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Apple Crumb Slab Pie: A Symphony of Fall Flavors in Every Bite

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As the leaves begin to paint the landscape with warm hues, it’s time to embrace the essence of fall with a dessert that captures the spirit of the season – the Apple Crumb Slab Pie. This indulgent treat, featuring a buttery crust, spiced apple filling, and a generous crumb topping, is a celebration of comfort and autumnal bliss. Join us on a culinary journey as we explore the art of crafting this delightful slab pie, perfect for sharing with loved ones or savoring in solitude with a cozy mug of cider.

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Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  1. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  4. 1/2 cup ice water

For the Apple Filling:

  1. 6 large apples (a mix of tart and sweet varieties), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  7. 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the Crumb Topping:

  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions:

For the Crust:

  1. Prepare the Dough:
    • In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt to combine.
    • Add the chilled, cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    • Gradually add the ice water, pulsing until the dough starts to come together.
    • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, shape it into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Roll and Fit the Crust:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
    • On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a rectangle that fits a 9×13-inch baking dish. Gently transfer the dough to the dish, pressing it into the corners and edges.

For the Apple Filling:

  1. Mix and Toss:
    • In a large bowl, combine the sliced apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, all-purpose flour, and lemon juice. Toss until the apples are evenly coated.
  2. Layer the Apples:
    • Arrange the apple slices over the prepared crust, ensuring an even distribution.

For the Crumb Topping:

  1. Create the Crumb Mixture:
    • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt.
    • Pour in the melted butter and stir until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.
  2. Sprinkle the Crumbs:
    • Evenly sprinkle the crumb mixture over the apple filling, covering the entire surface.

Final Assembly and Bake:

  1. Bake to Perfection:
    • Place the assembled slab pie in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown, and the apple filling is bubbly.
  2. Cool and Serve:
    • Allow the Apple Crumb Slab Pie to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. This pie is delicious served warm or at room temperature.

Cook Notes and Variations:

Cooking Tips:

  • Choose a mix of apple varieties such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Gala for a well-balanced flavor and texture.
  • To prevent the crust from becoming soggy, you can sprinkle a thin layer of breadcrumbs or ground nuts over the crust before adding the apple filling.

Variations:

  1. Caramel Drizzle: Enhance the indulgence by drizzling caramel sauce over the baked pie just before serving.
  2. Nutty Crunch: Fold chopped pecans or walnuts into the crumb topping for added texture.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

For Keto Enthusiasts:

  • Substitute almond flour for the all-purpose flour in the crust and crumb topping.
  • Use a sugar substitute like erythritol or monk fruit sweetener in both the apple filling and crumb topping.

Low-Carb Modification:

  • Reduce the quantity of apples and increase the use of lower-carb fruits like berries or rhubarb.
  • Choose a low-carb flour alternative like almond or coconut flour for the crust and crumb topping.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q1: Can I use store-bought pie crust for this recipe? A1: Absolutely! If time is a constraint, you can use pre-made pie crusts. Ensure they are rolled out to fit the baking dish.

Q2: How do I prevent the crumb topping from becoming too dense? A2: Be sure to mix the crumb topping just until it forms coarse crumbs. Overmixing can lead to a denser texture.

Q3: Can I make the Apple Crumb Slab Pie ahead of time? A3: Yes, you can assemble the pie, cover it, and refrigerate it overnight. Bake it just before serving for the freshest results.

Q4: What apples are best for this pie? A4: A combination of tart and sweet apples, such as Granny Smith and Honeycrisp, provides a balanced flavor. Experiment with your favorite varieties.

Q5: Can I freeze leftovers of this slab pie? A5: Yes, you can freeze individual slices or the entire slab pie. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven for best results.

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In concluding our exploration of the Apple Crumb Slab Pie, we find ourselves enchanted by the symphony of flavors and textures that define this autumn-inspired dessert. From the buttery crust that cradles the spiced apple filling to the irresistible crumb topping, each bite is a harmonious blend of sweetness and warmth.

As you embark on your Apple Crumb Slab Pie journey, let the aroma of baking apples and cinnamon fill your kitchen, creating memories that linger long after the last slice is enjoyed. Whether shared with friends or savored in solitude, this slab pie is a testament to the joy found in the simple pleasures of fall. Happy baking!

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