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apple slab pie

Cathy Barrow's Not-So-Old-Fashioned Apple Slab Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust

Serves: 12 to 15

Hands On Time: 

Total Time: 


Cheddar Crust
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (325 g) all-purpose flour
16 tablespoons (225 g) unsalted butter, cubed and frozen for 20 minutes
4 ounces (113 g) cold extra-sharp cheddar cheese, preferably orange, half grated and half roughly chopped into almond-sized pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (120 mL) ice water

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (56 g) maple sugar or 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Juice of 1 lemon
3 pounds (1.5 kg) mixed apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 6 large apples)
2 tablespoons (28 g) cold unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons maple sugar or sparkling sugar


To make the crust: In the food processor, pulse the flour, butter, cheese, and salt until the butter and cheese are in small pieces coated with flour, about 15 times. Add the ice water all at once and process until the mixture almost forms a ball. Form the dough into a 6- by 4-inch rectangle using plastic wrap and a bench scraper to firmly press the dough into a cohesive form. Wrap tightly and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm slightly. Divide the dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger piece to 11 by 15 inches and place in the slab pie pan, pressing it into the corners of the pan and allowing the excess to drape over the sides. Refrigerate. Roll out the second piece of dough to 10 by 14 inches, place it on a lightly floured sheet of parchment, and refrigerate.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees; if you have one, place a baking stone, Baking Steel, or inverted baking sheet on the center rack to heat.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, maple sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add the lemon juice and sliced apples and stir gently. I like to use my hands for this. Scrape the filling into the crust in the slab pie pan and top with the dots of butter. Place the top crust over the filling, trim, crimp, and slash.

With a pastry brush, paint the water across the surface of the pie, avoiding the edges. Sprinkle the maple sugar across the top of the pie. Bake (on top of the steel, stone, or baking sheet if using) for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 40 to 45 minutes. If the top gets too dark, tent with foil. The pie is done when the filling is burbling through the slashes.

Cool the pie thoroughly before serving. But if a warm pie is your heart’s content, slip the cooled pie in a hot 350-degree oven for 10 minutes before slicing.

Photo: Christopher Hirsheimer

About the recipe

We bet you've never had apple pie like this one before. Taking inspiration from the classic leftover apple pie trick of adding a slice of cheddar cheese to the top and merging it with the generous slab pie shaping method, this oversized dessert is the perfect addition to any holiday table.

This recipe was excerpted from the book Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet & Savory Slab Pies by Cathy Barrow. Copyright © 2018 by Cathy Barrow. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.