The buttery, flaky crust of an apple pie is combined with an oat crumble topping and fresh fall apples to make an apple crumble slab pie. The best part about baking in a sheet pan is that lattice or crimping are not necessary. Jump to the recipe
I don’t have a lot of experience with pies, so let me tell you that.
I had never made an entirely butter-based, from-scratch pie on my own before around a year ago. I remember making one or two with my grandmother years ago, and I’ve made lemon meringue pies a lot with my mother. But aside from that, I didn’t bake anything that wasn’t a pie and had a press-in graham cracker crust and an easy filling.
To be honest, homemade pies have never made me feel comfortable. Which is strange considering I don’t hesitate when it comes to rather frightening foods like scones or cinnamon rolls. Typically, I welcome the opportunity to tackle any baking challenge.
Even so. pizza crust. It terrifies me.
I believe a large part of the reason for this is because almost every recipe you read will warn you that the world will end if your dough warms up. That’s a lot of strain to place on someone who is attempting to quickly roll out and form an uncooperative dough into a pie-worthy shape. Naturally, you must first cut a LOT of butter into flour, which is my least favourite baking-related activity in the entire world. If that’s even possible, it’s worse than doing the dishes. So, the idea that all of that work could be undone by simply letting the dough warm up or by overworking it was too much for my eager self to take.
If you manage to make and shape the dough without mishap, there are still pie weights, pie birds, pie guards, egg vs. cream wash disputes, and other issues that are really enough to make one give up on the effort altogether. So I continued to do for a while, until one day last fall when I had a very sizable pile of applications staring me in the face from a crammed crisper drawer. I don’t know what hit me, but all of a sudden I was looking through ten different apple pie recipes like a madwoman. I made the decision that this item, which had long eluded me, would no longer do so.
And you know what? I didn’t mean to brag, but the apple pie I cooked was the greatest I’d ever had. It turns out that you can prepare the pie crust in the food processor in less than 2 seconds (yay! ), that rolling out and shaping the pie dough doesn’t actually take that long, and that if the dough does get warm, all you have to do is pop it in the freezer for a while, and everything will be fine.
That’s the general idea, however there’s a little more to it.
But today, we’re going to make something far simpler than a lattice pie. For two reasons, I chose to make an apple crumble slab pie: I only wanted to make one dessert because I had two events to attend that weekend and because I love apple crisp and needed to create a portable version of it. Both of those conditions are met by this! When you need to serve a large group of people but also want finger food during a party, slab pie is the ideal solution. Try to fork and knife a sloppy slice of pie at a BBQ is the last thing anyone wants to do.
So that’s all, then! You prepare the pie crust in a food processor, spread it out and press it into a jelly roll pan, pour your spiced apple filling inside (I like to cook mine first to release the juices of the apples and concentrate the taste), and then top it with oat crumbles. Heaven on an apple crumble slab pie is only a few steps away—no crimping, weaving, or anything else necessary.
And it’s undeniably heavenly.
Please, please, if you are in a position where you have the time and resources, top a warm slice of this apple crumble slab pie with vanilla ice cream. You won’t regret it, I guarantee it.
- To make pie crust:
- 2 sticks of cold, unsalted butter in 1 cup
- All-purpose flour, 2 1/2 cups
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 salt shakerful
- One-half cup buttermilk
To fill apples:
- 50 ml of apple cider
- 8 cups of apples, cored, peeled, and sliced (this was 8 medium apples for me)
- two teaspoons of lemon juice
- Unsalted butter, two tablespoons
- 1.3 cups of sugar
- All-purpose flour, two tablespoons
- Two teaspoons of cornstarch
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/8 nutmeg teaspoon
- Allspice, 1/8 teaspoon
- 14 teaspoon of salt
The crumble needs:
- all-purpose flour, 1 cup
- 50 g of brown sugar
- 50 g of sugar
- Cold, half a cup of unsalted butter
- 1 old-fashioned cup (rolled) oats
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 nutmeg teaspoon
- Allspice, 1/8 teaspoon
- Grind some cloves.
- Salt, a pinch
In the bowl of a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the pie crust, excluding the buttermilk. Pulse the ingredients until the butter and flour are well blended and the texture resembles sand. When a dough develops and begins to ball up in the bowl, add buttermilk and pulse several times. While you prepare the filling and crumble topping, roll out the dough onto a clean surface, form it into a flat square, wrap in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.
For the filling, cook the apple cider in a large pot or saucepan over medium-high heat until it has reduced by half and the mixture is syrupy, about 3–5 minutes.
Cook the apples and the remaining ingredients for the filling in the pot over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the apples release their liquid and the mixture thickens. While you make the crumble topping, remove the pan from the heat and allow it cool.
For the crumble topping, combine the flour, sugar, and butter in the bowl of a food processor (I use the same one that I did for the pie dough above and don’t bother rinsing), and pulse until the butter is thoroughly incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. If you incorporate this less thoroughly than you did the pie dough, that’s okay.
Place the butter, flour, and sugar mixture in a sizable bowl. Oats and spices should be thoroughly blended before being added.
Put the slab pie together:
Set the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
The pie dough should be taken out of the refrigerator, placed on a clean, lightly dusted surface (I used my countertop), and rolled out to a rectangle measuring 18 by 13 inches. Transfer the dough to a 15-by-10-inch rimmed jelly roll pan or baking sheet, fold it in half, then in half again (so it’s a quarter), and press the dough into the pan (this is the easiest way to transfer it without ripping). Release the dough from its wrapper and press it into the pan’s corners and up its sides.
Making ensuring the apples are scattered equally, pour the apple filling over the top.
Place the apples on top of the crumble mixture, making sure to evenly and completely cover them all.
(Optional) To make a fluted design, press the tines of a fork into the pie crust that is clearly visible along the pan’s sides.
Bake pie for 45–50 minutes, or until golden-brown crust and topping and bubbling filling.
Before cutting into 16 (or more) pieces and serving with vanilla ice cream, allow to cool to room temperature (I know, it’s hard).
*If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute buttermilk powder or 1/2 teaspoon vinegar with 1/2 cup ordinary milk (Saco brand is in most stores). When the dry ingredients call for buttermilk, you just add the powder to the dry components before adding the cold water. Great results!
Pie will last up to two days covered and at room temperature. In the fridge, it can keep for up to five days.