Thursday, October 30, 2014

Smitten Kitchen's Apple Slab Pie

Dammit, I make a lot of crust-filled things, but when this shows up in your social media feed you find yourself succumbing to yet another crust-filled Saturday. Alas! May this pie be the point of realization to lay off tallow-laced dough and start run down a path of meals that may feed a family, be already stocked in the pantry, impress Food Network, reheat easily for leftovers, travel well, be full of nutrition, and have only five ingredients. Oh, yeah - don't forget organic, raw, gluten-free, paleo, vegan, and have no calories. JUST KIDDING! We could probably stop at the first three and call it good. But you should go here. Go to the land of Apple Slab Pie - it's a place. Join me. 

I find peeling this many apples with a plain paring knife therapeutic. Don't get frustrated and stomp your foot at the tedium, embrace your effort and find a slow meditation of sorts. Promise it's there - you just have to find it. 
 
Look. At. That. Filling. $%&! SOOOO UNBELIEVABLY GOOD. YES, I'M YELLING.
 And then the sun came out. Making my Apple Slab Pie the sunniest sun-kissed slab of pie.
Tell me... What is the most tedious thing you've done in the kitchen?

Printable Recipe Here

Apple Slab Pie
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Dough
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very cold
1 cup tallow (can use all butter)
3/4 cup ice water

Filling
3 1/2 to 4 pounds apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/2" chunks
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar (depending on your preference)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 heaping teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 heaping teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon table salt

Finishing Touch
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

Line a 10x15x1 jelly roll pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir dry dough ingredients with a large whisk to combine. Cut in butter and tallow (if using) with a pastry cutter, until the dough resembles small pebbles or peas. Working with a tablespoon measure, drizzle ice water over dough, 3-4 tablespoons at a time, tossing to incorporate. Once all the water is added, knead dough into a ball. If more water is needed, add 1 teaspoon at a time until dough comes together into a ball. Divide into two balls, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or up to a couple days. Once ready to work with the dough, remove from fridge and allow to soften on counter for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, make filling. Toss peeled, chopped apples with lemon juice, add in remaining filling ingredients.  Stir well. Set aside to macerate and become heavenly. 

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

If there is a larger dough ball between the two, use that for the bottom crust. Working on a well floured surface, roll out dough into a large rectangular shape that looks like it's going to fit into your parchment-lined baking sheet. You can get out the ruler and measure things here, but are we really that anal retental? Roll dough to about 1/4" thick, transfer to baking sheet, prick with fork and pour in the apple filling, spread evenly. Roll out the other crust and place atop apple filling. Crimp and seal the edges, brush with egg wash, and prick the dough with a fork. 

Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until browned and bubbling. Transfer to a wire baking rack to cool and allow to rest for about 45 minutes. 

Whisk together powdered sugar and milk to make a glaze, pour over the cooled crust. Cut into bars and serve to a large group of ravenous teenagers, children, grandparents, husbands, church ladies, anyone. Stores on the counter for several days, refrigerates well for a couple more days, makes a bombdiggity portable breakfast bar.