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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 cheaper, which means it is time to bake an apple pie, Romanian style.

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

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

American apple pie is not the same as the Romanian version; therefore, I had to 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 proper English term for this kind of pie is a slab pie. 

For those who do not know what a slab pie is: 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 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 cook the apples first, with butter, sugar, and spices, until the apple 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 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 excellent 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 you can use different combinations of liquids for the dough: 6 tablespoons wine, OR 1 tablespoon rum(yum!) and five tablespoons water, OR 1 tablespoon vinegar and five 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.

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 leftover 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 keep the skin on the apples, if you like!

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


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!

More recipes to love and make:

Sweet Cheese Slab Pie

Ham Cheese And Onion Puff Pastry Slab Pie

Apple Pie- Romanian Style

Baked Apple Rice Pudding

If you make the recipe, share it with the hashtag #thebossykitchen on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter so we can all see what you’re cooking!

Or maybe you want to join The Bossy Kitchen community group, where you can share your creations made from this blog or your favorite recipes!

Apple Pie Bars Romanian Slab Pie Recipe

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. You will need a 9×13 pan.
4.84 from 12 votes
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Course: Pies
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: apple pie bars, apple pie recipe, best apple slab pie recipe, Romanian apple pie
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 18 servings
Calories: 182kcal


Apple filling:

  • 2 pounds apples any type you like, coarsely grated(use a food processor if you have)
  • 4-5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Optional:
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • To finish: 2 tablespoons milk or 1 egg beaten
  • 1-2 tablespoons of powder sugar to sprinkle on top before serving


  • In a bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in lard/butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Incorporate the egg and the sour cream.
  • Add the liquid and incorporate. The recipe requires six tablespoons of liquid that can be: 1 tablespoon white vinegar + 5 tablespoons water, OR 1 tablespoon rum plus five tablespoons water, OR 1 tablespoon vinegar plus five tablespoon water. Use the combination of ingredients you have available.
  • Shape dough into a ball; chill for 30 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  • Grease and flour the baking pan. Set aside.
  • On a floured surface, divide the dough into two parts.
  • Roll one piece of dough the size of the pan. Place it on the bottom of it.
  • Add the apple filling and spread evenly.
  • Roll the other half of the dough to the pan's size and cover the apples with it.
  • To finish, brush the surface of the pie with milk or an egg wash.
  • Use a fork to pinch the surface of the pie.
  • Bake at 350/180C for about 45-50 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven, place the pan on a metal rack and let it cool for an hour.
  • The traditional Romanian way is to sprinkle powder sugar on top. It is served cut in squares.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 166IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


Saturday 24th of April 2021

Do you have a recipe to make the cake with farmer cheese instead of apples ? Thanks

The Bossy Kitchen

Saturday 24th of April 2021

I don't have a specific recipe for that, but you can try this Sweet cheese slab pie or Lemon Ricotta Cheese Cake .


Thursday 17th of December 2020

Dough was very hard to roll out to fit into a 9x13 pan. The dough was more for an 8x8 or 9x9 or a pie pan.


Friday 18th of December 2020

@The Bossy Kitchen, It took alot of rolling and I finally got the dough rolled out to fit. I let my dough chill longer than 30 minutes. That might have been the reason!

Anyway--made the bars and they are really good. They are not sweet at all-which is a good thing. I can't handle a sickening sweet dessert. For those that think these might be too sugary or sweet - they are not. Not even with the powdered sugar on top.

How cool this recipe is to have been handed down from your Grandma!!

The Bossy Kitchen

Friday 18th of December 2020

Hi Claire, I am not sure why this happened to you. I make this pie in a 9x13 Pyrex pan and works just fine.


Sunday 16th of February 2020

Hi Gabriella, I’m going to try it with the Philo thank you so much Maria

The Bossy Kitchen

Sunday 16th of February 2020

You are very welcome. Let me know if you liked it.


Saturday 15th of February 2020

Hi Tatiana, I’d like to make the slab pie with Filo dough so I think I need the Apple filling to be very thick how can I make it thicker do you just cook it till it’s very very thick? Thank you Maria

The Bossy Kitchen

Sunday 16th of February 2020

Hi! Gabriela here! You can follow the same recipe and use phyllo dough instead of the pie dough I made. I use phyllo dough this way very often too, so go ahead and try it!


Wednesday 21st of November 2018


You put an “Or” in the ingredients list and it should be an “and” or just nothing.



The Bossy Kitchen

Friday 23rd of November 2018

Hi Tatiana, Thanks for letting me know. I made a correction there. The dough requires 6 tablespoons of liquid that could be only white wine, or a combination of vinegar and water, or rum and water. Thanks again for noticing the glitch.