I have made many Apple Pies in my life, but never a slab Apple Pie until now. I knew it was going to be on my Pie List for Thanksgiving and was thinking of a few different versions of how I wanted to make it.
Slab Apple Pie
For the recipe itself, I added Calvados or Apple Brandy into the recipe this year and was excited to use the fresh Rome, Green, and Red Delicious Apples we picked when we went Apple Picking. For the decoration of apple pies, I have done the Apple Roses, and a Dutch Apple Cranberry Pie with a braided edge. I thought, how can I up my pie game this year. I was really tired of making hand cut out leaves and they always lacked the detail I wanted so this year was a celebration of falling leaves. I got a variety of leave cutters and went to town! I made the entire top crust out of leaves which turned out to be a good idea since it was now going to be a Slab Pie and gave me more ‘creative’ space to work with.
So you’re probably wondering how many leaves it took to decorate the top. A lot! A made more than I thought I needed and still needed more. That’s because if you are trying to make it look like the leaves just landed on the top of your pie, they need to be manipulated to curl and bend like a real leaf would instead of just lying down flat. I also added vines around the edges to give it a little more dimension and texture.
Of course more leaves means more dough.You will need at least 5 rounds, or top and bottom crusts to make this decorative version of a slab pie for a 11’ x 17’ sheet pan. The bottom crust will be 2 rounds.
Now about that dough and how it will hold up. You need a good recipe that will not only give you a flaky end result crust, but one that will not loose all those pretty details you worked so hard for. This will need a combination of a good recipe, keeping the ingredients and the dough cold, and 2 egg washes before baking.
Apple pies are a LOT of work! If you don’t have an apple peeler and corer, which I didn’t ( I don’t think it’s really necessary unless you make more than 5 apple pies a year ) get some help if you can to get the apples ready.
The recipe I used for the dough is an adaptation of Martha Stewarts Pate Brisee made with a little granulated sugar form her Baking with Martha Television Series. This pie dough really stands up in the oven and keeps for the most part all those pretty cut shapes after it’s baked which is where is really counts.
The recipe for the filling is pretty straight forward with the added depth of flavor from the Apple Brandy. You will be able to use more of the brandy for other recipes and for making a classic French Apple Tartine and of course more apple pies.
Can we talked about that egg wash for a minute. I have been trying to find the best egg wash since forever. Do I add water, milk, cream or a combination of both? Every pastry chef and cook has a recipe they swear by. I always used whole egg and water, but this time I tried a pastry chefs trick of just 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk. It was pretty great. I plan on doing a post all about this very subject so stay tuned.
I really loved the way this slab pie turned out and I can’t wait to make another one soon!
What you need:
11 x 17” x 1” sheet pan
Anther for your cut out leaf shapes
Various Leaf Cookie Cutters
Wax or Parchment paper
Other recipes you will love:
Dutch Apple Cranberry Pie