Slab Apple Pie with Easy Crumb Topping

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This easy-to-prepare Slab Apple Pie takes just minutes to assemble. It’s delicious and simple, and a huge hit for fall. Bake one for now and stash an extra in the freezer.

woman in gray shirt holding apple pie with red towel

Apple pie is almost a perfect food. What with its buttery, flaky crust, sweet filling, and crunchy, nutty topping, an apple pie makes an excellent breakfast, snack, or dessert.

The only problem is that your typical apple pie only yields 8 servings, often not enough for seconds. Or thirds.

However, baking an apple pie in a 9×13 baking dish allows you a world of possibilities, including extra servings.

Not only that, but baking your pie in a rectangle makes it easier to fill your freezer with a stack of pies to bake throughout the fall and winter months. Nothing wrong with that!

slice of pie on white plate next to pan and apples

Apple pie is probably one of my favorite foods ever. My Gramma John used to make it when she’d come to visit, but it was one of my mom’s specialties as well. Making it is one of my favorite fall recipes.

Slab Apple Pie

When I luck out and find apples at a great price, I like to make many pies at once and freeze them to enjoy throughout the fall and winter. This Slab Apple Pie is one of my favorite versions of the classic dessert because it’s SO EASY to assemble. No fussing with rolling out the dough or making a pretty top crust. PLUS, it feeds more than 8, making it a perfect fit for my small army.

  1. It’s super easy to throw together. I’m not worried about fluting edges or getting the topping in a perfect mound. Just layer the ingredients and bake.
  2. There’s a bigger crust to apple ratio. If you’re low carbs, this isn’t your sweet. But, oh my….
  3. It freezes just as well as a regular pie, but has a shape more conducive to your freezer space. If you don’t have enough pans in the house, freeze each layer (prior to baking) in its own freezer bag. Then thaw and assemble prior to baking.

This pie is what I call the Lazy Woman’s Pie. You don’t need to roll out a fancy crust. You don’t need to arrange the apple slices in fancy patterns. You don’t need to make a pretty top crust.

What you do need to make is a double batch!

Now that apples are in season, it’s a good idea to make several of these to stash in the freezer for whenever you want a yummy, home baked pie.

pyrex pan of slab apple pie

Can I bake a pie in a cake pan?

Yes! While pies are traditionally baked in pie tins, you can bake a pie in cake pans as well. If you use an 8- or 9-inch cake pan you’ll have a very similar proportion of crust to filling as you do in a pie pan.

If you bake your pie recipe in a 9×13 baking dish, your ratio of crust to filling may trend more toward crust. If you like, 1 1/2 times your filling to make for a fuller pie.

How can you tell if an apple pie is done?

An apple pie is done when the apples are tender and the filling is thick and bubbly. If the top crust browns too much before the filling is done, cover it with aluminum foil to allow the filling to catch up.

Do you grease a pie pan for apple pie?

You don’t need to grease a pie pan for apple pie. Your typical pie crust has plenty of butter or other fat to keep it from sticking to the pan.

step by step photos of slab apple pie

How do you make a Slab Apple Pie?

This recipe is super simple to assemble. I use my food processor to speed up the process.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Assemble your ingredients: butter, flour, sugar, apples, cinnamon, lemon , and nuts.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, place the flour and butter cubes. Pulse until coarse crumbs are formed. Pulse in cold water until the dough easily holds together.
  4. Transfer the crumbs to a 9×13-inch baking dish and press the crumbs into a crust across the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Using the paper wrapping from the stick of butter can help the crumbs from sticking to your hands.
  5. Peel and slice six apples. Place them in a mixing bowl with sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  6. Transfer the apple mixture to the prepared pie pan. Spread evenly.
  7. In the same food processor (no need to wash), place the flour and butter for the topping. Pulse until coarse crumbs are formed. Add the brown sugar and chopped nuts. Stir to combine. 
  8. Sprinkle this crumb topping over the surface of the apples. Bake until the apples are tender and the filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes. 
  9. Cool on a rack before serving.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pastry blender, fork, or two knives to cut the butter into the flour.

How to make this recipe easily:

Having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

  • food processor or pastry blender – Either of these tools make quick work of the short dough. You can do it by hand with two knives, but I prefer my food processor.
  • large cutting board – I use this super size cutting board for a work surface for all my doughs. I can easily clean and sanitize it and move it around the kitchen.
  • Apple corer – to easily core apples, handy if you’re making many pies at one time or use an apple peeler and a knife.
  • stainless steel mixing bowl – great for mixing the filling
  • citrus reamer – for juicing the lemon

Not quite sure how to slice an apple? I’ll show you four different ways to make easy apple slices.

slice of slab apple pie on plate next to apples

If you prepare this recipe, be sure to take a picture and hashtag it #GOODCHEAPEATS. I can't wait to see what you cook up!
5 from 1 vote
Slab Apple Pie with Easy Crumb Top
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 
This easy to prepare slab apple pie takes just minutes. It’s delicious and simple, and a huge hit for fall.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, apple dessert, apple pie
Calories: 4312 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
  • One batch Gramma John’s Pie Crust
  • 6 apples peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare pie crust according to directions and pat it into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine apple slices, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Spread in an even layer over crust.
  3. In the food processor, combine the flour, butter, and brown sugar, pulsing until coarse crumbs are formed, or in a large mixing bowl, combine these ingredients, cutting butter into sugar and flour with a pastry blender or two knives held together. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle crumb top over apple layer.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until filling bubbles. Cool completely.
Recipe Notes

If preparing ahead of time to freeze. Wrap with foil and label prior to baking and freeze. Then, when ready to serve, bake the frozen pie at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375° and continue baking as directed.

