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Easy Apple Pie Bars (Slab Pie Recipe)

Easy Apple Pie Bars (Slab Pie Recipe) is a traditional dessert from Transylvania, Romania, baked in a jelly roll pan, cut in squares, and dusted with powder sugar.

APPLE PIE BARS ROMANIAN SLAB PIE- slices of pie on a white plate- close up

Easy Apple Pie Bars(Slab Pie Recipe)

October is here, and apples are in season and a little bit cheaper, which means that it is time to bake an apple pie, Romanian style.

I have to confess that writing this recipe, as easy as it looks like, it kind of kicked my butt.

With my recipes, I always try to do the best work I can when bringing my own culture into the American one.

American apple pie is not the same as the Romanian version; therefore, I had to do much research and figure out how to name the pie.

Most Romanian pies are baked in trays, cut into squares, and served with powder sugar on top. They look more like bars.

However, it came out that the right English term for these type of pies is a slab pie. 

For those who do not know what a slab pie is, the answer is here: A slab pie is simply a shallow pie made in a rimmed baking sheet, usually a jelly roll pan.

It feeds a crowd and it takes less time to prepare, as you don’t have to hand shape a bunch of pies.

Apple Pie bars on a plate

However, as the slab pies are very traditional and standard in Romania and also in most Eastern European countries, I guess this is the right name for my recipe.

This recipe comes from my German grandmother, who lived in Transylvania.  The apple filling is slightly sweet and also cooked before assembling the pie.

We like to cook the apples first, with butter, sugar, and spices, until the apples’ juices are reduced to almost nothing.

There is no corn starch, flour, or other ingredients to thicken the filling. We sometimes add raisins and walnuts, as I did in this recipe.

It is not mandatory, but that makes the pie really delicious and different.

The slab pie can be filled with anything, farmer’s cheese, apples, berries, quinces, or pumpkin. We take advantage of what fruits are in season and make a pie.

These pies are awesome for potlucks, parties and other events with lots of people.

Call them rustic, I think this is a good word for them.

MORE: Get here some of my other recipes for desserts- they are the best!

There are many recipes out there to make a pie crust, but this one, in particular, was very interesting to me because of the ingredients required.

My grandmother writes that for the dough, you can use different combinations of liquids: 6 tablespoons wine, OR 1 tablespoon rum(yum!) and 5 tablespoons water, OR 1 tablespoon vinegar and 5 tablespoons water.

Basically, you have three versions of the same recipe that will taste slightly different. I tried all of them, but I loved the one with the wine.

Obviously, there is no alcohol left after you bake the pie, but the crust had a subtle taste which I liked a lot.

Apple Pie Bars- Romanian Slab Pie Recipe
Original Apple Pie Bars- My grandmother’s recipe in Romanian

MORE: Grab a recipe from my cookies collection and make it- you can thank me later!

You can make the dough by hand or use a food processor. Make your life easier, if you can! Also, use any apples you want.

I remember the women in my family making apple pies with left over apples, cheap ones, small and slightly ugly.

apple pie bars on a white plate

Nothing was wasted and the pies were great! Also, you can grate the apples with the skin on.

There is a lot of nutritional value in the skin, but if you don’t like the skin, feel free to peel the apples before you grate them.


Easy Apple Pie BarsSlab Pie Recipe- feature picture for Pinterest

Have fun making this apple pie version. Call it bars, slab pie or, placinta cu mere( in Romanian), and let me know what you think! See you next time!

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Yield: 18 servings

Easy Apple Pie Bars (Slab Pie Recipe)

Apple Pie Bars Romanian Slab Pie Recipe

Easy Apple Pie Bars (Slab Pie Recipe) is a traditional dessert from Transylvania, Romania, baked in a jelly roll pan, cut in squares, and dusted with powder sugar. You will need a 9x13 pan.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Inactive Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes


Apple filling:


  1. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in lard/butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Incorporate the egg and the sour cream.
  3. Add the liquid and incorporate. The recipe requires 6 tablespoons of liquid that can be: 1 tablespoon white vinegar + 5 tablespoons water, OR 1 tablespoon rum plus 5 tablespoon water, OR 1 tablespoon vinegar plus 5 tablespoon water. Use the combination of ingredients you have available.
  4. Shape dough into a ball; chill for 30 minutes.
  5. TIP: If you use a food processor, start the same, pulsing 1-2 times together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Add lard/butter and pulse a few times until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg, sour cream, and liquid and pulse until a dough is formed. Shape it into a ball and chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, grate the apples. You can peel them first, but it is not necessary if, for example, you buy organic ones that do not have the skin waxed. I prefer to leave the skin on—it contains most of the apple's nutrients, but if you don't like the skin, feel free to peel the apple before you grate it.
  7. In a cooking pan, melt the butter and add the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Mix and cook the apples for about 10 minutes until the juices are reduced.
  8. Set aside to cool.
  9. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  10. Grease and flour the baking pan. Set aside.
  11. On a floured surface, divide the dough into two parts.
  12. Roll one piece of dough the size of the pan. Place it on the bottom of it.
  13. Add the apple filling and spread evenly.
  14. Roll the other half of the dough to the pan's size and cover the apples with it.
  15. To finish, brush the surface of the pie with milk or an egg wash.
  16. Use a fork to pinch the surface of the pie.
  17. Bake at 350/180C for about 45-50 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown.
  18. Remove from the oven, place the pan on a metal rack and let it cool for an hour.
  19. The traditional Romanian way is to sprinkle powder sugar on top. It is served cut in squares.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 60mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 3g

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