The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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What’s Better Than Apple Pie?

November 3, 2015 , , ,

By PitaSushi

As a New Yorker, sometimes you have to do a little under the table trading to get by. In my particular case, I work for a company that has its own garage and occasionally I ask the manager of that garage if I can keep my car there. What do I offer in exchange? The moment the leaves start turning from hunter to vermillion, I will furnish his department with an apple pie.

The thing about making an apple pie is it takes some real love. You have to get that butter nice and cold. You have to peel and cut up all those apples. You have to sprinkle the top with some thick grain sugar. In the end, to do all that work and have no pie for one’s self is a travesty.

So my solution? Slab pie.

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It’s not just a pie, it’s a pie the size of a sheet pan. And what does that mean? That means that not only do you wind up with something similar to a pop tart, something with more crust than filling, you wind up with enough pie to get a parking spot and dessert for a week! And as long as you’re doing all the work to make a pie… why not a slab of it?

Apple Slab Pie

For the crust:
3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter
¾ cup ice water

To make the crust, start by dicing your butter into ½ inch chunks and putting them in a bowl. Put that bowl in the freezer while you stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender or fork, work the butter into the flour until incorporated but you still see some nice butter chunks. Those chunks are what make for flaky heaven so don’t go too far!

Pour in the very cold water and mix until just combined. Dump out onto your counter, and knead one or twice until it forms a ball, then split into two halves making each vaguely rectangular (helps in the next steps) and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to a few days.

For filling:
4 lbs. cored apples (best are Empire, Macintosh, Granny smith, or a combo)
1 tsp. lemon juice
⅔ cup sugar

3 tbsp. corn starch

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp allspice

¼ tsp salt

Pre-heat your oven to 375°F.

Line the bottom of a 10x15x1-inch baking sheet (jelly roll size) with parchment paper if you’ve got it. If not, just spray with some cooking spray.

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To make filling, cut apples into 1 inch chunks and toss with lemon juice followed by remaining filling ingredients. Stir until nicely coated.

To finish:
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup demerara sugar

Welcome to the tricky part. Pick the half of wrapped dough that’s slightly larger (unless yours are exactly equal because you’re somehow the king Solomon of pastry cutting), and place it on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin and some extra flour as necessary, roll the dough until it’s a rectangle and slightly larger than your baking sheet. It takes some elbow grease and extra flour, rotating as you go to make sure it doesn’t stick, but it will happen. Roll the dough up on your rolling pin and unroll it on the prepared sheet. It should slightly hang over the sides. Now dump all of your filling into the crust and smooth over.

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Replace
Take your second chilled dough and roll this one to about the size of the cookie sheet. If you want to use a ruler like I did, the gods of baking will not frown upon you. Using the rolling pin again, transfer this dough over the filling. Now take your slightly overhung bottom crust and roll up and over the top crust pinching to seal as you go along. If you want to crimp, power to you, but I was exhausted by this point.

To finish, brush the entire top with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the sugar. This will give it a nice, golden, crunchy sugar top that will make everyone go insane. Cut slits all over the top of the pie so it doesn’t explode (learned the hard way) and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

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Allow to cool and then slice into two pieces. Pass one under the table to your parking helper and keep the rest on your counter to enjoy!

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