I LOVE apple pie. I also love sharing my pies but since most pies serve up to 8, when you need to serve more people, pie isn't a great option, unless you have the time to spend all day baking. Enter the slab pie, baked on a baking sheet to easily double the servings, but still the same double-crust goodness from any good apple pie.
Cinnamon-sugared sliced apples tossed with some lemon juice to brighten all the flavors, baked golden brown, then taken to another level of awesome by topping it with a sweet glaze. Cook's Country made life easier by suggesting the use of store-bought dough, they found it sturdier than homemade dough to roll out and cover a baking sheet. They perk up the flavor of, normally bland, store-bought dough by rolling it in finely ground animal crackers that also provide texture. Since I had extra I spread them on the bottom crust to absorb more of the apple juices that helped make this pie easy to slice and serve. The glaze on top is basically icing on the cake!
This Pi/Pie day favorite serves 18 to 20, whether it be Pi Day or any special gathering, I hope you share this slab pie soon! Enjoy!
Recipe from Cook's Country, October 2007.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
An 18 by 13-inch nonstick baking sheet, if using a conventional baking sheet (what I used), coat it lightly with cooking spray.
For the pie:
8 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 (4 oz.)
2 (15-ounce) boxes Pillsbury Ready to Roll Pie Crust (I used Trader Joe's)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons lemon juice
For the glaze:
3/4 cup reserved apple juice (from filling)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
Step 2: Prepare Apples
If you prepare more than 3 or 4 apple dishes a year I think an apple peeler/corer/slicer is one of the best inventions. It makes quick work of a task I normally find tedious, and no matter how old you are, seeing it work is pretty fun too!
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.
Step 3: Prepare Crust
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F.
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. Since I have a nice large rolling mat, I found it easiest to invert the crust into the pan from the rolling mat.
Brush dough with butter, I had a fair amount of cracker crumbs left so I scattered them on top of dough, refrigerate.
Roll out top crust in the same way, then refrigerate until needed. (I kept it on my rolling mat and put it in the fridge, if just rolling on parchment, you could transfer to inverted baking sheet and put that in the fridge.)
Step 4: Assemble and Bake Pie
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.
Step 5: Make Glaze, Brush on Pie, Cool, and Enjoy
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.
The pie can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving. If you warmed each slice up, and served with ice cream, I don't think a single person would complain!