There is a local apple variety that is hitting the markets right now — the Gravenstein Apple. It’s juicy and fresh, with a delightfully balanced flavor. This early ripening apple is an old fashioned variety that does well in northern CA, with Sonoma County it’s epicenter of production. I attended the Gravenstein Apple Fair last weekend, and came home with a bunch of these little beauties. This squat little apple is ideal for sauces because it breaks down easily. And while I LOVE the flavor of this apple, I find that it gets a bit mushy in traditional double crusted apple pie. The solution? make a slab pie instead.
Why a Slab Pie? (BTW I had to convince my husband that this is a real thing, and no — I didn’t make up the name) A slab pie is just a flat pie — with a greater proportion of crust to filling ratio, and also a large surface area for quicker cooking fruits that might do well with some evaporation of their juices. Gravensteins are ideal for this type of baking, because of their quick cooking tendencies. If you can’t find Gravensteins, I recommend a baking apple with good sweet/tart balance. With my All Butter Pie Crust recipe and a bunch of Gravenstein apples, you’ll have a fabulous slab pie in no time. for John, my pie-lover Enjoy!
Gravenstein Apple Slab Pie
3 LB Gravenstein Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
one recipe All Butter Pie Pastry
Roll the pie pastry out to fit a 11 X 17 inch low-rimmed baking sheet (this is also known as a jelly roll pan). If you have a different size baking sheet that’s OK — just make sure the rim is low, and that the crust is rolled thin, but has a small rim to catch the juices of the apples. Arrange the apple slices over the pastry. Mix the two sugars with the cinnamon, then sprinkle evenly over the apple slices on the pastry. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350 and bake until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender but still holding their shape – start checking after another 30 minutes. Allow the slab pie to cool to warm room temperature before serving. Serves 8.