I was trying to think of what to make to use up the extra White Cheedar Cheez-It crumbs I had on hand after making Fried Pickles last week. My first thought was to use it to top a Baked Macaroni and Cheese, but I haven't been in the mood for that lately - imagine that! Then I thought about Apple Pie, since lots of people eat theirs with cheddar cheese. I don't think I've ever actually done that; I'm more of an a la mode kinda gal. Then I remembered seeing an "apple slab pie" on Pinterest a while back, so I decided to go that route, using a crumb topping, so it's sort of a combination of an Apple Crisp and an Apple Pie, using the crumbs in both the crust an the topping, with some additional shredded cheddar in the topping.
Apples - I used 2 each Cortland/McIntosh/Granny/Delicious
1/4 c sugar
1 T cinnamon
1 c White Cheddar Cheez-It crumbs
2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 T baking powder
1 t sugar
3/4 c Crisco shortening
2 T melted butter
6 T cold water
1/2 c shredded cheddar
1/2 c flour
1/2 c White Cheddar Cheez-It crumbs
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c butter
1/4 to 1/2 t cayenne pepper
- Start by throwing your crust together. Just toss everything but the water into your food processor with the dough blade in place and give it a whirl, then slowly add the water until it all comes together into a ball. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to roll it out.
- If there is a lot of debris in the mixer, give it a quick rinse, then shred your cheddar (if using the mixer for that), and pulse together all of the topping ingredients; set aside.
- Peel, core, and slice your apples. I usually cut them into chunks for pie, but went with wedges here for better layering. Gently toss with the cinnamon and sugar and set aside to allow time for some of the liquid to come out. You want a juicy end product - not soggy. I always like to use a mixture of apples for their different textures and flavors.
- Roll out your dough into a rectangle a little larger than your pan - the dough is very soft. The waxed paper not only makes rolling easier, it allows you to transfer the dough to the pan more easily. Just lift an edge, hang it over the pan (lightly greased), and peel back the paper. You can create a decorative edge if you like, but since I was going with a crumb topping, I didn't bother. I just sort of pinched the edge all the way around to smooth it out and give it a little "lift."
- Layer in the apples, leaving any excess liquid in the bowl. To make sure every bit had apple, I started with a curved edge in each corner, straight cuts all around the outside, then worked my way in from there, creating two layers.
- Sprinkle the crumb mixture all over the top and bake at 375 for 50-60" until browned and the apples are tender.
As I think you can see from the scale in the picture below with the dessert plate next to the tray, I used a small sheet tray. That would be my Spinach Pie tray, which is funny because I usually roll triangles rather than making it in a pan, so I really use this one more for Pumpkin Bars. Do you do that - refer to your kitchenware by its use? I have my Pilaf pot, my Yelanchi pan, Grammy's Dolma pot ...
Turned out well. The crackers made for a super flaky/crispy crust. I was curious about how it would be without the juicy filling, so I rolled out the scraps and baked it separately just to try it. It's good cold out of the fridge too. On those rare occasions when there are leftovers, I usually let apple pie sit out for a day or two before refrigerating, but for some reason, I put this in right away.