I LOVE apple pie, both making it and eating it. Sometimes I keep it as classic as possible, sometimes I like fun add-ins. A good dessert wine is so delicious alongside an apple pie that I couldn't resist putting some inside the pie. Adding Sauternes to the apples made perfect sense; since chefs often add a little cider vinegar to the crust to help keep it tender, I figured the Sauternes would help do the same thing, while adding a great flavor note.
For the crust: Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor and run for 10 seconds. Add the butter and pulse in 1-second bursts until only very small pieces of butter are visible, 12 to 15 pulses. Pulse in the Sauternes, and then pulse in the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and bring together into a ball. Turn the dough out onto a dry surface and divide into 2 disks, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Roll out the larger disk of dough on a lightly-floured surface until 1/8-inch thick and 11 inches in diameter to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Place into the pie plate and trim the overhang to 1/2 inch without crimping the edges. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
For the filling: Combine the Sauternes and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Peel, halve and core the apples and slice them into 1/4-inch wedges. Toss the apples with the wine and lemon juice.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the apples and some of the wine and lemon juice, sprinkle with half of the sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the apples until they soften and there are no juices in the pan, about 8 minutes.
Transfer the apples to a medium bowl. Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter in the same skillet, and repeat with the remaining apples, wine and lemon juice and sugar. If any juice has collected from the first batch of apples, pour those juices over the second batch of apples while they are cooking.
Toss together both batches of apples with the cinnamon and cardamom, if using. Set aside to cool completely.
For assembling: Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. Roll the smaller disk of dough on a lightly-floured surface to 1/8-inch thick and place on top of the filling. Fold the edges over and then decoratively crimp. Cut slits into the top crust to allow steam to escape, and then transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes to let the dough rest.
Brush the crust with the melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar. Place in the lower third of oven and bake until golden brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Cook's Note: You can cook the apples for the filling 1 day ahead.