- 1 cup (about 2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pie plate
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 3 pounds assorted apples (such as Macoun, Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonagold, and Empire)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Best-quality vanilla ice cream (optional)
Cut each stick of butter into eight pieces, and refrigerate until needed. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and mix to combine.
Add the chilled butter. Using a pastry blender, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture; the mixture should resemble coarse meal with small pieces of butter, the size of small peas, remaining visible.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water over the flour-butter mixture, and blend. Repeat with an additional 2 tablespoons water. At this point, you may have to add more water: When a handful of dough squeezed together just holds its shape, you’ve added enough; if the dough crumbles, continue incorporating water, 1 tablespoon at a time, checking the consistency after each additional tablespoon.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide into two equal pieces, and place on two separate sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two disks. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Lightly dust a clean, dry work surface with flour. Place the chilled dough in the center of the work surface, and dust the dough as well as the rolling pin with flour. Position the rolling pin on the center of the disk, and begin rolling the dough away from you. Give the disk a quarter turn, and roll again. Continue turning and rolling until you have an even 1/8-inch thickness. Turning the dough as you roll will prevent it from sticking to the work surface. A dry pastry brush is handy to remove any excess flour during and after the rolling process.
Lightly butter the pie plate. To minimize stretching when moving the dough, roll it around the pin, lift up, and unroll over the buttered pie plate. Using your fingers, gently pat the dough into place. Trim any excess dough with a paring knife or kitchen shears, leaving a 1-inch overhang; then fold dough under to reinforce the edge.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of pie crust to a 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 13 inches in diameter. Drape dough over a 9-inch pie pan. Transfer pan to refrigerator, and chill 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together the egg yolk and cream; set aside.
In a large bowl, toss together the apples, lemon juice, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; place in chilled bottom crust. Dot with butter.
Roll out the remaining disk of pie crust as in step one. Brush the rim of the bottom crust with the egg wash. Place second piece of dough on top, and trim so 1 inch overhangs. Tuck the dough under, and crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. Transfer pie to the refrigerator, and chill until firm, about 15 minutes.
Remove pie from the refrigerator, brush with the egg wash, and sprinkle generously with sugar. Cut four vents in the top, allowing the steam to escape.
Bake until crust begins to turn light brown, about 25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees, and bake until golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve pie with vanilla ice cream, if desired.