Apple Slab Pie
My grandma was much more of a “cooking grandma” than a “baking grandma”, so many of my memories surrounding her food revolve around dinners, not necessarily desserts. She did have a handful of sweet treats in her repertoire (things like icebox cake, ambrosia and biscotti) that she would serve, but the focal point was always the actual meal. The only pie I remember her ever making was apple, and it was never in a traditional round pie plate… it was always in a sheet pan or a 9×13-inch baking pan. I never asked why, but knowing my grandma, she would have figured that a 9-inch pie plate wouldn’t make enough to feed everyone on a typical Sunday. Having just enough was never enough for her; she wanted to make sure that if someone wanted seconds or thirds, there would be plenty left.
As someone who loves a high crust to filling ratio when it comes to pie, slab pie is right up my alley.
There is an abundance of butter, flaky crust, and just the right amount of juicy, spiced apple filling.
The filling set up beautifully and was perfect when the pie was sliced – it didn’t run and the apples didn’t slide out every which way, which is a huge pet peeve of mine when eating a big slice of pie. Most times I find that I end up eating the filling separately, since it ends up all over the plate and not neatly packaged inside the crust.
As you can see, this filling was perfectly sturdy and had just the right amount of apples and thickener. It was a thing of beauty!
If you love pie in any of its many forms, you owe it to yourself to make a slab pie. It’s less fussy than traditional pie, and it will ensure that everyone can take a crack at seconds if they’d like.
It’s the only way my grandma believed in feeding people, and I’m happy to follow in her footsteps!
One year ago: Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Two years ago: Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Three years ago: Skillet Apple Crisp
Five years ago: How to Roast Garlic
Apple Slab Pie
For the Crust:
- 3¾ cups (470 g) all-purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoons (1.5 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) salt
- 1½ cups (340 g) unsalted butter, very cold
- ¾ cup (187.5 ml) ice water
For the Filling:
- 3½ to 4 pounds (1.6 to 1.8 kg) Granny Smith apples, about 8 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped into ½-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon (0.13 teaspoon) salt
For the Egg Wash:
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Pinch of salt
- Make the Crust: Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of tiny peas. Gently stir in the water with a rubber spatula, mixing it until a craggy mass forms. Using your hands, knead it two or three times to form a ball. Divide the dough roughly in half (it’s okay if one is slightly larger). Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten a bit, like a disc. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or up to two days).
- Preheat oven oven to 375 degrees F. Line the bottom of 10x15x1-inch baking sheet or jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
- Prepare the Filling: In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice until coated. Add the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt, and stir to evenly coat.
- Assemble the Pie: On a lightly floured surface, roll one of your dough halves (the larger one, if you have two different sizes) into an 18x13-inch rectangle. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and gently work the dough into the corners and along the edges of the pan. Trim any overhang off the sides to ¾-inch.
- Turn the apple mixture onto the dough and spread into an even layer.
- Roll the second piece of dough (the smaller one, if they were different sizes) into a 16x11-inch rectangle. Drape over the filling and fold the bottom crust’s overhang over the edges, sealing the two pieces of dough together. Crimp the edges, if desired. Using a paring knife, cut nine small slits over the surface of the top crust.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, water and salt. Brush a thin coating of the egg wash evenly over all of the exposed crust.
- Bake the Pie: Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool to room temperature before serving, about 45 minutes. Leftovers will keep at room temperature, well-covered, for up to three days.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Just wanted to ask if i could freeze individual pieces of this pie once baked.
If so, would i leave overnight in the fridge to defrost?
Do you know how long the pie crust can be left in the freezer? I’ve had it in the fridge for 2 days now and I’m unable to complete it due to a sick toddler. So I’m going to throw it in the freezer. Thank you!
Hi Vicky, The dough should be fine for up to 2 months in the freezer. Enjoy, and I hope your toddler feels better!
Love the crust! I used salted butter and left out the salt, and it worked fine. I sprinkled bottom crust with a little sugar and prefaced 10 minutes, then let cool before adding the filling and top crust. That keeps it from absorbing the apple juice and getting soggy. I added more cinnamon, more lemon juice, and some sugar to filling, and dotted it with butter before adding top crust. Have taken this to a group dinner twice and got raves both times. This time I had to double and make a second slab pie to leave at home. Apple slab pie for breakfast is great!
That should say prebaked, not prefaced. Grr=autocorrect. I didn’t do that the first time, and it did make a difference.
Finally got my food processor for Christmas!! I can officially make pie dough!! Made this today and it was perfect, I can’t make pie dough great by hand so was waiting for my food processor to attempt this and it came out spot on!
Rallied my daughter for the apple chopping, took about 1 hour in my oven to turn beautifully golden brown and since in our house there are only two of us that like apple pie, lots and lots of seconds!! Lol : ) Thankyou Michelle, for great pictures, I actually saw this recipe a while ago on smitten kitchen but was a bit unsure because of the look of them, glad you posted it and changed my mind.
I am going to make this pie but wanted to use tapioca pearls instead of corn starch-would the measurements be the same?
Also, wanted to bake this the morning of my gathering, however, won’t have the time to put it all together and bake the same day. Is there a “make ahead” or “prep ahead” method I could use? I thought about assembling it all and then refrigerating but fear it may get soggy overnight! Thanks!
Hi Juli, You should process the tapioca pearls to make a powder, and use the same amount. You could make the crust in advance and keep it in the fridge, but I would not assemble it prior to baking, as it do think it would get soggy.
