust is not terribly flavorful, so using animal crackers punches pre-made dough up. ATK made mention of using homemade pie crust, however they also said that a homemade crust just was not sturdy enough. Rolling two crusts together and rolling long enough to fit the full recipe 18″ x 13″ sheet pan without tearing was integral to this pies success.
This is also not the apple slab pie Martha Stewart bakes up. Martha’s is to die for, an apple slab pie with icing that is not overly sweet. However, this apple slab pie America’s Test Kitchen simplified is pure genius. And though it’s not a caramel apple slab pie, an apple slab pie with puff pastry, or an apple slab pie with crumb topping, it’s a recipe for apple slab pie that is doable by the novice home chef and non-bakers, and is consistently PERFECT every time I bake it.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Apple Slab Pie
for the pie
- 8 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and sliced thin
- 8 Golden Delicious apples peeled, cored, and sliced thin
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups animal crackers
- 2 boxes refrigerated ready to roll pie crusts I am using Pillsbury: use 1 box of 2 crusts for the bottom and 1 box of 2 crusts for the top
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons tapioca or cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
for the glaze
- ¾ cup apple juice reserved from the apples used in this recipe
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups confectioner's sugar
For a full recipe, an 18" x 13" nonstick baking sheet is preferred; if using a conventional sheet pan, coat it lightly with cooking spray. For a half recipe, use a 9 1/2" x 13" pan.
for the pie
- Toss 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 (any excess may be discarded).
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Pulse animal crackers and remaining sugar in food processor until finely ground. Dust work surface with cracker mixture. Brush half of one pastry disc with water, overlap with second pastry disc, and dust top with more 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.
- 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, leaving a 1/2" rim of pastry; fold pastry under itself and tuck into rim of baking sheet. Use fork to crimp and seal outside edge of pie, then pierce top of pie at 2-inch intervals with fork. Bake until pie is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 1 hour.
for the glaze
- For the glaze: While pie is cooling, simmer 3/4 cup apple juice (which you reserved in step 1) 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. Cut into thirds lengthwise, and into sixths widthwise, making 18 pieces each about 4"x3".
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.