Make the crust: Grate the butter on the large holes of a box grater onto a sheet of wax paper and freeze until very hard, at least 20 minutes. Stir the flour and sugar in a medium bowl, then stir in the frozen butter with a fork. Stir in the ice water, then knead the dough into a shaggy ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and flatten into a disk with a rolling pin. Fold in half left to right and then top to bottom. Roll out into a 12-inch round, dusting with flour as needed. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and gently press into the pan. Crimp the edges, creating a tall rim to keep in all the apple juices. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Make the filling: Position racks in the middle and lower third of the oven and place a foil-lined baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any drips; preheat to 375 degrees F. Toss the apples, sugar, lemon zest and juice and pie spice in a large bowl. Sprinkle the flour on top and toss to combine. Spoon the filling into the pie shell and gently pack evenly with your hands; dot with the butter. Cover the top with a round of parchment paper and press to adhere.
Bake the pie on the middle oven rack until the apples are tender and bubbling and the crust is browned, about 1 1/2 hours. Let stand while you make the meringue. (You want the pie to still be hot when you add the meringue.) Leave the oven on.
Make the meringue: Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar with a mixer on medium speed until soft peaks are just forming, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium high; gradually beat in the sugar until the meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form, 4 to 5 minutes.
Spread the meringue over the hot pie filling all the way to the crust; make swoops with the back of a spoon. Bake until the meringue is lightly browned in spots, 5 to 7 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Tools You May Need
Photograph by Ryan Dausch
Tools You May Need
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