Cold butter is critical for flaky doughs; as the apple pie bakes, the floury parts cook into layers, while the butter melts, leaving open pockets around the tender crust. Watch the video here.
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1" pieces, chilled
Filling and assembly:
- 3 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 5 large), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
- Sliced cheddar cheese (for serving; optional)
Pulse flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until pea-sized pieces of butter remain. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (you want the butter to be really, really cold).
Drizzle ½ cup ice water over mixture and, using your hands, mix thoroughly (as though you were kneading) until no dry spots remain and dough stays together when pressed. Divide dough in half and press into 2 discs, about 1" thick; wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Do ahead: Dough will keep in refrigerator up to 5 days or in freezer up to 1 month.
Filling and Assembly:
Toss apples, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and 2 Tbsp. flour to combine in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°. Drain apples and reserve liquid in a small saucepan; return apples to bowl. Bring liquid to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Pour over apples and toss to combine.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out 1 disk of reserved dough on a lightly floured surface to a 13" round. Transfer round to prepared sheet and chill while you roll out remaining piece of dough to another 13" round. Stack second round on top of the first, separated by parchment.
Beat egg to blend with 1 tsp. water and set aside. Using a rolling pin, carefully transfer 1 crust to a 9" pie dish. Lift up edges and allow dough to slump down into dish. Scrape in apple filling along with any accumulated juices.
Place second crust on top of filling and press edges of crusts together to seal, crimping as desired. Brush top of pie with egg wash and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place pie on sheet. Bake until crust is deep golden brown on top and bottom and juices are bubbling, 90–100 minutes (some of the juices might bubble over onto the sheet—this is what the foil is for). Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 4 hours before slicing. Serve on top of cheese, if desired (and you probably desire).
Do ahead: Pie can sit out overnight, or wrap in foil or plastic and refrigerate up to 3 days.