Prep 25 mins
Cook 1 hr 5 mins
Recorded in cookbooks as far back as the 1300's, apples in a pie crust have been a popular part of European cuisine and when the first settlers from the Old World arrived in the New World, apples in a pie crust came with them. I recommend the apple combination of Granny Smith, Gala, Golden Delicious and Fuji, all of which are available almost year round in the supermarket. The Granny Smith is a tart apple but is included for its firm consistency; Gala provides the wonderful apple flavor; Golden Delicious is a very soft apple and adds moisture; and the Fuji's sweetness puts a finishing touch on the pie. 1 lb each would be perfect. If you can get freshly picked apples, even better.
- 2 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 8 tablespoons vegetable shortening (chilled)
- 8 tablespoons ice water
- 4 lbs cooking apples (see description)
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 egg white, beaten lightly
- In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter and mix in five 1-second bursts. Add shortening and continue mixing until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, four or five more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.
- To do this by hand, freeze the butter and shortening, grate it into the flour using the large holes of a box grater, and rub the flour-coated pieces between your fingers for a minute until the flour turns pale yellow and coarse.
- Sprinkle 6 tablespoons ice water over mixture. Press mixture together with broad side of rubber spatula, adding up to 2 tablespoons more ice water if dough will not hold together. Squeeze dough gently until cohesive and divide into two equal balls. Flatten each into a disk a little larger than the length of your hand. Dust lightly with flour, wrap separately in plastic, and refrigerate 60 minutes or up to 2 days before rolling.
- When ready to make, remove dough from refrigerator. If stiff and very cold, let stand until dough is cool but malleable. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 425°F.
- Roll one dough disk on a lightly floured surface into a 12 inch circle. Fold dough in quarters, then place dough point in center of 9 inch Pyrex regular or deep dish pie pan. Unfold dough.
- Gently press dough into sides of pan leaving portion that overhangs lip of pie plate in place. Refrigerate while preparing fruit.
- Peel, core, and cut apples into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices and toss with 3/4 cup sugar and lemon juice and zest through allspice. Turn fruit mixture, including juices, into chilled pie shell and mound slightly in center.
- Roll out other dough round and place over filling. Trim top and bottom edges to 1/2 inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is flush with pan lip. Flute edging or press with fork tines to seal. Cut four slits at right angles on dough top. Brush egg white onto top of crust and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
- Bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue baking until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to almost room temperature, at least 4 hours.