I’ve used mom’s basic recipe and combined it with some elements of the many apple pie recipes from the book Pie to come up with this amazing pie recipe. Because of this, there are steps in this pie that are optional. They aren’t included in mom’s basic recipe, but are included in the Pie recipe. For this reason, try the pie both ways and see which you prefer more!
- If you haven't already, prepare the pastry and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.
- On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the larger portion of the pastry into a 13-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan, center, and peel off the paper. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and let the overhang drape over the edge. Place in the refrigerator for 15 min.
- Prepare the apples.
- (Optional) Combine the apples and cider in a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over relatively high heat for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Drain the apples, reserving the juice. Transfer the juice to a small saucepan and reduce over medium-high heat to 1/4 cup. Combine with the apples in a large bowl and let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 375. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, zest, and spices.
- Whether you used the optional method or not, stir into the apples and set aside.
- On another sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the other half of the pastry into an 11 1/2-inch circle. Turn the filling into the chilled pie shell and smooth the top with your hands. Dot the filling with the butter. Lightly moisten the rim of the pie shell.
- Invert the top pastry over the filling, center it, and peel off the paper. Press the top and bottom pastries together along the dampened edge. Poke several steam vents in the top of the pie with a fork or paring knife (or create an interesting design!).
- Using a pastry brush, brush the pie lightly with milk, then sprinkle with sugar.
- Place the pie on a cookie sheet in the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pie 180 degrees and cook for another 30 minutes. Note: If the pie starts to get too dark, cover with loosely tented aluminum foil for the last 15 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 2 hours before serving.