Apple Slab

Hubby and I did some apple picking a couple weeks ago. We didn’t want our bounty to go to waste, so I immediately remembered this recipe which I had saved off. I’m not sure if you remember me mentioning this, but the lovely people at King Arthur Flour have a baking hotline. Now I’d say I’m a pretty confident baker. But that’s mostly because I know how to follow a recipe. The minute I change things up, I lose some of that confidence. That’s where the hotline comes in.

I wanted to make this apple slab while I had the delicious apples on hand, but I wanted to freeze it and bake it later. I figured I’d shoot the KAF Baking Hotline an email to see what they recommended. I was shocked how quickly they got back to me. Within a few hours, they confirmed that I could assemble the slab and freeze it. Then they said when I go to bake it, just put it straight into the oven from the freezer and add 15-20 minutes to the baking time. Just like that, I had input from an expert and all my worries went away. I love how they got back to me so quickly! Definitely give them a try next time you’re in a baking pickle.

Now back to the slab. No surprise here, this tastes just like apple pie. But I think it’s better than apple pie. Why? For one, it’s portable. You don’t need a fork and plate to eat a piece, just use your hands. Second, it’s less of a committment than a slice of pie. Around the holidays, I often have the issue where my eyes are bigger than my stomach. The smaller pieces let you try some of the apple slab without committing to a big piece. And if it’s your favorite dessert of the day, you can go back for another piece.

I’m going to be making another one of these real soon to throw in my freezer. Then I’ll have a perfect holiday dessert for the upcoming parties, potlucks, and get-togethers. One note though, the crust was much crispier the first day it was baked. It did get a bit soggy the next day. Be sure to leave off the glaze until you are going to serve it.

Also, I didn’t have panko bread crumbs or corn flakes. I planned to sub oats, but didn’t have those on hand either. Instead I used graham cracker crumbs and they worked just fine.

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Marshmallow Krispy Bars

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Apple Slab

Yield: 24


For the Crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp buttermilk powder
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
10 Tbsp very cold unsalted butter
1 tsp vinegar, cider or white
6 to 10 Tbsp ice water

For the Filling
1 cup Panko bread crumbs, cornflakes, or graham crackers
8 cups peeled, cored, and sliced Granny Smith or other tart, firm apples, about 6 large apples
2/3 cup cinnamon sugar

For the Glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup boiled cider or honey
small pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp milk or cream, optional, if necessary to thin the glaze


For the Crust
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, confectioners' sugar, and buttermilk powder.

Add the shortening, working it in till the mixture is evenly crumbly.

Cut the butter into small (about 1/2") cubes. Add the butter to the flour mixture, and work it in roughly with your fingers, a pastry cutter, or a mixer. Don't be too thorough; the mixture should be very uneven, with big chunks of butter in among the smaller ones.

Add the 1 teaspoon vinegar and 4 tablespoons water, and toss to combine. Toss with enough additional water to make a chunky, fairly cohesive mixture. It should hold together when you gather it up and squeeze it in your hand.

Divide the dough into two pieces; one should represent about 40% of the dough, the other, about 60%. If you have a scale, this is easy; the smaller piece of dough should weigh about 8 3/4 ounces, the larger piece, about 13 1/4 ounces (if you've used about 7 to 8 tablespoons of water in the dough). If you don't have a scale and/or aren't good at math, eyeball it: the bottom crust needs to be larger than the top crust.

Shape each piece of crust into a rectangle; you're going to be rolling them into rectangles, so might as well give yourself a head start. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes, till thoroughly chilled.

Take the larger piece of pastry out of the fridge, and put it on a floured work surface. Roll it into an 11" x 15" rectangle. Don't worry about the ragged edges; they'll disappear under the top crust.

Place the crust in an ungreased 9" x 13" cake pan. Patch up any holes by pushing the pastry together with your fingers, or adding a pinch from the excess on the sides. Push the pastry up the sides of the pan a bit, to make a shallow pastry container for the apples.

Put the crust in the fridge while you get the apples ready. Start preheating your oven to 350°

To Assemble
Spread the bread crumbs evenly over the crust.

Spread the sliced apples atop the crumbs.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the apples.

Roll the remaining piece of pastry into a 9" x 13" rectangle. Again, don't worry too much about ragged edges.

Lay the top crust over the apples. Yes, apples will poke through. Seal the edges of the two crusts as well as you can. There'll be places where they don't quite meet. That's OK. If the whole thing has become warm and sticky and hard to work with, pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm it up.

