Caramel apple slab pie is a sweet welcome to fall that feeds a crowd. Make it for potlucks, tailgating, or whenever you need to use up some apples.
When one thinks of fruit in Texas, apples aren’t what come to mind. That honor is reserved for jewel-fleshed grapefruit or cheeky peaches.
But months before grapefruit season, apples are ripening across the Hill Country.
We were surprised by this find when my older son was just a few years old.
We made the drive toward Fredericksburg, visions of replicating our childhood apple-picking memories in our heads. Anyone who has ever spent a length of time with a 3-year-old knows this was a foolish dream.
Before the meltdown, we wandered among rows of trees that varied between barren and lush, seeking out the fruits that were fully blush. The Cameo apples we found were mottled red, giving a freckled appearance resembling that of my son as he careened between the trees, grasping at any branch he could.
Certain memories find a home in your brain, and that day at the apple orchard is one I often turn back to when fall arrives.
Though it wasn’t the memory we had been attempting to make, life, as it usually does, created a different sort of memory that I hold dear.
Memories like these are what cause me to make apple pie in early September, even though temperatures here are still creeping dangerously close to triple digits. Apple pie belongs in September, thermometers be damned.
We had a party to go to, and when you have parties, you need a dessert that will feed everyone without much fuss. This caramel apple slab pie does just that.
While I’m not a big fan of caramel apples (years of braces will put you off them), I do love the flavor combination. I’ve made caramel apple muffins for a few years now, but had previously stuck with cheddar crumble apple pie for my apple pie of choice.
Caramel apple slab pie might have taken its place.
what is slab pie?
Slab pie is simply a pie that is baked on a sheet pan. Much like Texas sheet cake, it’s meant to be an easy way to make dessert for parties, tailgating, potlucks, and other gatherings.
Slab pies can be double crust, single crust, or have lattice tops or crumb toppings. Virtually anything goes!
Most slab pies call for a rimmed baking sheet that is approximately 18 by 12 inches. It’s no problem if yours is slightly smaller!
how to slice apples for slab pie
You’ll need approximately 3 1/2 pounds of apples for caramel apple slab pie. Peeling and cutting apples is no fun (in my book) so I always use my apple peeler tool.
The peeler suctions to your counter and both peels and slices your apple as you run it through the machine. Once the entire apple has gone through, the slices just need to be cut in half. I like the thickness of the slices, which I think are perfect for pie. Having all the slices cut evenly is certainly a bonus!
It takes a few tries to get the hang of the peeler, but it goes quickly once you do. If a few bits of peel don’t get removed, don’t worry about it! It will still taste great in your pie.
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For the caramel sauce, you can make the recipe I’ve included below, or you can purchase ready-made caramel sauce. I like to use cajeta (goat milk caramel) when I have it on hand, or even just a can of dulce de leche.
I recommend drizzling the caramel sauce on using a fork or a small whisk. This ensures you get a nice even drizzle rather than blobs and globs that you might get when using a spoon or pouring directly from a jar.
Be sure to let the pie cool completely before cutting, to make it easier for everyone to grab a square.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 8 tablespoons ice water
- 3 1/2 pounds apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Make the crust
- In a food processor, pulse together flour, salt, and sugar. Cut butter into small chunks and add it to the flour. Pulse until small crumbles form.
- Slowly drizzle in the ice water a tablespoon at a time and pulse a few times to form a cohesive dough. Dump dough onto a floured counter top and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Make the filling
- Toss the apple slices with the lemon juice. Add the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, allspice, and salt, and stir to coat. Set aside.
Make the crumble
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt, and mix with a fork until combined and crumbs are formed.
Assemble the pie
- Roll out the pie crust to fit a rimmed baking sheet and transfer the crust to the pan. If needed, cut off any overhang and fill any gaps.
- Scoop the apples into the crust, spreading out to fill the crust evenly. Pour any accumulated juices over the top.
- Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the top of the apples. Bake the pie for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown.
Make the caramel
- While the pie cools, make the sauce. Combine butter, dark brown sugar, and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and melt, stirring. Once melted, increase slightly and bring to a full rolling boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla (be careful, as the caramel will bubble up). Add sifted powdered sugar and whisk until completely incorporated and smooth. Whisk in salt to taste. Drizzle over the pie. (Any remaining sauce can be saved in the refrigerator.)
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 20 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Saturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 269mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 2g