Old-Fashioned Apple Slab
A flaky, tender crust... cinnamon-y apple filling... Pie, right? Well, kind of.
The ingredients are all pie; but the pan is rectangular, rather than round. The
result? An ideal "apple pie" for potlucks and other occasions when you want a larger
number of smaller servings. You can easily cut this pie into 16 to 20 servings -
try THAT with a typical 9" pie!
And what about that apple-cinnamon glaze on top? Pure heaven...
While we like the crust below, you can certainly use your favorite pie crust
for this dish. Just make sure it calls for 2 1/2 to 3 cups of flour, to ensure you
have enough crust for this size pan.
- 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Perfect Pastry Blend
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk powder
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 10 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vinegar, cider or white
- 6 to 10 tablespoons ice water
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs, or other coarse dry bread crumbs; or 1 cup coarsely crushed cornflakes
- 8 cups peeled, cored, and sliced Granny Smith or other tart, firm apples, about 6 large apples
- 2/3 cup cinnamon sugar
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup boiled cider*
- small pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon milk or cream, optional, if necessary to thin the glaze
* Substitute 1/3 cup honey, if desired; or 1/4 cup thawed frozen apple juice concentrate,
or maple syrup
- Crust: Whisk together the Perfect Pastry Blend, salt, baking
powder, confectioners' sugar, and buttermilk powder.
- Add the shortening, working it in till the mixture is evenly crumbly.
- Cut the butter into small (about 1/2") cubes. Add the butter to the flour
mixture, and work it in roughly with your fingers, a pastry cutter, or a mixer.
Don't be too thorough; the mixture should be very uneven, with big chunks of
butter in among the smaller ones.
- Add the 1 teaspoon vinegar and 4 tablespoons water, and toss to combine.
Toss with enough additional water to make a chunky, fairly cohesive mixture.
It should hold together when you gather it up and squeeze it in your hand.
- Divide the dough into two pieces; one should represent about 40% of the
dough, the other, about 60%. If you have a scale, this is easy; the smaller
piece of dough should weigh about 8 3/4 ounces, the larger piece, about 13 1/4
ounces (if you've used about 7 to 8 tablespoons of water in the dough). If you
don't have a scale and/or aren't good at math, eyeball it: the bottom crust
needs to be larger than the top crust.
- Shape each piece of crust into a rectangle; you're going to be rolling them
into rectangles, so might as well give yourself a head start. Cover with plastic
wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes, till thoroughly chilled.
- Take the larger piece of pastry out of the fridge, and put it on a floured
work surface. Roll it into an 11" x 15" rectangle. Don't worry about the ragged
edges; they'll disappear under the top crust.
- Place the crust in an ungreased 9" x 13" cake pan. Patch up any holes by
pushing the pastry together with your fingers, or adding a pinch from the excess
on the sides. Push the pastry up the sides of the pan a bit, to make a shallow
pastry container for the apples.
- Put the crust in the fridge while you get the apples ready. Start preheating
your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Filling: Spread the bread crumbs or crushed cornflakes evenly over the crust.
- Spread the sliced apples atop the crumbs.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the apples.
- Roll the remaining piece of pastry into a 9" x 13" rectangle. Again, don't
worry too much about ragged edges.
- Lay the top crust over the apples. Yes, apples will poke through. Seal the
edges of the two crusts as well as you can. There'll be places where they don't
quite meet. That's OK. If the whole thing has become warm and sticky and hard
to work with, pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm it up.
- Just before baking, slash the crust 6 or 8 times to allow steam to escape.
- Put the slab in the preheated 350 degrees F oven, and bake it for an hour.
Remove it from the oven; it'll be golden brown, and the filling should be bubbling.
Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool completely before glazing.
- Glaze: Combine the confectioners' sugar, boiled cider, cinnamon,
salt, and enough milk or cream to make the mixture "drizzlable." Don't have
boiled cider? Use plain milk or cream, maple syrup, honey, or thawed apple juice
concentrate. Start with 1/4 cup of any of these; if you've made this kind of
icing before, you know it's easier to add more liquid, than to try to take it
away. Add enough liquid to make the glaze pourable.
- Drizzle the glaze atop the slab.
Hands-on time: 30 to 45 min | Baking time: 55 min to 1 hr 5 min
Yield: 16 to 24 servings
Recipe and photo credit (used with permission):
King Arthur Flour
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