1 cup very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4-8 tablespoons ice water
4 pounds baking apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. butter
1 large egg
1Add 1-1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times until combined. (The remaining cup of flour will be added later.)
2Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds.
3Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).
4Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle ice water over the mixture, starting with 4 tablespoons and add from there.
5Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 2 to 4 more tablespoons of water and continue to press until the dough comes together.
6Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface.
7Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut the ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
8Remove one of the dough discs from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.
9Lightly flour work surface, top of dough and rolling pin. Then use a rolling pin to roll out dough to a 12-inch circle (about 1/8-inch thick).
10Check for size by inverting the pie dish over the dough round. Look for a 1-inch edge around the pie dish.
11Transfer dough to the dish by starting at one end, rolling dough around the rolling pin then unrolling it over the dish.
12Gently press dough down into the dish so that it lines the bottom and sides of the dish. Use a knife or pair of kitchen scissors to trim dough to within 1/2-inch of the edge of the dish.
13Fold the edge of the dough underneath itself so that it creates a thicker, 1/4-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish.
14Refrigerate the dough for at least 20 minutes or freeze for 5 minutes before baking.
15Peel, and then cut the apples in half. Remove the cores, and then slice apple halves into thin slices, about 1/4-inch thick. Place the apple slices into a very large bowl.
16Scatter both sugars, salt, and spices over the apples, and then use your hands to toss them, coating the apple slices as much as possible. Set aside for 1 hour at room temperature.
17Position an oven rack towards the center of the oven, and then heat the oven to 400°F.
18Toss the cornstarch with the apples. Transfer most (if not all) of the apples into the prepared bottom crust, using your hands to really pack them down into the pie. Fill the pie until the apples are mounded at the same height as the edge of the pie crust. If you have too many apples, save them.
19Pour the juices that have accumulated at the bottom of the bowl over the apples. Cut a tablespoon of butter into 8 small pieces and place them over the pie.
20Place the second pie dough round over the filling, and use a sharp knife to cut a few slits in the top of the crust to allow steam to vent.
21Trim excess dough from the top crust, and then fold the overhang underneath itself, forming a thick rim. Press it together or crimp it with your fingers (or use a fork).
22Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water, and then use it as an egg wash by lightly brushing the top crust. This adds shine and helps the crust brown.
23Place the prepared pie onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
24Bake the pie for about 75 minutes, turning a few times for even browning. Apple pie is done when the juices are bubbling through the vents of the top crust or lattice. If you do not see bubbles, the pie needs more time.