Merry Mince-ish Slab Pie with a Butter and Shortening Crust by Cathy Barrow

Merry Mince-ish Slab Pie with a Butter and Shortening Crust_photo credit Christopher Hirsheimer.jpg

Growing up, holidays always included a mince pie. My grandmother would shop in a fancy food store in Boston and send jars of Crosse and Blackwell filling to my mince pie–loving mother in Ohio. Even as a youngster, I adored the exotic flavors that came from that stout, dark glass jar. When the jars were empty and my mother craved a taste of mince, she made a pie like this and called it Mince-ish. I think of this glorious recipe as another way to dress up apples before I wrap them in flaky crust. The glaze is essential, by the way. This is a rich pie; serve in small slices.

Make Ahead: This pie is delicious when freshly made but also holds, covered on the counter, for 3 days. In the refrigerator, it stays fresh for a week.

SERVES: 15 to 18

INGREDIENTS

Butter and Shortening Crust

  • 2 1⁄2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (325 g) all-purpose flour

  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, cubed and frozen for 20 minutes

  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) Spectrum or other vegetable shortening, cubed and frozen for 20 minutes

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) ice water

  • 3 teaspoons vodka, optional

Filling

  • 2 pounds (1 kg) mixed pie apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1⁄2 inch cubes (about 4 cups)

  • 1 cup (113 g) chopped toasted pecans

  • 1 cup (149 g) golden raisins, plumped in 1⁄4 cup hot water for 30 minutes and drained

  • 1⁄4 cup (30 g) all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup packed (213 g) dark brown sugar

  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream

  • 1⁄2 cup (156 g) maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons brandy or bourbon, optional

  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon allspice

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, cubed

Egg Wash and Glaze

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 cup (113 g) powdered sugar

  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream

METHOD

For the crust: In the food processor, pulse the flour, butter, shortening, and salt until the fats are in small pieces coated with flour, about 15 times. Add the water and vodka (if using) all at once and process until the mixture almost forms a ball. Form the dough into a 6- by 4-inch rectangle using plastic wrap and a bench scraper to firmly press the dough into a cohesive form. Wrap tightly and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm slightly. Divide the dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger piece to 11 by 15 inches and place in the slab pie pan, pressing it into the corners of the pan and allowing the excess to drape over the sides. Refrigerate. Roll out the second piece of dough to 10 by 14 inches, place it on a lightly floured sheet of parchment, and refrigerate.

Heat the oven to 425F; if you have one, place a baking stone, Baking Steel, or inverted baking sheet on the center rack to heat.

For the filling: Stir together the apples, pecans, raisins, flour, brown sugar, cream, maple syrup, brandy (if using), orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper in a large bowl, making sure to coat everything in sugar and cream and syrup. Distribute the filling across the bottom crust. Dot with the butter. Drape the top crust over the filling. Crimp and slash. Stir together the egg yolk and water and, with a pastry brush, paint the top generously.

Slide the pie into the oven with a piece of parchment under the pan (and on top of the Baking Steel, stone, or baking sheet if using) to catch any drips. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 40 to 45 minutes, until golden, shiny, and the filling is bubbling through the slashes. Let the pie cool, at least 2 hours.

Mix the powdered sugar with the cream until the glaze is smooth. Squiggle the glaze over the pie using a pastry bag, or opt for a fork held high above the pie for a drizzle rather than a squiggle.

Swaps:

  • Firm pears instead of apples.

  • Walnuts instead of pecans.

  • Add mini chocolate chips or unsweetened coconut shards to the filling.

  • Replace the raisins with dried cherries.

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Excerpted from the book PIE SQUARED: Irresistibly Easy Sweet & Savory Slab Pies by Cathy Barrow. Copyright © 2018 by Cathy Barrow. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.

Brian Stewartrecipe