2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
15 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
4 tablespoons ice water
3 large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch slices
4 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch slices
3⁄4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling over pie
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄3 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon whole milk or half and half
Prepare oven according to Mugnaini’s Low Baking Environment, 400˚F
To Make Dough
In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and sugar together. Add the cubed butter and rub between your fingers and mix with the flour mixture until the butter has formed flat round disks. Try and work quickly to ensure the butter stays cold. Sprinkle the water into the bowl and start to mix with a fork or lightly with your hands.
Dump the dough out onto a work surface and flatten it with your hand gently, then fold it onto itself and flatten again. Do this several times until the dough starts to form. It should not be well mixed, but it will adhere when formed into a ball. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic. Press gently on it with a rolling pin to ensure the dough forms. Chill for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
In a large bowl, mix the apples with sugar, lemon juice, zest, cinnamon and vanilla and let sit for about 5 – 10 minutes. While the fruit sits, roll out your bottom crust and place into the bottom of a 9-inch ceramic pie dish. Leave about 1 inch of excess crust around the edges and cut away the rest.
Pile the fruit mixture along with its juices into the pie dish, it will look like a lot of apples but they will cook down. Dot the top of the fruit with a few pieces of unsalted butter. Roll out the top crust and place over the fruit. Leave some excess crust hanging off the edges and cut away the rest. Crimp the edges of the pie. Cut a few slits into the top of the pie.
We recommend letting the pie chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow the butter in the crust to harden a bit. This will ensure a flakey crust.
Before putting your pie into your oven, brush it with some milk or half and half, then sprinkle with some granulated sugar to finish.
For an optimum bake, your oven should have no live fire in it, although a small bed of embers is fine. Before starting, place the door in the fully closed position for about 5 to 10 minutes to regulate the heat. The temperature of the deck should be around 425 – 400˚F when you put your pie in. If you are using a ceramic pie dish, temper it by placing in the mouth of your oven for about 30 seconds to a minute before fully sliding it into the oven. Once your pie is in, place the door in front of the arch, leaving about an inch clearance so the oven still has some airflow. Bake time for this pie is about an hour and 10 minutes. Check on the pie after about 10 minutes to make sure it’s not browning too quickly. After that, check about half way through. If the top crust is browning quickly and the pie isn’t done yet, place some foil over the top of the pie to shield it.
After an hour and 10 minutes, take the pie out and insert a knife into the top crust. The fruit inside should be soft. Let the pie sit and room temperature for at least 2 hours before cutting into. Serve with vanilla gelato, fresh whipped cream or a dusting of powdered sugar.