Nutrition Facts
Slab Apple Pie with Easy Crumb Top
Amount Per Serving
Calories 4312 Calories from Fat 2043
% Daily Value*
Fat 227g349%
Saturated Fat 121g756%
Cholesterol 488mg163%
Sodium 2834mg123%
Potassium 1831mg52%
Carbohydrates 561g187%
Fiber 41g171%
Sugar 323g359%
Protein 42g84%
Vitamin A 6262IU125%
Vitamin C 56mg68%
Calcium 386mg39%
Iron 11mg61%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post was originally published in November 2009. It has been updated for relevance and accuracy.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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Comments

  1. Jessika says

    This looks delicious! Love the ease of freezing this too!

  2. Anonymous says

    I don't have my big food processor any more (it went away when we moved) but I actually have a big freezer for the first time. This looks like a good project for it. Thank you!!

  3. Anne says

    I love your blog! I passed on the Over the Top award to you. Find out more at: http://quickeasycheaphealthy.blogspot.com/2009/11/blessed-are-flexible.html

  4. Ann Marie says

    ooooooOOOOOO this sounds yummy!! I've recently started using those foil pans for things I need to freeze/take to a potluck (because I only have so many dishes!) I may have to try this sometime!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing it!

  5. Miranda says

    Wonderful! I have some apples waiting to be used. This looks like the recipe I was waiting for!

  6. Lauren says

    I've never had a slab apple pie, but I think I'll have to change that! This looks absolutely delicious =D.

  7. Hoosier Homemade says

    I bet that's a lot easier to serve too. Looks yummy! Thanks for joining in the fun at the Holiday Food Fest!
    ~Liz

  8. Kris says

    This looks awesome (and do-able by a non-confident chef!) Might try it soon. A question about pans etc. I read somewhere that some folks line pans w/ foil, prep then take out and freeze. That way they just thaw back in the pan to cook. Do you do it this way?

  9. Courtney says

    Just found your blog and saw this pie, then looked at the enormous bag of Fuyu persimmons my neighbor gave me. No one will eat them but me,so I tried them in this pie recipe. It worked! So good and super easy (I made it with my 2 year old and she loved helping). Thanks!

  10. FishMama says

    Kris, I've never done the foil thing. I've heard mixed reviews from others. I have three glass pans that I use and every once in awhile I buy a few packages of the foil pans. I wash and reuse them if they're easy to clean up.

  11. FishMama says

    Courtney, you know what they say…. when life hands you persimmons, make slab pie.

    Or something like that. 😉

  12. heartnsoulcooking says

    What a GREAT!!! recipe. I love that it sounds so EASY!!!
    Geri

  13. gfe--gluten free easily says

    This sounds like a genius idea! Sometimes a dessert in a 9 x 13 pan is just what you want–for all the reasons you cited. Your Slab Pie looks and sounds very delish. I bet the concept could be a applied to other pies. Great for a big crowd, too!

    Shirley

  14. Brian says

    This looks so good. I think I'm ready to start making some apple desserts. I might have to start with this one.

  15. Marion says

    I made this pie for a function and I loved how easy it was. It tasted wonderful. I did add some oatmeal to the chopped nuts for a more crusty topping. I will be making this again VERY soon!

  16. Lori says

    Does if matter what kind of apples you use? What do you use?

  17. FishMama says

    Use good baking apples, like Jonathan or Granny Smith. Anything that is considered a baking apple.

  18. Fleur says

    Do you freeze this in one portion or cut it up before freezing? I can’t imagine that we would be able to eat all that delicious pie in one sitting.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      We are a family of eight and the kids can often eat one on their own. It’s thinner than a traditional pie. But, if you want, you could divide it into two 8 inch square pans.

      • Fleur says

        @Jessica Fisher, This recipe is fantastic & so easy! I divided the mix into 2 dishes – one for now & one for the freezer. Absolutely delicious! I love the push in crust – so quick & simple. I used macadamia nuts in the topping – divine!

