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This recipe came from my Mom's 1970s edition of Good Housekeeping. It's the perfect apple pie. I must confess, I haven't seen a pastry cloth since high school home economics, and I made mine without.
- .Pastry: Combine flour and salt in large bowl and cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.
- Sprinkle ice water over mixture a tablespoon at a time and mix lightly with a fork, just until pastry holds together and leaves side of bowl clean.
- Roll out, half at a time, on lightly floured pastry cloth wrapped around a wooden board, with a rolling pin covered with a floured pastry stocking, to a 12" round.
- Loosen pastry from pastry cloth and wrap around rolling pin.
- Transfer to a 9" pie plate.
- Fill and bake, following individual recipe.
- PIe: Pare, quarter, and core apples and cut into very thin slices (a food processor does this very quickly).
- Combine sugar, flour, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle part of the sugar mixture into the bottom of pastry.
- Add sliced apples, sprinkling with sugar mixture and piling into a tower in center of pie plate.
- Cut butter into tiny pieces and sprinkle over apples.
- Squeeze lemon juice over apples.
- Roll out remaining pastry to a 13" round on lightly floured pastry cloth or board and cut a 4 inch cross in the center of pastry.
- Transfer pastry to top of apples, using rolling pin.
- Open cross in center of pastry to make a hole.
- Trim overhang to 1 inch; turn under and flute.
- Roll out tiny pieces of pastry trims into ropes and shape into the letter A on side of pie.
- Cut slits around top pastry for steam to escape.
- Brush pastry with cream or milk and sprinkle with coarse or granulated sugar.
- Place pie plate on a large cookie sheet.
- Bake in 375 degree oven, covering pastry with aluminum foil if it darkens too quickly, 1 hour or until juice bubbles up.
- Cool in pie plate on wire wrack.
- Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.