Some days just call for pie.
Last week I noticed that the apples we had picked last month were going soft and needed to be used up. It seemed as if pie was on order.
Then I saw a blog post on the Smitten Kitchen blog for something called a slab pie. She RAVED about slab pies. I did a quick google search and discovered legion of slab pie fans out there. Somehow I had never heard of them.
Clearly I was under a rock.
I decided to go with a simpler version - one with a pecan crumble topping rather than a second layer of pastry.
This pie is a little different from the norm for several reasons. It’s baked on a sheet pan instead of in a pie plate, it’s got a delicious crumble topping, featuring pecans, and it feeds a crowd without the work of making several pies at once. It’s like an apple pie, tart and crisp all in one.
If you’re not feeding a crowd you can always freeze the extras between parchment paper and just take out as many as you need at a time, to thaw. Ididn't bother with this - instead I brought the leftovers to work where they were snapped up in 5 minutes!
High praise, that.
Apple Slab Pie with Crumb Topping
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
8 – 10 tablespoons cold water
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 1/2 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (or 10 cups sliced)
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Toss in the butter cubes and, using your fingers, quickly break up the clumps, rubbing together with flour, until the butter is in pea sized amounts and mixture resembles coarse crumbs (or cut in with a pastry blender). Sprinkle water over flour mixture 1 tablespoons at a time; gently toss with a fork, until all of the flour mixture is moistened. Gently knead the dough just until a ball forms.
Roll out the dough to approximately a 17×12 inch rectangle, on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper. Transfer to a 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Patch any corners that don’t reach the edges of the pan, with any overhanging dough. Roll edges under and press down onto the rim of the baking sheet. Trim off excess parchment paper. Refrigerate while you make filling.
Toss together all ingredient, in a large bowl, until apples are evenly coated. Pour into dough-lined pan, spreading evenly. Refrigerate while you make the crumb topping.
Stir together oats, brown sugar, and flour until well combined. Using your fingers, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in chopped pecans. Sprinkle evenly over apple filling.
Bake at 375ºF for 45-60 minutes, until filling is bubbly near the centre and crust is browned. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Once completely cool, cover and keep at room temperature for 24 hours or refrigerate for up to 3 days (bring up to room temperature to serve). Freeze for longer storage.