Desserts, Sweet Snacks

Cranberry Apple Slab Pie “to feed a crowd”

It’s getting to be that season where you might have to “feed a crowd”. You know, those times when there might need to be enough food for a dozen, or two dozen people. Enter this pie. It’s designed to feed a crowd, between 20-24 people. It’s a pretty big canvas too, so you can easily work on your lattice skills or, as I did, play with some cookie cutters to make a cute little pattern of flowers. Either way, it’s yummy and will be sure to be enough for the whole gang.

for the pastry
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, diced
1/3 cup (or more) ice water

for the cranberry sauce
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water

For the apples
10 medium tart apples (7 cups), peeled, cored and sliced thin (I used honey crisp, but pink lady or granny smith work well)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water)
Demerara (raw) sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening and cut in using purses until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 6 tablespoons ice water and process until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather into ball, divide (2/3 and 1/3), then flatten into two flat rectangles, one being bigger than the other. Wrap in plastic; chill 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Prepare the cranberry and apple fillings (both can be made up to a day in advance and should be cool when you assemble the pie before baking). For the cranberries, bring the cranberries, juice, sugar, cinnamon and salt to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally and pressing berries against side of pot, until berries have completely broken down and juices have thickened to jamlike consistency (wooden spoon scraped across bottom should leave clear trail that doesn’t fill in), 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in water, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

For the apples, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cornstarch in large microwave-safe bowl; add apples and toss to combine. Microwave on high power, stirring with rubber spatula every 3 minutes, until apples are just starting to turn translucent around edges and liquid is thick and glossy, 10 to 14 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Lightly spray a 20 x 16 baking sheet. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the larger chilled dough rectangle into a 22 x 18 inch. Fit the dough inside the sheet and crimp the edges. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Place cranberry filling in chilled pie crust as the bottom layer and cover with the apple layer (you shouldn’t see the cranberry layer anymore.

Remove the second rectangle of pastry and roll fairly thin. This is where you can be creative. You may prefer to create a lattice top for your pie. Alternatively, you can use the second pie crust to create small shapes (flowers or leaves or stars, etc). I went for all sorts of little flowers this time. After you have decorated the top of your pie, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush over the pie dough and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.

Bake pie for 25 minutes at 400F before lowering oven temperature to 350F. Bake for an additional 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown and the apple juices are bubbling. If the edges, lattice or decoration begin to darken too quickly, cover with aluminum foil to prevent additional browning. Cool pie for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.




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