Following Through: Johanna’s Slab Apple Pie

Following through sounds nice, but in reality, it’s a real challenge for most of us. My message for you in today’s Weight off Your Mind show on was along the same topic: The Other Side of If and When.

Ok, ok, you, my beloved readers, want my Mom Johanna’s (pronounced yo-ha-na’s) Slab Apple Pie Recipe. It’s my follow through for you on a busy Monday that couldn’t be more full. Well, I guess we could be at the ER or something terrible like that, but you get the idea. Following through today is exactly what I want you to do as well. Don’t over extend, but if you don’t have an excuse beyond “if only” or “when I get,” I encourage you to follow through. Surely there is something that is lingering too long in your life that needs your attention, your follow through.


My mother has been making this pie all of my life, and I spent my time as the youngest of four kids battling my older brothers for a piece of this pie. Many days, I would return home from school after drama club or track practice only to see entire rows missing from this pie!

I didn’t dare make it on my own until I was a more adventurous chef. Translation: A point when I was willing to make mistakes, if it meant a shot at the holy grail of all apple pies. My twins Elise and Lauren remember the first time I made this pie: I mistakenly put the peelings of 16 apples down our kitchen disposal. A drain clog ensued. “Mom! There are apple peels in the toilet!” Ah, home ownership as a single Mom back then was always interesting. My brothers were summoned to the rescue. They aptly fixed my problem, only after being literally covered in apple peels and all manner of basement “pipe stuff.” As pennance, I had to send them home with several pieces of slab apple pie. Since then, I’ve made this project several times, usually with apples from my parent’s orchard. Apple orchards are all about follow through: much care is needed for a good outcome. The apples in the photo are from my parent’s Marinette County, Wisconsin orchard.

So I’m giving you the original recipe, but be warned: after this last round of baking two batches of this pie, I will never, ever use this crust recipe again. I will use one from Smitten Kitchen and double or triple it. Anything to escape the bad relationship I have with this crust. My mother also had a bad relationship with it. She said it started out well and good, but as the years passed, things didn’t work out well for her. So, to avoid insanity, I will end this bad relationship and not look back. You can try your hand at it; perhaps it’s a match made in Heaven for you.

Since we can’t share pie but virtually, please share your fun in baking this with me…tell me all about your follow through moment, and how people gobble up Johanna’s Slab Apple Pie.

Johanna’s Slab Apple Pie
Crust for 13 X 18″ rimmed cookie sheet
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup salted butter, COLD! Cut in small cubes
2 egg yolks
8 Tablespoons ice water

In food processor or using pastry blender, combine flour, salt, and sugar; pulse to combine. Add cold butter cubes; pulse until the pieces of butter are pea sized. Sprinkle with ice water. If you are new to pie crust baking, take tips from Smitten Kitchen on how much water to use. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if needed, add more ice water, one Tablespoon at a time). Do not over process or overstir. Transfer half of dough, still crumbly, onto plastic wrap. Press and shape dough into a 3/4 inch thick piece, cover and chill at least one hour, up to three days. Repeat with remaining dough.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking pan with parchment paper. On floured surface, roll out one disk of pastry to fit the 13X18″ pan. Gently place pastry in pan over parchment paper. Roll second disk for top crust.


15-16 medium apples, peeled, cored, cut into wedges
2 teaspoons flour
1 1/2 – 2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon (I use more! and nutmeg too!)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablesoons melted butter

Mix apple wedges with flour, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Pour onto bottom crust. Dot apples with butter.
Assemble top crust, crimp edges. Since this pie will have glaze, no need to be fancy with egg wash and sugar.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 1 hour.

1/2 cup or more 1% or higher fat milk
3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Once pie is completely cooled. Using mixer, blend above ingredients together for glaze. Deliver a healthy layer of glaze to the crust. Let it rest, if you can stand it.

Store in freezer or refrigerator for…I’m not sure how long this pie lasts. We’ve never had it around long enough to know!

One thought on “Following Through: Johanna’s Slab Apple Pie

  1. Pingback: 00010 Grateful, Mistakes, Grace. | Positive Living Vibrations

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