Just before baking, slash the crust 6 or 8 times to allow steam to escape.

If freezing for later, freeze at this point. When ready to bake, place frozen slab directly into oven and bake for an addition 15-20 minutes.

Put the slab in the preheated 350°F oven, and bake it for an hour. Remove it from the oven; it'll be golden brown, and the filling should be bubbling. Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool completely before glazing.

For the Glaze
Combine the confectioners' sugar, boiled cider, cinnamon, salt, and enough milk or cream to make the mixture "drizzlable." Don't have boiled cider? Use plain milk or cream, maple syrup, honey, or thawed apple juice concentrate. Start with 1/4 cup of any of these; if you've made this kind of icing before, you know it's easier to add more liquid, than to try to take it away. Add enough liquid to make the glaze pourable.

Drizzle the glaze atop the slab.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Don’t forget to enter into my I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Holiday Bakeoff Giveaway by 8AM EST on Friday.

Boston area readers, don’t forget that I’m selling pies for Pie In the Sky. The cost of your pie will feed someone in need for an entire week! Please consider buying a pie for a good cause.

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14 Responses to “Dairy Free Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla Ice Cream Cupcakes”

  1. #
    ttfn300 — May 27, 2009 at 12:47 am

    these look so fun! i, too, am LI, but i carry lactaid with me everywhere… and jp licks makes a lactose free flavor 🙂

  2. #
    Jen — May 27, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Lactaid is my best friend. I have spare pills in the car, in Hubby’s wallet, in my purse and desk. Can’t ever be too prepared! I have had their lactose free flavors and they’re quite tasty. I wish they had more than one a month though!

  3. #
    Sam — May 27, 2009 at 2:43 am

    Ooooh. This looks too good. I’m gonna have to try that.

  4. #
    Stef — May 27, 2009 at 4:23 am

    I love the idea of using the cone method for ice cream cupcakes. I hadn’t thought of that. That strawberry down the middle of the cupcake is so perfect! I’m so glad you entered again!

  5. #
    gaga — May 27, 2009 at 5:36 am

    I wouldn’t be able to live without ice cream! Your cupcakes are beautiful. Good luck in the competition!!!

  6. #
    Ingrid — May 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    They look pretty! Love the photo of the cross section where you can see the strawberry.

  7. #
    Vegiegail — May 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Those cupcakes look scrumptious! Oh, and you’ve gotta try Purely Decadent made with Coconut Milk Ice Cream! It’s rich and creamy, a lot like gelatto!

  8. #
    Jen — May 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks Vegiegail – I’ll have to check that out.

  9. #
    Sara — June 1, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    So cute! These are so pretty with the strawberry in the middle and they look delicious.

  10. #
    paru's_circle — June 3, 2009 at 4:23 am

    voted for your strawberry one..good luck!

  11. #
    Bethany — June 11, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    gorgeous. love the inset strawberry. love the Neapolitan theme.


  12. #
    Shoshana — June 12, 2009 at 4:46 am

    I agree with you about the non-dairy ice creams available in stores. However, If you have an ice cream maker vegan chick-0-stick ice cream is unbelievably rich, creamy and delicious.

    Here is the recipe

  13. #
    Karen — May 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Hey, these cupcakes sound awesome! I use to be Lactose Int., but I found the best cure ever & seriously have been L.I. cured for 7 years. I could not give up my dairy & use to take 3 Lactaid every time I ate.I heard about “Lactogen” on the radio on the way home from a trip. I would do anything to get rid of my L.I. so it was $90.00 at the time so I said what the heck I spent $200.00 a year on Lactaid. I was floored that it worked & 7 years later still no signs. I drink milk every morning, cheese everyday, & ice cream when ever. It retrains your body to except lactose, so for 42 days while you take it (a mix to drink with water) you have to stay away from all dairy & anything with dairy in it. I just went to the health food store during that time. I am sure you can find it on the web. Lactogen is the name

  14. #
    Karen — May 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    This is my second post, it erased my first. But for all you suffering with Lactose Int. try Lactogen it really works I have been cured for going on 7 years now. It was only $90.00 when I tried it & I was spending $200 a year on Lactaid at the time. I now can drink milk every morning, & eat cheese every day & ice cream when ever. It is not an on going thing you take it once for 43 days & that is it.

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