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And the secret is...? Boiled cider, which gives this pie over-the-top flavor. In addition, an extra-long 2-hour bake yields a rich gold, nearly caramelized filling, and spectacular crust, both top and bottom.
1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) buttermilk powder, optional
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) cold unsalted butter
1 to 1 1/8 cups (8 to 9 ounces) ice water
7 to 8 cups (about 2 pounds) cored, peeled, and sliced Ginger Gold or Granny Smith apples
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' sugar mixed with 1/3 cup King Arthur Fruit Pie Filling Enhancer*
1/4 cup (3 ounces) boiled cider**
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice, or spice mix of your choice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter, melted
*Or substitute 1/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour mixed with 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar.
**Substitute frozen apple juice concentrate, if you choose; the flavor won't be quite as good.
To make the crust: Whisk together the dry ingredients, then work in the cold butter until the dough is unevenly crumbly. Sprinkle in the ice water, enough to make a cohesive, pliable (not crumbly) dough. Divide dough in half, wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour, or for up to 3 days.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to roll it. While the dough is warming, prepare the filling, and preheat the oven to 350°F.
To make the filling: Microwave the apple slices, uncovered, for 5 to 6 minutes, until they've softened but still retain a bit of "bite." Drain, transfer to a bowl, and stir in the remaining filling ingredients.
Roll one piece of dough into a 12" circle, and place it in a 9" to 10" pie plate (at least 1 1/4" deep). Spoon the filling into the crust. Roll out the top crust, place it over the filling, trim any excess, and seal and crimp the edges. Use crust trimmings to roll out and cut leaf shapes, if desired, and place them atop the crust. Cut a slit in the center, for steam to escape.
To bake the pie: Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet (to catch any spills), and bake for 30 minutes. Gently place a sheet of aluminum foil atop the pie, covering its entire surface, and continue to bake for an additional 90 minutes, for a total of 2 hours, till the top crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Remove the pie from the oven, and allow it to cool for 1 1/2 to 2 hours before cutting (to avoid a lava-flow of filling). Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream, if desired. Yield: 8 generous servings.