This blue ribbon–winning pie is thickened solely with the power of fruit. For the ultimate in apple flavor and texture, we call for two types of apples: one that holds its shape when baked (such as Granny Smith) and one that melts away into the background (we like McIntosh). Like a row of backup singers, the golden raisins, apricots, and candied ginger all play a supporting role in making the apples taste more apple-y while providing structure to the filling. As an added bonus, the whole house smells amazing while this is cooking.



Pie dough for a Deep-Dish Double Crust (this page) 

9½-inch deep-dish pie plate 

Cake portion marker 

Pie crust shield or foil (see this page) 



Golden raisins1¾ cups8.5 ounces240 grams

Dried apricots1 cup5.6 ounces160 grams

Crystallized ginger¼ cup1.4 ounces40 grams

Finely grated lemon zest1 tablespoon

Fresh lemon juice3 tablespoons1.5 ounces43 grams

Unsalted butter8 tablespoons4 ounces113 grams

Light brown sugar, lightly packed1 cup7 ounces200 grams

Ground cinnamon1 teaspoon

Ground nutmeg½ teaspoon

Ground ginger½ teaspoon

Ground cloves¼ teaspoon

Kosher salt½ teaspoon

Apple cider or juice2 cups17 ounces484 grams

Calvados or other apple brandy½ cup4 ounces113 grams

Granny Smith apples, about 6 medium, peeled, cored, and sliced into thin wedges8 cups (sliced)32 ounces907 grams

McIntosh apples, about 5 medium, peeled, cored, and sliced into thin wedges6 cups (sliced)24 ounces680 grams

Egg yolk1 large

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Add the raisins, apricots, ginger, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor and puree to make a coarse paste. 

Place a large roasting pan (the one you would use for your Thanksgiving turkey) on the stovetop over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan, then add the pureed dried fruits, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, salt, apple cider, and Calvados. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula over medium heat until it is simmering, about 10 minutes. Add the apples and stir until the mixture returns to a gentle simmer. 

Place the roasting pan in the oven and stir every 30 minutes, for a total of about 90 minutes. The goal is for the filling to be reduced to 8 cups. Some of the apples will have melted into a thick brown applesauce while others will become soft-tender and stay mostly intact (when you drag a rubber spatula across the bottom of the pan, it should leave a trail). Remove the pan from the oven. 

When cool enough to handle, transfer the filling to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the pie. (The filling can be prepared several days in advance.) 

Following the instructions on this page, roll out the dough for the top crust to a ⅛-inch thickness and then transfer it to a sheet of parchment. Using a cake portion marker (see this page) like you would a cookie cutter, cut 18 equally spaced lines like the spokes of a wheel into the top crust (you could accomplish this feat with a ruler, knife, and a protractor like some kind of high school geometry–home economics class mash-up). Using a pizza wheel (or butter knife), extend the cuts to the outer edges of the dough circle. The top crust should now look like a sun with the central 2-inch circle surrounded by rays of dough. 

One by one, flip over each of the 18 “rays” of dough, placing it back down in the same place but with a single twist (see this page). You can flip them all in the same direction or alternate directions. Both are pretty patterns. Place the top crust in the freezer while rolling out the bottom. 

Roll out the bottom pie dough to a ⅛-inch thickness. Fit the dough into a 9½-inch deep-dish pie plate. Pour the refrigerated filling into the pie, smoothing with an offset spatula. Remove the top crust from the freezer (it should be stiff and relatively easy to handle). Slide the top crust off the parchment onto the top of the pie. 

Press the bottom and top crust edges together, rotating the pie as you go (a cake-decorating or lazy Susan–style turntable works great for this). The warmth from your fingers will start to soften the top crust. Keep rotating and pressing until the top and bottom are malleable and sealed. Trim the excess to about ½ inch beyond the edge of the pie plate and roll the edge under. Crimp it decoratively (see this page) and place the pie in the freezer for 30 minutes. While the pie is chilling, adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 425°F. 

In a small bowl, stir the egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water together until evenly combined. Brush this egg wash over the center of the pie and along the twisted “rays” of dough. 

Place the pie on the oven rack and immediately lower the oven temperature to 400°F. Bake for 15 minutes; pale golden spots should be starting to appear on the crust. Rotate the pie, adding a pie crust shield to protect the edges from getting too dark. Bake an additional 40 minutes, until the crust is richly browned. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature before slicing.

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