4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 recipe Sweet Pie Dough (recipe follows)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1. In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, ¾ cup sugar, ¼ cup flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt; toss to combine. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 8 hours, and up to overnight. Strain mixture through a sieve; reserve apples, and discard juice.
2. Preheat oven to 350˚.
3. On a well-floured surface, roll each disk of the prepared Sweet Pie Dough into a 12-inch circle. Carefully place 1 dough circle in a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan.
4. Trim excess dough, leaving a ½-inch border, then fold the border under itself, creating a crust.
5. In a small bowl, combine
2 tablespoons sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Sprinkle the mixture over the crust in the pan; spoon strained apples into crust. Top with remaining dough circle, trimming to fit. Using fingers, lightly pinch the top and bottom crusts together to create a wavy edge.
6. For leaf decoration, gather the dough scraps, and roll to ⅛-inch thickness. Using a leaf-shaped cutter, cut leaves. Decorate top crust with leaves.
7. Using a paring knife, cut small slits or ovals into top crust. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat top crust with egg wash, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until interior is bubbling and crust is golden brown.
Sweet Pie Dough
Makes 1 double-crust (9-inch) pie
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (original calls for ½ cup)
1 teaspoon salt (original calls for ¼ teaspoon)
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons cold* unsalted butter, diced
⅔ cup ice-cold water
1. In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse until blended. Add the butter, and continue pulsing until mixture is crumbly. Strain ice out of water just before using. With the food processor running, add the water in a slow, steady stream until mixture just comes together.
2. Remove dough from food processor, divide it in half, and shape each half into a disk. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to overnight.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into 2 (12-inch) circles ¼-inch thick. Place one circle into pie plate, line with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights. Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
4. Fill pie with desired filling. Top with remaining dough circle, making desired edge and decoration. Bake according to recipe instructions. Use any remaining dough for another use, if desired.
*Butter needs to be ice cold so that it will be less likely to melt when handling. Butter is preferred to shortening or margarine for its flavor and melt-in-your-mouth quality.
The best apples for this pie are Bramleys or Granny Smiths, and there may be many varieties of store-bought crusts available, but homemade is still the best option.