For the crust:
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling over the crust
- 1 tablespoon sugar, plus more for sprinkling over the crust
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- Whole milk, for brushing the crust
For the filling:
- 14 small to medium McIntosh apples
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons apple cider
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F and place the rack in the center.
To prepare the crust, add the flour and butter to a large mixing bowl. Use your fingers to combine until the mixture is crumbly. Add the cinnamon, sugar and salt, using your fingers to toss into the crumbly flour and butter mixture. Add the water and pull the crumbs together into a dough ball with your hands. Set the dough aside while you prepare the apple filling mixture.
To make the filling, peel and core the apples, then dice them into medium size chunks and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients (flour, butter, cider, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg) and toss together with your fingers until the apples are completely coated. Place in the pie shell.
After the apples are prepared, begin to roll out the crusts as follows: Lay a piece of parchment paper on your counter the size of a large cookie sheet (this dough is buttery and hard to handle!). Lightly flour the parchment paper, then place two-thirds of the dough on the floured parchment paper.
Roll the dough into a circle about a quarter-inch thick. To place the rolled dough in a pie dish, pick up the parchment paper and move it next to the pie dish. Quickly flip over the dough into the dish, peeling the dough from the paper. Make sure the dough covers the bottom and sides of the dish; let any excess hang over the top edges.
Prick the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork.
Add the apple mixture, scraping the bowl clean, into the pie crust. Roll out the remaining dough again on the (lightly floured) parchment paper into a circle that will cover the top of the pie. Seal the pie crusts together, top to bottom at the edges, by squeezing the dough together with your fingers. Lightly brush the seams and top of crust with whole milk (this will keep the crust from raising off the apples).
Sprinkle the top of the pie with cinnamon and sugar. With a knife, make 4-5 slits in the top of pie. Place on a cookie sheet before baking to catch any drips. Bake for 70 minutes; when the time is up, turn off the oven, leaving the pie in the oven with the door closed for 15 minutes while the oven cools. Then take the pie from the oven and cool it on the counter.