There’s no mistaking that smell of hot out of the oven apple pie. It's the quintessential fall dessert! This double-crust here is made with a combination of butter and shortening, to give it optimal flakiness. Be sure to bake the pie until it's a deep golden brown color, and load it with lots of tender apples.
Make the crust: Pulse the flour, 4 tablespoons butter, the shortening, granulated sugar and salt in a food processor until it resembles fine meal. Add the remaining 8 tablespoons butter and pulse until it is in pea-size pieces.
Drizzle in ice water and vodka and pulse until the dough just comes together (it should hold together when pinched). Divide the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; use the plastic to form each half into a disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight. (The dough can be frozen for up to 2 months; thaw at room temperature.)
Make the filling: Peel the apples and slice 1/2 inch thick; add to a bowl and toss with the granulated sugar and lemon juice. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook, stirring, until softened, 15 to 18 minutes. Add the flour, heavy cream, cinnamon and salt; stir until the juices thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. (The filling can be made up to 2 days ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
Roll out 1 disk of dough into a 13-inch round on a floured surface. Transfer to a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate by rolling the dough back around the rolling pin and unrolling it over the pie plate; gently press into the pan.
Add the filling, mounding it in the center; dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Roll out the remaining disk of dough into a 12-inch round on a floured surface. Lay the dough over the filling and press the edges together. Fold the overhanging dough under itself and crimp. Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut a few slits in the top crust to let steam escape. Chill at least 1 hour.
Set a baking sheet on a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 425˚ F. Set the pie on the hot baking sheet, reduce the oven to 375˚ F and bake until golden, rotating as needed for even browning, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. (Tent the edges with foil if browning too quickly.) Let cool on a rack until set, about 3 hours.
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Photograph by Ryan Liebe
Courtesy of Food Network Magazine
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