A slab pie is the perfect thing to make when you’re feeding a crowd during the fall and winter holidays. Not only is this pie easy to make in a large format for a crowd, but the ratio of filling to crust in this pie is perfect!
The base is an all-butter pie crust that gets assembled in a food processor, leaving the laborious job of breaking down chilled pieces of butter to the machine instead of your hands. The butter whizzes around in the food processor until the pieces are no bigger than a dime, and then it’s time to start hydrating the dough with water. Ice cold water is added a little bit at a time to ensure it gets evenly distributed within the dough and that you’re not adding more water than you need to. To encourage a flaky pie crust, you’ll repeatedly roll it out so that the butter is layered throughout the dough.
The dough rests in the fridge for a few hours while the filling is made. I recommend using a 2:1 ratio of Honeycrisp apples to Granny Smith. Honeycrisp apples are a lovely all-purpose baking and snacking apple with a tender bite and honey-sweetness, while tart Granny Smiths are firmer, creating a nice textural balance. The filling, which has cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger is cooked before baking to avoid a soggy pie.
The pie is assembled with the buttery dough blanketing the bottom of a sheet pan, followed by the cooked, spiced apples and topped with another layer of buttery dough. Arrange it in a lattice pattern for a gorgeous presentation and a delicious bite.
Technique Tip: To cool the apple filling faster, spread it out in an even layer on a baking sheet.
If you don’t want to create a lattice topping, just place the second sheet of pie dough on top of the apples and crimp to close; make sure to cut a few holes into the top for ventilation while baking.
Swap Option: Honeycrisp apples can be swapped for Cortland or Braeburn apples.
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 cup ice water
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 pounds Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the cubed butter to the bowl and toss to coat them evenly with flour.2.
Pulse until the butter pieces are about the size of a dime.3.
Transfer the pie dough into a large mixing bowl and add ice water a few tablespoons at a time, mixing the dough with your hands or a fork between each water addition, until the dough can form fist-size clumps without falling apart.4.
Place the pie dough on a floured work surface and gather it together with your hands, forming a rough rectangle shape, about 8-inches-by-10-inches. Cut the rectangle in half and place half the dough on the other. Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll out the dough until you have a rectangle that measures 8-by-10-inches. Cut the rectangle in half, tightly wrap the two pieces of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.5.
While the pie dough is resting, assemble the filling. In a large pot set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger and stir to coat evenly. Cook at a simmer for about 25 minutes until the apples are tender, then remove from the heat, stir in the cornstarch and set aside to cool fully.6.
Remove one half of the pie dough and bring it to room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling out. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle slightly larger than a 9-by-13-inch baking sheet.7.
Gently transfer the dough to the baking sheet, pressing the dough into the corners and trimming the overhang, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill the pie base with the cooled apple filling and spread it into an even layer. Cover the pie in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you roll out the other half of the dough.8.
Repeat step 6 with the other half of the pie dough and cut it into 1-inch wide strips. Remove the pie from the refrigerator and place the dough strips in a lattice formation on top of the filling. Cut off any overhang from the lattice weave. Fold the overhang from the base of the pie in towards the center, tucking in any lattice pieces to form a crust. Crimp with fingers or a fork as desired.9.
Let the pie rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking.10.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Brush the exposed parts of the pie dough with the beaten egg.11.
Place the assembled pie on top of a larger sheet pan and bake for 65 to 70 minutes until golden and bubbly.12.
Let the pie cool for at least one hour before serving.