Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes plus chilling time
2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut up
4 tablespoons ice water
1. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter, and using your fingertips, blend it in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Add the ice water and stir with a fork just until the mixture comes together into a ball.
3. Divide the pastry dough in half and flatten into two disks. Cover each with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour, or overnight.
Filling and assembly
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
8 cups Granny Smith apple slices (about 7 to 8 apples, peeled, quartered, seeded and sliced 1/4 -inch thick)
2 tablespoons butter ( 1/4 stick), cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon milk
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Pour the sugar mixture over the apples and stir to coat evenly.
2. Roll one disk of the pastry dough on a floured board into a 14-inch circle. Fold the dough into quarters, center it on the pie plate, unfold and gently pat the dough into the bottom and sides of the plate.
3. Spoon the apples into the pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter.
4. Roll the remaining dough into a 14-inch circle. Make slits in the middle. Fold the dough into quarters, center on top of the pie and unfold. Trim, seal and flute the edges. Brush the surface of the crust with milk.
5. Bake until the crust is golden brown and juices bubble, about 45 to 55 minutes.
Each serving: 432 calories; 4 grams protein; 60 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 20 grams fat; 13 grams saturated fat; 53 mg. cholesterol; 295 mg. sodium.
Apple-quince pie: Quarter 3 peeled, seeded quince, and cut the quince into quarter-inch slices. Poach the quince 15 minutes in a simple syrup (2 cups water, 1 cup sugar and one-half vanilla bean split and seeded). Cool, drain and discard the vanilla bean. Gently toss the quince with 4 apples, peeled and sliced. Continue with the basic recipe, reducing the sugar to one-half cup and stirring into the flour, one-half teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Omit cinnamon.
Apple-cranberry pie: Toss the apples with 1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries. Reduce the cinnamon to 2 teaspoons and stir in 1 teaspoon grated orange peel.