Autumn Apple Pie

Christy Rost

My classic apple pie features a buttery, flaky crust that almost melts in the mouth and a natural-juice apple filling with just the right touch of cinnamon and spice. When baking at high altitudes, you may need to add an additional tablespoon of ice water to the pastry to compensate for the dry air, and bake 10 additional minutes to thoroughly cook the apples.

Pastry

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sifted cake flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

6 tablespoons ice water

Method

Place the flours, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Add cold butter and pulse until the butter is pea-size. Add 5 tablespoons ice water and process at low speed until the pasty is crumbly. Add the remaining ice water if the mixture appears dry and process on low until the pastry forms a ball.

Remove the pastry, divide it in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and chill at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Filling

7 large Gala, Granny Smith, or Golden Delicious apples

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 teaspoons Saigon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons sparkling or granulated sugar

Method

Peel and core apples, slice them into a large bowl, sprinkle them with lemon juice, and toss well to keep them from turning brown. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Pour the sugar mixture over the apples and toss gently to mix.

Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the bottom pastry on a floured pastry cloth, fold it in half, and transfer it to a 10-inch pie plate. Unfold the pastry and adjust it to fit the bottom of the pie plate. Pour in the apple mixture, spooning extra juices over the apples.

Roll out the top crust, fold it in half to lift, and unfold it over the apples. Trim the pastry and crimp the top and bottom pastry together to seal the edges. Cut several slits in the top crust so steam can escape.

In a small bowl, whisk egg and water together with a fork to form an egg wash. Brush the egg wash over the pastry, add pastry leaves if desired, and sprinklepp the top crust with sparkling sugar.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Yield: 1 10-inch double-crust pie