If there is one thing you should know about me it’s this. I’m always late. ALWAYS!
“You’ll be late for your own funeral”.
Ha Ha. Heard it.
“If you’re not twenty minutes early, you’re already late”.
Really? What does that even mean?
Well, just so I wouldn’t let you down, I’m posting a late, great 4th of July treat. I know it was Saturday. Don’t lecture me. This is a great recipe to use all Summer long though, so it won’t go to waste, trust me.
I hope you had a great holiday weekend. I had a much needed long weekend of doing pretty much nothing except sleeping late, hanging with the family, going out to eat and of course taking several trips to the ice cream shop. I really wish I could wear my yoga pants to work. Just sayin.
I did however find time in my lounging schedule to make this amazing dessert. What would the 4th of July be without an all-American apple pie? Warm, sweet, cinnamon-y (it’s a word) tender apples encompassed in buttery, flaky dough served warm with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream.
One problem (as there could be any problems with pie) is your average pie only serves about eight. Unless you’re serving someone like me, then it serves maybe two. MAYBE. It depends on what kind of mood I’m in.
But, that can be a major issue at a big backyard get together. Lots of people standing around holding plates of food in one hand and a drink in the other, which leads to another problem. Not enough table space. Or not enough hands. Or maybe too much food. OK sorry, that was just crazy talk there.
Whichever it may be, too few hands or too few tables, it’s a problem. Sure you can sit on the ground and spread out your assortment of paper and plastic dinnerware, place napkins under your butt to hold them down against a breeze while you stuff your face with burgers, salads, hot dogs and of course pie, but that’s a bit barbaric for me people. I don’t know about you, but I like to sit at a table, with my plate in front of me, eating one thing at a time, saving the best for last. That being pie, or dessert of any kind. If I’m being truthful, I’ll take down a packet of sugar after a meal if there are no dessert options around. I’m very sophisticated you know. Again, please don’t lecture me. I have dessert issues.
That being said, this baby serves a great big, hungry crowd. It’s also not as drippy as a regular pie so you can hold a slice in one hand and toss a horseshoe with the other. Now really, can you get any better than that? Nope. Now I wouldn’t do that of course. But it’s a perfect solution for those less crazy and rigid than myself.
Of course you can still put it in a bowl with some ice cream if that’s how you feel it must be done. Who am I to stop you?
This pie is more like a giant pop tart or toaster strudel than a pie. As I said, it isn’t as juicy and the dough is super flaky. It’s kind of a cross between a traditional pie crust and puff pastry. It holds up well against the apple juices without getting soggy, yet it is far from dry.
Dare I say, perfect?
Apple Slab Pie
3 3/4 (470 grams) cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup very cold water
3 1/2 to 4 pounds **apples, peeled, cored and sliced into approximately 1/2-inch chunks (about 8 cups)
Squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream or one egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
Glaze (optional, but really, who are we kidding?)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon milk, water, lemon juice or fresh apple cider, plus a drop or two more if needed
Make pie crust: Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in the bottom of 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. Stir in the water with a rubber spatula, mixing it until a craggy mass forms. Get your hands in the bowl and knead it just two or three times to form a ball. Divide dough roughly in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten a bit, like a disc. Chill in fridge for at least an hour or up to two days or slip plastic-wrapped dough into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 to 2 months. To defrost, leave in fridge for a day.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line bottom of 10x15x1-inch baking sheet or jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
Prepare filling: In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice until coated. Top with remaining filling ingredients and stir to evenly coat.
Assemble pie: On a lightly floured surface, roll one of your dough halves into an 18-by-13-inch rectangle. Work quickly to keep the dough as cold as possible and use enough flour so it doesn’t stick to the counter. Transfer to your prepared baking sheet and gently drape some of the overhang in so that the dough fills out the inner edges and corners. Trim dough to approximately 3/4-inch over the sides of the pan.
Pour apple mixture over and spread evenly.
Place in the fridge to chill while you roll the second of your dough halves into a 16-by-11-inch rectangle. Drape over filling and fold the bottom crust’s overhang over the edges sealing them together. Cut small slits to vent. Brush lid heavy cream or egg wash. Bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until just warm enough to touch, about 45 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and liquid of your choice until pourable. Use a spoon to drizzle over top.
Serve, cut into squares or rectangles, warm or at room temperature.
It will keep at room temperature for at 2-3 days, but it won’t last that long.
**Check out Jane Lear’s Apple Guide for information on best apples to use