Thanksgiving is this week and I’m usually the pie-and-hot roll girl when it comes to divvying up the meal duties. I make two standard pumpkin pies for the adults, one egg-free and dairy-free pumpkin pie for the allergic ones and one big slab apple pie good for everyone. I first had apple pie squares like this at the Flour House Bakery when I worked in Sanford, Maine. That bakery single-handedly sustained me through my second pregnancy! When we moved back to Michigan, I was pleased to find a similar treat in my mother-in-law’s baking repertoire.
The crust is a triple-batch of my standard recipe found in my 1936 copy of the Boston Cooking School Cook Book. The recipe barely makes enough to roll out for the top and bottom crust. Although having to roll the crust out super-thin is a bit of a hassle, especially with a crumbly crust, in the end this is a good thing, trust me. The wonderful thing about this recipe is the delicate and thin crust. The crust is very forgiving also, for the bottom crust I actually roll it out in the pan with a mini roller and just press it up the sides. The top crust is so thin that it always falls apart during the transfer. Don’t stress, just patch up the top as best you can. The broken crust kind of bakes together in the end and gets covered by the glaze anyway.
For the filling, I love using Northern Spy apples, but any combination of Macintosh, Ida Red, Golden Delicious, Jonathan will work. Sorry about the inexact measurements on the filling, but that is what makes this so fun. I usually peel & slice 10-15 or so apples, (I have an awesome apple peeling & slicing contraption for this), enough to pile up to the rim of the baking sheet. I sprinkle on 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar, depending on how tart my apples are, sprinkle the cinnamon and a few dashes of vanilla, maybe a few splashes of applejack or calvados. It makes me feel like a rogue, a non-type-A, come-what-may kinda gal. Ha, keep dreaming.
Apple Pie Squares for a Crowd
- 1 recipe of Dairy Free Pie crust for Slab Pie (recipe below)
- Apples–10-15 peeled cored and thinly sliced.
- Sugar–about 1 cup
- Cinnamon–1-2 teaspoons
- Vanilla–a few spoonfuls
- Maybe a few splashes of applejack, calvados or other brandy
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- Powdered sugar
- Roll out half the dough and press into and up the edges of a 13 x 18 inch jelly roll pan.
- Peel and thinly slice 10-15 apples into the pan. I have a cool peeler-corer-slicer for this task. Add enough apples to fill the pan completely, up to the pan edge.
- Sprinkle cinnamon over the apples, about 1-2 teaspoons to taste.
- Sprinkle sugar over the apples, about 1 cup.
- Sprinkle some vanilla over the apples, 1-2 teaspoons.
- Roll out the second half of the crust, very thinly, and place over the apples. Seal the edges the best you can. Cut steam holes in the top.
- Put the whole pan in the freezer while oven preheats to 375.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbles in the center.
- Make the glaze by mixing enough powdered sugar into the lemon juice to make a drizzly glaze.
- Allow the pie to cool a bit before glazing.
Dairy Free Pie Crust for Slab Pies
If you’re new to crust making, see my post Dairy Free Pie Crust 101 for more detailed instructions.
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups frozen & chopped shortening (I put 1 1/2 cups of shortening in plastic wrap and flatten it down into a disk and freeze, then chop right before using)
- 3/4 cups ice water
- Measure the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor and give it a few pulses to mix.
- Add half the shortening and pulse until there are no big pieces at all.
- Add the second half of the shortening and give it 6-8 pulses until the shortening pieces are small, about the size of a pea.
- Sprinkle the ice water on top and use a knife to gently swirl the water around the dough in food processor bowl.
- Pulse another 6-8 times until the crumbly dough comes together, but don’t overdo it.
- Dump the dough out onto the counter, divide into two pieces.
- Form into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to an hour.