Yum! I made this yesterday for a Bible study potluck, and it was gobbled up QUICK! I think next time I would add a few more apples. But honestly it would just be a personal preference tweak. Everyone raved about it! This is the only way I will make pie for a crowd! Perfect for holiday meals, where you want a taste of all the desserts, but not a whole wedge of each.
oh my gosh! What an amazing idea! The crust looks to die for! I’ll need to make this soon!
hey! this recipe looks delicious and I cannot wait to try it out. I have a circle pan which is 8×2 & I also have a pan which is 8x8x2, I was wondering if any of those would work? If so, by how much do you think I should cut the recipe?
Hi Jenn, I don’t think a round pie pan would work for a slab pie. Maybe for some type of deep dish pie, though.
What about an 8×8?? sorry for all the questions!
Jenn, Your best bet is to use a shallow pan with a small lip, if not a jelly roll pan then a sheet pan or some type of lipped cookie pan. Using a high-sided cake pan, whether round or square, would not really work for this type of pie.
I’ve been on a hunt for a really good apple pie recipe lately and ran across this yesterday afternoon. I had planned on save this for a later date but my husband came in and saw it and ended talking me into making it last night. OMG! It was SO YUMMY!!!!! We ate WAY to much of it last night and my husband even took a piece of it to work with him for breakfast. I am not one to make pies but this was very easy for me to make. Thanks for all the yummy recipes! :)
I’ve never seen pie done in a big pan like that, but that’s brilliant! The more crust the better as far as I’m concerned!
Do you think puff pastry dough would work for the crust if I rolled it out a bit? That’s what I have on hand and I’m all about not going to the grocery store! Thanks!
Hi Brittany, I think that would work! Not sure if the bottom crust would get soggy, though?
This looks like it may just be better than classic old apple pie! And I can appreciate the many extra servings!!
My mom made these. Have to check if the recipe is the same but she called them “Apple squares” My absolute favorite!
I love grandmother stories! This pie is an awesome idea.
I’ve never had or seen a slab pie. It looks wonderful. Certainly a lot better than the mile high apple pies.
I’m with you on the topic of crust to filling ratio. Love a great crust with just the right amount of filling. Pinning this now!
Slab pie sounds and looks so awesome. Plus that crust looks so tender and buttery, ugh.
This is a great way to use up all those apples I have from apple picking! I’ve already made a pie and a crisp. Now I’ll try my hand at slab pie! Thanks for sharing, no apples will go to waste this year!
My Grandma made this recipe! She called it “Apple Squares.” Her crust was divine, but she would use canned apple pie filling! Gasp! This picture brought back wonderful memories, thank you!! :)
I have not heard of slab pie before this. What a great idea to have more pie! :)
A slab pie definitely sounds like something to try! I always hate when you slice into a pie and the filling goes everywhere, so it’s nice to hear this one doesn’t do that.
I’ve been dying to make an apple slab pie – this recipe looks perfect!
I make an apple slab cake?!? I use a mandoline so my apples are very thin. Also, my recipe has frosting on top??? It almost tastes like an apple danish. While it’s good, I want to try your recipe, it looks amazing……………plus I love that you can see your tummy in some of the pics. Congratulations
My Italian grandmother used to make pies in sheet pans too! She had 8 kids so she had to make sure there was enough for everyone and then some. ;) This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it out! Thanks!
That crust is perfection. I’ve never seen a flakier crust! I had a baking grandma…growing up in a very small town in the midwest, her form of cooking was the “dump and go” casseroles :)
Hi Michelle, I saw this recipe and wanted to make it immediately, the only problem I face is that I am rubbish at making pastry. I’ve tried several times making it by hand but always struggle when adding the water to form dough, it tends to never get past the ‘craggy mass’ stage. I’m aware that there can be variables in ingredients like flour but it never makes a difference with me. Please help!
If you could give a few pointers I would very grateful, this pie deserves to be made how your grandma intended it to be :)
Hi Faye, Pie crust is definitely one of those things that takes practice and patience. For this particular dough, I found that giving it a few quick kneads inside the bowl with my hands is all it needed to come together. Some people find using a food processor works best… just experiment and see what works best for you with the tools you have.
This would be perfect for an event that I have this week. But being a weeknight event I do not have time to attempt pie crust for the first time-would store bought be ok? Would I need two boxes for a jelly roll pan?
Hi Beth, Sure. I’ve never used store-bought crust, so I’m unsure how much is in a box. This crust recipe is essentially a triple crust. I hope that helps!
Thanks for asking this! I want to make this pie over the weekend, but am also in a pinch for time. Hopefully store-bought pie crust will work for both of us! :)
I don’t own any 10×15 pans and I think a 9×13 would be too thick. If I made it on a 1/2 sheet pan (18×13), how much would you modify the recipe? 1 1/2 times?
Hi Katy, An 18×13-inch pan will hold about 20-25% more volume than the jelly roll pan, so I don’t think you need to go as far as 1.5 times, maybe more like 1.25.
Your grandma sounds like a wonderful woman! Delicious pie!
This looks delicious! Both the crust and the filling. mmmmmmm I’m dying for a bite right this minute. I have had bad luck making pie crust hold together using butter and have switched to old fashioned crisco based pie crust, which is flaky, but rather nondescript in flavor. This has its benefits because it does not compete with the flavors in the filling…. but I sure would like to know the secret to making crust with butter. What brand of butter do you use? Maybe that is my problem. Thank you!
Hi Kathy, I use an organic store brand.
I love a high crust to filing ratio too…these look right up my alley!
Apple pie is my favorite dessert. Love this idea!
oh my goodness, I love this! Your grandma is brilliant!
I love the idea! Looks divine!
Slab pies are so much more fun than the traditional kind! Nobody feels bad about going back for seconds or thirds, while with a smaller pie, there is that shame. This recipe looks incredible!
I can totally relate to feeling that shame. It’s almost worse when there is one remaining piece of pie. It sits there looking so delicious, yet who wants to be the gluttonous one who takes it when there is not enough for everyone? lol