Gooey Caramel Apple Slab Pie with Shortbread Pastry and Crumb Topping
Tender pâte brisée, crisp apples, gooey caramel, and buttery brown sugar streusel – This Apple Slab Pie is one of those sloppy desserts that’s better scooped than sliced, and where every single bite is covered in saucy caramel.
If you’re looking for the kind of Apple Slab Pie that slices up into nice, neat squares – this isn’t your recipe. If you’re looking for the kind of saucy, oooey-gooey dessert that you have to scoop out with a spoon into bowls that catch ribbons of caramel apple deliciousness, this pie is your jam.
This is what I like to call a bowl and spoon dessert, a phrase I stole from Sally Schneider in her book A New Way to Cook. The dessert chapter includes an entire section devoted to “bowl and spoon” desserts, a concept for which I am totally enamored.
I just love the idea of giving sloppy, gooey, saucy desserts their own category. The casual nature of a dessert that you have to eat with a spoon feels like a slam-dunk indication that it’s going to be decadent, delicious and totally unpretentious. And that’s pretty much the best way I can think to describe this Apple Slab Pie.
This Apple Slab Pie is kind of a simpler version of tart Tatin.
I love, love, love Tart Tatin. But, it can be a bit tricky and when it’s done baking you have to invert the whole thing, hope the pastry holds together and nothing sticks. This pie includes the best parts of Tart Tatin – the buttery shortbread crust and gooey caramel apple filling, but will get you there with considerably less trouble. Plus, there’s the buttery crumb topping. 🙌
A few things to know before you start filling your house with the scent of apples, butter, and brown sugar…
Pâte Brisée is one of the simplest kinds of pasty dough to make, but you need either a standing mixer or a food processor. This recipe calls for a standing mixer. If you’d rather use a food processor, mix the butter into the first cup of flour as the recipe instructs, using the chopping blade. Then switch to the dough blade to incorporate the rest of the flour and the water. Pulse to bring the mixture to a dough and then knead a few times with your hands to bring the dough to completion.
Use Tart apples. The kind of apples you use are fairly important. They should be tart and firm enough to hold on to some of their crispness when cooked. I used Granny Smith apples, but Honeycrisp, Braeburn or Mcintosh apples also work well.
The Creme Anglaise is optional. Really, a drizzle of creme anglaise over bowls of apple slab pie is just guiding the Lilly. Which, I am prone to do with desserts because if I’m going to eat something decadent, I like to go all in.
Having said that, it’s totally 100% optional. A spoonful of creme anglaise is a delicious addition, but this apple slab pie is perfectly saucy and delicious without it. This pie is also delicious served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Apple slab pie is best eaten the day it’s made, while it’s still warm.
I mean… it’s still pretty delicious the next day. If you’re not eating it right away, cover and store at room temperature and then heat individual servings in the microwave for 20 seconds or so to warm.
If you want to get some ahead-of-time prep work done:
- Pâte brisée can be made up to 24 hours in advance, and frozen for up to 1 month. So, if you are planning to make this apple slab pie some time in the future, that’s one way to get a head start.
- The crumb topping can also be made up to 24 hours in advance. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
- If serving your apple slab pie with creme anglaise, you can make it up to 5 days in advance. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
If you’d prefer to make a smaller apple slab pie, one that will fit in a square baking dish, divide the pâte brisée dough in half, placing one half (well wrapped) in the freezer for later use. The rest of the recipe can be halved pretty easily.
Useful tools for making Apple Slab Pie:
More Delicious Apple Recipes:
- Caramel Apple Pie
- Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
- Apple Fritters with Maple Glaze
- Irish Apple Cake
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Streusel
- Apple Butter and Pastry Cream Hand Pies
- Slow Cooker Apple Butter
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #ofbatteranddough on Instagram.Print
Tender pâte brisée, crisp apples, gooey caramel, and buttery brown sugar streusel – This Apple Slab Pie is one of those sloppy desserts that’s better scooped than sliced and where every single bite is covered in saucy caramel.
For the pâte brisée:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp table salt (1 1/2 tsp kosher salt)
- 8 ounces cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup ice water
For the crumb topping:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp table salt (3/4 tsp kosher salt)
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 9 tbsp butter, melted
For the caramel apple filling:
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 10 medium Granny Smith Apples
- 3 tbsp Sorghum Syrup or Maple Syrup
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp table salt (1 1/2 tsp kosher salt)
For the Creme Anglaise (optional):
- 1¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
Make the pâte brisée:
- Add 1 cup of the flour and the salt to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter slowly, a handful at a time. After all the butter has been added, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the butter has been completely incorporated into the dough.
- Add the additional cup of flour and mix just to combine. Add the water and mix just long enough to combine and form a dough. The dough will form around the paddle and should feel smooth, not sticky, to the touch. If the dough feels quite wet or sticky, add another tablespoon of flour.
- Dump the dough out onto a long sheet of plastic wrap. Shape into an oblong disc, wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. (The dough can be frozen for 1 month.) While the pastry rests in the refrigerator, make the crumb topping.
Make the crumb topping:
- Add all the ingredients except the melted butter to a medium size bowl and stir to combine. Pour in the melted butter and mix with a spatula or your hands until all of the dry ingredients are moistened with the butter. The topping will not be wet, but if you squeeze a handful together it should stick into large crumbs. If it is too dry to hold together, add one more tablespoon of melted butter. Cover and set aside at room temperature while you make the apple filling.
Make the caramel apple filling:
- Add the lemon juice to a large, heavy bottom sauce pan. Peel, core, and slice the apples into ¼ inch slices. Add the apples to the pan as you slice, tossing them with the lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Add the rest of the filling ingredients to the saucepan and stir to combine. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside while you roll out the pastry.
Assemble the apple slab pie:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Have an ungreased 9×13 glass baking dish at the ready.
- Lightly flour a work surface. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator, remove from the plastic wrap, and roll out into a rectangle that is approximately 16-inches by 12-inches, large enough to cover the bottom and come up the sides of your 9×13 baking dish. Gently lift the pastry and place it in the baking dish, pressing it into the edges and corners of the pan.
- Pour the apple pie filling into the pastry, smoothing the apple slices with a spoon to create an even layer. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the apple pie filling, squeezing it together in your hand to create some larger crumbs.
- Bake for 50 minutes – until the apple pie filling is bubbling up a bit at the edges of the apple slab pie. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Make the Creme Anglaise (Optional):
- Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed medium size saucepan and cook over medium heat until bubbles appear along the edges of the pan.
- While the milk is heating, add the sugar and egg yolks to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is thickened slightly and pale yellow. Beat in the cornstarch.
- With the mixer running, gradually pour the heated milk into the egg yolks in a thin steady stream. Stop the mixer halfway through pouring in the milk to quickly scrape down the sides of the bowl. Resume beating at medium speed to slowly add the remaining milk.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the spoon with a light, creamy layer. Do not let the mixture come close to boiling. The maximum temperature it reaches should be 170 degrees.
- Strain the sauce into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer and stir in the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before drizzling over the Apple Slab Pie.
Keywords: apple pie, caramel apple pie, apple slab pie, slab pie, fruit pie
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