The City Magazine Since 1975

Apple Cranberry Slab Pie

November 2022
Girl Nextdough food truck owner Caitlin Schumacher delivers slab pie for a crowd with a beautiful crust and bright filling that’s both dense and delicious
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For the crust:
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the pan
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt 
3 Tbs. orange zest 
1½ lbs. unsalted butter, cut into one-inch cubes and kept cold, plus more for buttering the pan
1/4 cup, plus 2 Tbs. ice-cold water 

For the filling:
3½ lbs. Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1½ Tbs. cornstarch
2 oz. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup champagne vinegar (may substitute with white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (chef’s tip: use the zested oranges leftover from making the crust)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 lb. fresh cranberries

For the egg wash:
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 Tbs. heavy cream
Turbinado sugar


For the crust:
Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 17- by 13-inch baking pan. Set aside.

Place the flour, sugar, salt, and orange zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix well. Add the cold cubes of butter and paddle on low speed just to coat each piece of butter in flour. Continue to paddle on low until the butter is pea-sized.

Start streaming in the water with the mixer running. It should take about 30 seconds to incorporate the water. Continue mixing until the dough forms a solid mass.

Divide the dough in half. Pat each half into disks, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate them for one hour.

After chilling, roll each disk of dough in between two large sheets of parchment paper to a rectangle slightly larger than the baking pan, about 19 by 15 inches. Lay one rectangle, still in between the sheets of parchment paper, on top of a baking sheet and refrigerate it. This will be used to make the lattice top. 

For the other disk of dough, gently peel the parchment off of the top of the dough. Invert the prepared baking pan on top of it. Using your hand, gently slide your palm underneath the parchment and flip the dough into the prepared pan. Peel off the parchment. It’s okay if the dough cracks; You can smooth it out with your fingertips. 

Using the interior of your index finger, press the dough outward against the sides of the pan to create straight edges. You may need to chill the dough in the pan for 20 to 30 minutes at this point to be able to handle it. Then, using a pair of kitchen scissors, trim the excess dough (or fold the excess dough underneath itself and crimp the edges). Prick the bottom all over with a fork. Put the pan in the freezer until ready to proceed.

You can make the dough two days ahead, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate, or three weeks ahead if wrapped tightly in plastic, put in a freezer bag, and frozen. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator.

For the filling:
Peel the apples and cut out the cores. Cut the apples into one-inch cubes. Put them in a roasting pan, toss with the sugar, and set aside for one hour.

Combine the nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk to mix well. Add the melted butter, vinegar, orange juice, and brown sugar and whisk to combine. Add this mixture to the apples in the roasting pan after they have been set aside for the hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Bake the apples for 20 minutes, or until tender, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the cranberries. Let cool completely. 

To assemble:
Remove the prepared pie shell from the freezer. Add the filling to it, spreading it out into a smooth layer. 

Remove the refrigerated sheet of dough and peel off the top piece of parchment. Place the parchment back on top of the dough and invert. Peel off the other sheet of parchment to release the dough from the paper on both sides. This will make it easier to lift off the strips of dough. Using a ruler and a pastry wheel and working along the long side of the dough, cut one-inch wide strips. You should have 14 strips that are one-inch wide and about 19-inches long. 

Beginning with one corner of the pan and working on the diagonal, lay seven of the strips of dough across the top of the pie, parallel and spaced about two inches apart from one another. The dough strips will overhang the edges of the pan. If the strips of dough are difficult to handle at any point, chill for 20 minutes and resume. 

Once you have laid one direction of the lattice top, turn the pan 90 degrees and lay the other seven pieces of dough perpendicular to the first set. This will create square openings in the lattice. If you want to create diamond openings, lay the second set of dough strips at a 45 degree angle to the first set. The lattice will look great no matter what angle you use as long as you are careful to keep the dough strips parallel and evenly spaced! Using your fingertips, press the dough strips down where they overhang the pan to meet the sides of the bottom crust. Chill the whole pie for 30 minutes to allow the lattice to firm up before baking. 

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Combine the egg, egg yolk, and cream and lightly beat together. Brush the lattice with it, then sprinkle the lattice with turbinado sugar. Bake the pie for 25 minutes, then rotate it. Turn the oven down to 350°F and continue to bake the pie for another 25 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting, about two hours.

Chef’s Notes: “This pie can be assembled and held in the refrigerator for about two hours before baking. Or it can be baked, covered, and refrigerated overnight. Bring the pie back to room temperature before serving.

You can also bake the pie up to two weeks ahead. Let it cool to room temperature, Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled. Wrap it in foil and freeze whole. Thaw in the refrigerator and bring back to room temperature before serving. 

Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to two days. Bring back to room temperature before serving.”

Girl Nextdough
1230 Camp Rd., James Island 
Saturday & Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon
(843) 564-2761