It is pie season and I had a review copy of Pie Academy: Master the Perfect Crust and 255 Amazing Fillings, with Fruits, Nuts, Cream, Custards, Ice Cream and More by Ken Haedrich, from the publisher through NetGalley. It comes out October 27, which is the day after this post goes live.
If you think the title is long, you should try getting through the cookbook! I'm not sure I've made it all the way yet, but no matter, this is a book to consult for any ingredient you might make into a pie. I honed in on the apple pie CHAPTER when I came home from the NC orchards with a big bag of Mutsu apples. Would I made apple pie with cheddar cheese crust? I made a double crusted version of that 12 years ago. There were single crust pies, mock apple pies, pies with crumb and more. Despite my abiding affection for the Smitten Kitchen slab pie, I landed on the Caramel Apple Slab Pie with Melted Butter Crumb Topping.
One bonus I noticed in this cookbook is a wide range of new techniques. It might be daunting to someone new in the ktichen but for someone who has baked her whole life, learning new techniques is a good experience! There were multiple crumb recipes to draw from, and I had the impression one could mix and match, but I did make the one designated for this recipe, the melted butter crumb. It is made with melted butter, crumbled over a sheet pan, and frozen before use. It can also be made in larger quantities and saved in the freezer for multiple, crumb-bearing toppings. I was in love!
Caramel Apple Slab Pie with Melted Butter Crumb Topping
Slab Pie Dough and Shell (from cookbook)
7 cups peeled, cored, and sliced baking apples
1/2 cup raisins
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Big pinch of salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
Melted Butter Crumb Topping (from cookbook)
- Prepare the slab pie dough and make the slab shell in a jelly-roll pan. Refrigerate the shell until needed.
- Adjust the oven racks so one is in the lower position and another is in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C)
- Combine the apples, raisins, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, cream, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Mix well; with so much filling, I like to mix with my hands. Spread everything out evenly in the shell, taking care to smooth over any apple tips, which have a tendency to scorch in the oven. Spread the topping evenly over the apples; you'll probably need all of it.
- Put the pie on the lower oven rack and bake for 25 minutes. Lower the heat to 375 F (190 C) and move the pie up to the middle rack, rotating it 180 degrees. Bake for 30-35 minutes longer, until the juices are bubbly and the topping is golden brown. If the topping starts to get to brown, cover it with aluminum foil.
- Transfer the pie to a rack and cool for at least 1 hour before serving. I prefer it lukewarm or at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate leftovers after 24 hours.
Notes from JennyBakes:
I did not have a jelly-roll pan of the right size (15x10) so I slightly downsized the recipe.
He adds a note about making sure the pan you use has at least 1" on the sides so it doesn't bubble over. Mine still did a little, so maybe a pan underneath would be smart. I didn't move my pie around to different racks so could have used something to catch the one bubble. I did rotate it 180 degrees.
I used light brown sugar because it's what I had; I left out the raisins because I didn't have any but I'm not sure I wanted them in there anyway.
I did use all the crumb topping!