This is the standard pie recipe of John Bunker, pomologist of Super Chilly Farms, in Palermo, Maine. During summer, when they're in season, he likes Gravenstein apples. The more widely available Galas and Golden Delicious also make excellent pies when combined.
For the Crust
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
For the Filling
- 1 1/4 pounds Gala apples (about 3 apples), cored and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 1 1/4 pounds Golden Delicious apples (about 3 apples), cored and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and fork
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Make the crust: Toss flour, salt, and butter in a large bowl to combine, using your hands. With palms facing up, scoop mixture into hands, and press the butter between fingers and thumbs to create petal shapes coated in flour (this will take a few minutes). When there are no more clumps of butter, gradually stir in 1/4 cup ice water with a fork. Squeeze a handful of the mixture between your fingers; if it crumbles, stir in more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it holds together. Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Gather mixture with both hands, and press to form a dough, folding in half and pressing a few times just until it holds together without cracking or crumbling (do not overwork). Shape dough into 2 disks, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in lower third. Roll out 1 dough disk into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate.
Make the filling: Toss apples, sugar, flour, and spices in a bowl. Spread apple mixture in pie shell, and dot top with butter.
Roll out second disk into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface, and place over apples. Fold overhang under edge of bottom crust. Crimp edge with the floured tines of a fork. Prick top of crust with fork in several places.
Bake until crust is golden, 55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes. Let apple pie cool completely on a wire rack before serving.