The Best Apple Pie



1/2 cup very cold butter cut in small cubes
1/2 cup very cold vegetable shortening cut in small cubes
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp brown sugar brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup ice water (Use only enough to make a dough form.)
1 tbsp plain white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1 to 2 tbsp water
3 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled cored and sliced into thick wedges
1/4 cup butter
2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
3 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
1 to 2 tbsp turbinado sugar (optional)


To prepare the pastry, using a food processor or a pastry cutter, cut cold butter and shortening into flour, brown sugar and salt until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Small pieces of butter should still be visible.
Pour vanilla and vinegar into cold water then pour over the mixture and work in by tossing with a fork until dough begins to form. Use your hands as little as possible and work the dough as little as possible.
Divide dough into 2 balls, flatten into 2 rounds, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes.You can make your dough the previous day but make sure you take it out of the fridge for 10 minutes to warm slightly before rolling out.
To make the filling, melt butter in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Saute the apples for about 5 minutes until the are fully warmed throughout but not falling apart. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, simmer the apple juice over medium-low heat. Continue to simmer until the volume of juice has reduced to 1 cup.
Add the reduced juice to the apples and return to the stove top on medium heat to get the mixture boiling, then add the sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Simmer for only a minute before adding a thickening slurry made from dissolving together the corn starch and water.
Stir continuously as you add the corn starch slurry and continue to simmer stirring constantly for about a minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before using to fill the bottom pie crust.
Roll the first dough round into a 12 inch round and place in the bottom of a 10 inch pie plate. Push the dough into the corners and ensure that it is not stretched at all or it will shrink from the edge.
Trim dough to edge of plate. Add the cooled apple pie filling.
Roll the remaining dough round into 12 inch square-ish shape and cut that into 8 or 10 equal strips for the lattice crust top.
Place the remaining pastry strips on top of the apple pie filling, interweaving them to form a simple lattice pattern.
Press the ends of the strips into the edge of the bottom crust and trim the excess with a sharp knife.
Brush the edges of the crust and the lattice top with an egg wash made by whisking together the egg yolk and water.
Sprinkle the lattice top with turbinado sugar if desired.
Chill the pie in the fridge for about 20 minutes to a half hour before placing it on a cookie sheet (to catch any drips from the filling) in a preheated 400 degree F oven. Bottom rack is best.
Bake for 20 minutes at that temperature then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 30- 35 minutes or until the crust is an even golden brown. The filling need not bubble for this pie to be done.
Allow to cool on a wire rack at room temperature for at least a couple of hours before serving.
NOTE: If your lattice crust edges begin to get too brown wrap them with aluminum foil for the last of the baking time.