- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 pounds firm, tart apples (preferably seasonal local specials like Macouns, Northern Spy, or Granny Smith) peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
- 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Basic Pie Dough, recipe follows
- 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water to make an egg wash
Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Add the apple wedges and saute until slightly softened but holding their shape, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of sugar and stir to combine. Add the raisins, cinnamon, and cloves and stir.
In a bowl, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch. Stir the mixture into the apple mixture and remove the pan from the heat. Let cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Fill an unbaked bottom crust with apple filling and dot the top crust with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Top with a rolled-out top crust. Cut 1/2-inch vents in a round-the-clock pattern into the top crust to allow steam to escape. Brush the top lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Put the pie on a cookie sheet or other low-sided baking tray to catch any spillage. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, checking occasionally to ensure that the top is browning evenly. Rotate the pie 180 degrees to move the front edge to the back of the oven, and bake until the top is uniformly golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more.
Remove the pie from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Basic Pie Dough:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for greasing
- About 1/3 cup ice-cold water
Put the flour and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse a few times until the mixture begins to become mealy and the butter forms plainly visible pea-size nuggets
Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in the water. With the motor running, pour in the water and let mix, just until the dough pulls together. Do not over-mix the dough. If it appears dry and is not holding together, add a few additional tablespoons of water.
Form the dough into a ball, flatten, and wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Lightly flour a pastry board and a rolling pin and unwrap the dough. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and keep the second piece refrigerated. Tamp down the dough with the rolling pin and gently begin to roll it out into a circular pie shape by rolling evenly in one-eighth turns to keep the rolling even. When the dough is rolled out to an even thickness of about 1/8-inch and is about 12 inches in diameter, it is ready to be transferred to a 10-inch pie dish.
Lightly butter the dish, lift the dough with the rolling pin by partially rolling the dough up on the pin, center the dough in the dish, and unroll. Pierce the dough in several places with the tines of a fork.
Roll the second half of the dough into a circle slightly larger than the pie dish. Fill the bottom crust with your chosen filling. Cover the filling with the top half of the dough. Using both hands, crimp the edges of the 2 crusts together to seal. With a sharp knife, make several crosshatch slits in the top crust. Brush with the egg wash and bake in a preheated 375 degree Foven for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes.