For Thanksgiving this year, I’ll be making this easy and a little bit rustic slab apple pie. It’s my mom’s apple pie recipe, but with a twist. I’m using a cake pan instead of a traditional pie dish. It’s the same delicious pie, but it’s easier to cut.
Plus, slab pies serve approximately 12, and for a traditional pie, you’ll be lucky if you get eight pieces.
What exactly is a slab apple pie?
It’s basically the same as a round apple pie except that it is sized to fit a rectangular pan (typically a 15″ X 10″ jelly roll pan or a 9″ X 13″ baking pan). It’s really just a different spin on presentation – rectangular vs. round. For those who love the pie crust, give them the corner piece. And for those who love the apple filling, they can have a center cut piece.
- Granny Smith Apples
- White sugar
- Brown sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Bread cubes
- Ground cinnamon
- Prepared pie crusts
- Egg (for egg wash)
Can I make apple pie the day before?
You definitely can make it the day before and store it in the refrigerator. Take it out a few hours before you plan to serve, and reheat it in the oven with foil on top.
Make the apple filling a week or two ahead and freeze
You can prepare the apple pie filling weeks ahead of time. Peel, core, and slice the apples, add the ground cinnamon, sugar, and a little salt, and store in a zip-loc freezer bag. When you are ready to make your pie, just add the frozen (or thawed) apple mixture to the pie shell. This step makes this one of the easiest desserts to make.
What makes this apple pie rustic?
Well, I’m terrible at making homemade pie crust, so I use Pillsbury Pie Crusts that come in the red box. Each has two individually wrapped pie crusts. For a slab pie like we are making today, you’re going to need two boxes. Yes, four pie crusts.
Allow the pie crusts to thaw a little on the counter (no more than 5 minutes); you don’t want the pie crusts to get too soft, just not so cold they break apart. On a lightly floured surface, combine two pie crust rounds to make a rectangle the size of your cake pan. You’re going to have some overhang that you will cut off.
Put the newly shaped pie dough into the bottom of the pan and make sure it goes up all four sides. Sprinkle the bottom crust with brown sugar and add your apple mixture. Dot with cold butter and cubes of bread. Cover with the top crust and press the top and bottom together along the edges, crimping as you go. This is where the slab pie crust gets pretty rustic.
Why add bread cubes?
This is the apple pie recipe that my mom and my grandmother made, and they always added a few small pieces of cubed bread, the crusts removed. The purpose was for the bread to absorb any of the extra liquid, helping prevent the crust from getting soggy. You won’t even notice it; it dissolves into the apple pie while baking.
How to decorate your pie
To decorate your slab apple pie, simply cut leaves from the leftover pie crust using a sharp knife. You could also use cookie cutters to make decorations using the pie crust, but I always go freehand.
Tools or Special Equipment Needed:
- Cake pan 9 x 12
- Large bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Rolling pin
- Vegetable peeler
- Sharp knife
- Pastry brush
Easy & Rustic Slab Apple Pie
- 7 large Granny Smith apples
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 TBSP Cinnamon
- 3 TBSP butter
- 2 TBSP bread cubes
- 2 boxes prepared pie crusts (Like Pillsbury, found in the refrigerated section)
- Peel and core apples, slice thin
- In a large bowl, add the sliced apples, white sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
- Toss to combine.
- On a lightly floured surface, combine two of the prepared pie crusts by rolling them out, and adding a little water to the seams to make one large bottom crust.
- Place the crust in the cake pan, making sure the crust goes up the sides and trim any extra, and set aside.
- Sprinkle the bottom of the pie crust with brown sugar.
- Add the apple mixture.
- Dot the top with the cubed butter and bread cubes
- Prepare the top crust the same way you prepared the bottom crust and lay it on top. Tuck the excess top crust under the side of the bottom crust as best you can. Trim and crimp the crust.
- With a little of the leftover pie crust, cut leaf shapes using a sharp knife (or use leaf cookie cutters).
- Cut slits in the top of the pie. I cut 12 small slits evenly spaced on the top. Then lay your pastry leaves on top.
- Using an egg wash, brush the entire surface of the pie.
- Bake at 400º for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 375º and bake for 1 hour.
- Cover loosely with foil if the edges look like they are beginning to burn at the end of baking.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.