Sunday, October 26, 2014

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Slab Recipe with Perfectly Rustic Pie Crust

So, the other day I got a call from my newly married, precious, daughter and her hubby. They wondered if we might join them for an outing to one of our local apple farms. Just happened I had a Groupon waiting to be used for U-pick apples, that paired with two kiddos dying for an excuse to close the books and hit the road for a little fieldtrip made for a no-excuse-in-the-world-can-stop-us-from-going attitude. 

After a spot of lunch in the Cafe we put our soles to the gravel road leading out to the orchard. It was a beautiful walk that spurred a lot of conversation. AND with Nate I do mean, A LOT! The boy has much to say and ask, okay? 

Plucking the PERFECT apples off the trees was so much fun.

So, what do you do with deliciously fresh picked apples, or any apples for that matter? Bake them into something divine of course!

So, Apple Slab Pie it is. 

A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for my Mother-in-laws WORLDS BEST Pie Crust Recipe in my Grandma's Apple Dumpling Recipe. It makes a mean pie crust, I mean MEAN like flakiest pie crust I have probably ever inhaled. So very, very tasty. However, I knew for a Pie Slab I would need a less delicate crust that could allow for a bit more handling without breaking down.

In my searches for the best pie crust over the years, I have seen a few recipes that included egg and vinegar. So, I decided to try out the Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pie Crust. Only, I knew for my slab creation I would need to make a slight alteration... BUTTER. Yes, butter. These ALL shortening crusts just leave me longing for that deep, rich golden butter flavor that can't be matched with imitation flavoring. I also was looking to increase the density of the dough that would give me a rich, rustic crust. 

Perfectly Rustic Pie Crust
  • 1 cup Crisco (butter flavored vegetable Shortening)
  • .5 cup Butter
  • 3 cups All-purpose Floure
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 5 Tablespoons Cold Water
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar

SIFT flour and salt into a large bowl.  With a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco & butter into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Sprinkle in 5 tablespoons of ice-cold water & 1 tablespoon of white vinegar mixed together. Use a fork to gently work small areas of the dough together until it can form a ball. Don't work it too much, or dough will become tough.

Roll out your dough sandwiched between waxed paper that is slightly floured (the wax paper reduces the need for so much flour and leaves you with a more tender crust) sprinkle flour on top and bottom of dough to prevent sticking.

Roll out 2 pieces of dough to a little larger shape than the dish you will be using to bake your slab. Make the dough as think or thin as you prefer. I really like a thick crust - so I typically have my dough at 1/8-1/4" thick.

{If you want to freeze this dough for future use - just make disc shapes with dough, bag and freeze.}

Pie Filling

You can fill your pie slab with just about anything. On this one I used my typical apple pie / dumpling filling recipe.{Which I just make up by eye} I peeled, cored and sliced 4 apples, Added 1 cup of sugar, a couple teaspoons of cinnamon, and .25 cups of flour for thickening. Then drizzled with my homemade Salted Caramel Sauce over the top of the apples once they were layered over the bottom slab of dough that I had placed on the stoneware pan I was using. 

Once you have the bottom dough in place on your baking dish, have it topped with your filling (with at least an inch in from the edges of the dough) - and layered your top crust on, it is time to tuck, roll and press your dough edges around the perimeter of your slab. Now, hear me on this - it isn't supposed to be pretty. What makes this so delightfully appealing to the eyes and tastebuds is the rustic-ness of it; hearty, crusty yet flaky. This is the kind of dessert you can just dig right into and devour. Not to be confused with those intricately designed desserts that are delicate and must be oh-so, politely eaten.  Nope - devour this people. This is good grub - grab n' go. 

Toss it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30-45 minutes - until golden. I put a cookie sheet down on the rack below - in case any drippings escaped. 

-Simply Sublime

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