      • Nia says

        @Jessica Fisher,
        I’ve had my eye and mind on this pie for a while now. My 4 year old has been asking for 3 day could we make apple pie and I finally caved in and made your recipe. DELICIOUS. Love your grandma’s crust and I used it in a traditional pie pan ’cause the crust in a pie is my favorite part. Used 4 apples for this pie pan so the pie would be loaded with apples. Also didn’t use the processor for topping so we’d have noticable crunch from the almonds I used. Jessica, I had a crumb apple recipe I was content with but this is by far my favorite and definitely a keeper. Love the loads of cinnamon throughout those apples too. And you are right, store bought pies are gross and don’t hold a match to THIS PIE! Sorry for the long message

  19. Kristine says

    This was delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Michele Choo says

    I just tried this recipe out today! It was so easy and foolproof!!! Thanks! My younger boy loved it! Will definitely use this recipe again. 🙂

  21. We made this recipe recently & divided it between two pie plates. We used 100% whole wheat flour, reduced the butter & sugar & LOVED the results. Thanks, Jessica!

  22. Colleen P says

    Printing the recipe out now in hopes of making it this week…and pinning it to make in the future. Thanks for sharing a yummy-looking recipe. Can’t wait to try!

  23. This has my name all over it! Can’t wait to try it – my charming son-in-law doesn’t care for chocolate, but luvs anything with apples in it! I’m not much of a pie baker, so this looks right up my ally! Thanks for posting!

  24. Kelly says

    This was delicious after our Sunday dinner! This was my first ever pie crust (they’ve always scared me!) and it was easy and delicious. I ran out of AP flour, so I used whole wheat and rolled oats in the crumble. Was delicious served with vanilla ice cream!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      I’m so glad to hear it was a success! Yeah!

  25. maria says

    This is in my oven right now! Smells great but how on earth did you use one pie crust to cover the whole pan??? I had to use a 9×9 because there was no way it was covering anything bigger. Its tall and thick but hopefully works out

    • Jessica Fisher says

      Sometimes I double it, but not always. Usually just stretch one thin.

  26. Jaime says

    This recipe sounds so easy and yummy. Unfortunately my son has a nut allergy. Do you have any suggestions on what else I could use for the topping??

    • My daughter has a nut allergy, too. I now leave out the nuts. The crumb top is great without nuts.

  27. Kara says

    9/21/13: This recipe was AWESOME! I love baking and cooking big time, and when I tasted this, it was so good I couldn’t believe it came from my own oven and not some fab bakery! I made a half batch in an 8×8 pan, used 4 fresh/FIRM Golden Delicious apples, 1t cinnamon, added 5-6 taps of nutmeg, sprinkle of salt, and about 1/4 cup of flour because my apples were juicy. For the crust, I used the full recipe and added a good 1/2T of sugar to round out the salt, but just pushed the crust 2/3 up the sides, so there was a nice crust all the way around. I used the full amnt of ingredients for the topping as well, and just added a sprinkle of salt to that too. Baked it for 55 minutes and served with Cool Whip. Entire family was freaking over it, and it was crazy easy. This is going to be my go to crust for pies in general now! Love not having to roll it out. Would definitely recommend to any level of baker! Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  28. REGINA says

    Hi there – we made this for thanksgiving. it was DELICIOUS! thank you. quick question – we had a ton of dessert and we have a lot leftover. can I freeze it once it is already baked? or will it be to dry to reheat once it’s thawed? thanks!

    • I’ve never frozen it once it was baked. It doesn’t last that long around here. I don’t think it would get dry. I worry that it would get soggy.

  29. Tammy says

    Question: I want to make this for my parents and was wondering if I could split this and make two 8×8 pans instead of one 9×13. Would the baking time stay the same? (They would be cooking it from “frozen”.)

    • I haven’t done it that way in awhile, but I would check it when you have 5-10 minutes left to go. You want the crust browned and the filling to bubble.

  30. Kim says

    Oh my! This was so, so, so good! I made this to take to a ministry lunch today and it was gobbled up. I served it still warm from the oven with a little bit of jarred caramel sauce drizzled over the top. This is definitely a keeper recipe and my go-to way to make apple pie! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. So long Pillsbury! I’m no longer intimidated by making homemade pie crust!

    • Yay! I love the empowerment that a homemade pie brings! So glad you enjoyed it. And will be making it again. 😉

  31. Beth says

    I made this last night for Thanksgiving. Swapped oats for nuts due to allergies but the rest was as written. It’s gone. .. and they loved it. Thank you ?

  32. Joybird6 says

    Gee. Thanks for pointing out that it’s PI Day – means I have to go and make this pie!!! More work for me… BUT I CAN’T WAIT! 😉 I’ll enlist my little girlies to help!

  33. Linda says

    I made this tonight and it came out amazing, rich and full of sweet, apple cinnamon goodness–delicious! And I used Gramma John’s Pie Crust recipe and Omg, so flaky and I am thrilled! I am using this recipe for Holiday Pie baking! Thank you, Jessica, I am sharing both recipes with all of my friends and will try more of your recipes as well!

  34. Colleen says

    5 stars
    I had picked up 2 Macintosh apples at a trick or treating event at work. I don’t normally eat these apples so I was trying to think of something to do with them and your blog post came at the perfect time. I cut this recipe into one-third and it turned out fantastic! Thanks for the idea!

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