Crust Recipe By: Sue Gray at King Arthur Flour
Serves: 6

1-3/4 cups King Arthur Flour Mellow Pastry Blend or unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (4 oz.) cold butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
TO MIX BY HAND: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Using a pastry fork, pastry blender, or your fingers, cut in the lard or butter and vegetable shortening, leaving some baby pea-sized lumps. Sprinkle the vinegar and milk over the flour mixture, tossing to combine, then add the beaten egg. Squeeze the dough together, divide it in half, shape each half into a flattened disk, wrap the disks in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.

USING A STAND MIXER: Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Combine flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix for a couple seconds to blend the dry ingredients. Add the butter pieces and shortening and, with mixer on low, work the mixture until it's crumbly and the largest pieces of butter are no bigger than a pea (about 1/4 inch). The butter should remain cold and firm; if not, put the bowl in the fridge for about 15 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, sprinkle the vinegar and milk evenly over the flour mixture. Mix in the egg. Work the dough until it just pulls together as a shaggy mass. Cut the dough in half and pat each piece into a thick flattened ball. Proceed as directed above.

TO USE A FOOD PROCESSOR: In workbowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade combine flour and salt. Cut butter and shortening into small pieces, add to workbowl and process 5 seconds. With motor running, add the vinegar and milk and then the egg, mixture in a slow steady stream for dough to form a ball; process 10 to 15 seconds. Turn dough out onto work surface. If dough appears too dry, work in 1 to 2 more teaspoons water. Specks of butter should be visible in dough. Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours or overnight before using.

FILLING: 7 -8 cups sliced peeled Golden Delicious apples
(Cortland, Empire or Granny Smith can be substituted)
Juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons KingArthur Flour ClearJel or unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch ground ginger
3 tablespoons half and half
2 tablespoons Butter

2 tablespoons half and half
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cheddar Cheese wedges for serving -- optional
Vanilla ice cream for serving -- optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees; remove chilled pastry dough from refrigerator and set aside until it's pliable (10-15 minutes).

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine apples and lemon juice to prevent browning. In a medium bowl, combine the sugars, ClearJel or flour, salt cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger; mix well and pour over apples, tossing to mix well. Stir in half-and-half. Roll out the bottom crust and fit into pie plate, trimming to 1 inch over the edge. Spoon filling into pie crust; dot with butter. Lay top crust over apples, sealing and fluting edges; cut steam vents in the top. Brush top with cream; sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

BAKING: Bake the pie in a preheated 450F oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F, and bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes, until the top crust is golden. If the crust appears to be browning too quickly, cover it with a pie crust shield, or strips of aluminum foil. Cool slightly on a wire rack; serve warm, with a wedge of cheddar cheese or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.

1. If you're using a light or shiny pie pan rather than a dark one, be sure to bake the pie for at least 50 minutes, to ensure that the bottom crust is done.
2. It may be advisable to place the pie on an old cookie sheet or shallow baking pan to catch any juices that might bubble out and over the edge of the pie plate.

Copyright 2001 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved