Crust Recipe By: Sue Gray at King Arthur Flour
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.
7 -8 cups sliced peeled Golden Delicious apples
Cheddar Cheese wedges 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 450°F oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F, 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.