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Blog Flog: Apple Slab Pie

Apple Slab Pie 2 (small)

It’s said that there are cooks and there are bakers. I consider myself both, but do tend to dive into dough when I’m happy/sad/stressed or otherwise in need of comfort – or when others are. The thing about baking is that you don’t do it out of necessity (as getting dinner on the table) and for the most part you don’t do it for yourself – baking is always about sharing.

Apple Slab Pie 4

Pies seem to dig even deeper into our collective histories – pies of all sorts are associated with the comforts of home, of casual celebrations and being together. You only make pies for people you really love. I mean to make pies more often than I do, and I say this as someone comfortable with the thought of making pastry from scratch – the prospect of making something like an apple pie from just butter-sugar-flour-apples can be daunting – but you can do this. I always have apples on my countertop, and make a habit of having puff pastry in the freezer. (Bonus: no one expects you to make puff pastry from scratch anyway.) The kind that comes by the sheet thaws quickly, and only needs to be unrolled, filled and folded. Apple pie assembly in ten minutes. Truly.

Apple Slab Pie 8

In Western Canada, February is Apple Month – this may seem odd, as we tend to celebrate orchard fruit in the fall, but apples from BC are some of the few fresh local fruits we can still access in the middle of winter. It’s the time of year when you want to warm up by the heat of the oven and stay home and bake on Saturday nights (ahem). I like to support our grower families next door, and almost always have Ambrosias in my fruit bowl – they’re sweet and tart, crunchy and tend to not oxidize (turn brown) as quickly as some other varieties. (I also may be biased after having met the couple who discovered Ambrosias in the Okanagan-a “chance seedling” in an orchard full of Jonagolds that had previously been home to Golden and Red Delicious – they say if they had been more diligent with their weeding, the variety wouldn’t exist.

Apple Slab Pie 7

I like to use a few different kinds in a pie, but a couple of the same work just fine too. Here’s what I do – slice them into a skillet with a blob of butter – don’t bother peeling them, there’s so much in the way of nutrients and fibre in the skin – and sauté them for a few minutes to allow them to soften, condense and caramelize. While they’re in the pan, unroll (or roll out) the pastry. This is the beauty of puff – it can be as sloppy and haphazard as you like, and it will still look fantastic. Puff pastry is that gorgeous woman who looks amazing even in old jeans and a baggy T-shirt. Toss the apples with some sugar and cinnamon and spread them out on one half of the pastry, leaving enough room to seal it closed. Again – as you can see, there is no need for perfection here. No rulers allowed. Fold over the pastry to cover them and press down around the edges with a fork, then brush all over with a beaten egg – this will make it glossy and gorgeous, but omit it if you like.

Apple Slab Pie 6

Don’t worry if it leaks – that’s what parchment is for. And that’s it. It can all be done on a baking sheet, no need for a pie plate. Someone once said thatthe best kind of pie is the kind on your table – this makes it even more doable.

Apple Slab Pie 5

Perhaps the best part: you can serve it warm, at room temperature or cold (hello, breakfast) in slices, like a strudel, or in wedges, which make them look like slices of pie. But it’s far easier to slide this onto a cutting board and cut it straight down at alternating angles than to wrestle a slice of warm pie cleanly out of its plate. Trust me on this. And it’s just as ideal a vehicle for ice cream.

Apple Slab Pie 3

Here’s to more pies on our tables.

Apple Slab Pie 2 (small)
Apple Slab Pie 2 (small)

Apple Slab Pie

Recipe link

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February 3, 2017

Ingredients

1/2 pkg frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 Tbsp. butter

2 large apples, cored and sliced

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

a shake of cinnamon

1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions

1Preheat the oven to 400F.

2

3Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and when the foam subsides, sauté the apples for 3-4 minutes, until they're soft and starting to turn golden. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and cook for a few more minutes, until any excess moisture cooks off and they're softened and syrupy.

4

5On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out into a 11-12 inch square (or just unroll it, if it's pre-rolled). Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet and spread the apples down one half, leaving half an inch or so around the three sides. Fold over the pastry to cover the apples - it doesn't have to look perfect - and press down around the edges with the tines of a fork.

6

7Brush with beaten egg and cut a few slashes in the top with a sharp knife to help steam escape. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until deep golden. Let cool for a few minutes before cutting into slices or wedges. Serves 4-6.

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*Thanks to BC Tree Fruits for asking me to help celebrate Apple Month – watch for a new apple recipe every Friday in February!

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17 comments on “Blog Flog: Apple Slab Pie

  1. Patti Laite
    February 3, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    2 apples for 6 servings! Any chance it should be 2 POUNDS?

    Always enjoy your recipes and am a long time fan of your books and blog.

    Here’s to another good reason to bake with apples. And thanks for the ‘ambrosia’ story!

    • Julie
      February 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Nope, two apples!

  2. Anonymous
    February 3, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Love puff pastry and love this. Making for Sunday supper. Thanks Julie. Your blueberry gallette published in Swerve quite a few years ago is a favorite around here as it’s made with puff pastry too and I always have frozen blueberries.

  3. Alicen
    February 6, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Hooray for puff pastry! I rarely make pies because of the amount of steps required to first make the pastry, and chill, and roll it out, and peel the apples. You’ve made it so much EASIER!! Puff pastry is now on my grocery list :)

    • Julie
      February 7, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Yay! Glad to hear it!

  4. Sue D
    February 6, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Mmm. I’ve got some Pink Ladies (my favourite variety) that would love to be pie filling. Yum!

    • Julie
      February 7, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      My grandma’s favourite!

  5. Anne Zander
    February 6, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Found out about your site from Food in Jars…..BRAVO

    • Julie
      February 7, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Thanks Anne!

  6. Adriana
    February 6, 2017 at 11:39 am

    As someone who is just starting to venture into the world of baking… and who struggles with the perfection required, I really appreciate your simple recipes and casual approach in this recipe. So true that baking is a wonderful way to say “I care about you” and I love that I can do this in a few minutes without fuss! Going to take the puff pastry from the freezer now. Thanks Julie!

    • Julie
      February 7, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Aw, thanks so much Adriana! That’s what I’m going for!

  7. stacey snacks
    February 9, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I love puff pastry too……..and I agree with you about baking. I do it at night, to relax, for myself and to give away.

    Just shoveled 10″ of snow, now making your slab pie!
    Thanks Julie!

    :)

  8. Gail
    February 12, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    I also like to bake at night I find it relaxing at the end of the day. And you have something
    fresh and tasty in the morning.

    • Julie
      February 15, 2017 at 11:25 am

      ooh, good idea!

  9. Kristi
    February 26, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    I have this in the oven right now. It’s huge… but my apples were pretty big! My boys love apple pie, so I was quite thankful for a recipe that doesn’t need a proper pastry crust :). Thanks!

    • Julie
      February 27, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      So glad to hear it!

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