3 cups unbleached all purpose flour (maida)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter chilled
1/2 cup chilled buttermilk
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Give it a whisk.
Cut the butter in 1/2-3/4″ cubes. Add these to the flour. Rub the butter with the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make sure all the butter is covered with the flour.
Make a well in the center of the flour. Add 1/4 cup buttermilk in it. With the help of a fork, start scraping the flour into the buttermilk. Incorporate the remaining buttermilk little by little into the flour. Gather the flour and bring it together to form a ball. Knead it about 10 times only. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For the filling:
5 apples cored and sliced thinly
3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch/tapioca flour
1 tbsp lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
Combine all the above mentioned ingredients together and refrigerate it till it’s time to fill the pie.
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
Heat large saucepan. Combine water and sugar. Let the sugar dissolve. Stir or swirl till it dissolves.
Add butter and bring it to a boil. Then simmer it till it turns golden brown. After this, stir it for few minutes and then take it off the heat.
Add cream and stir well to mix it well. Add the almond extract and salt and stir again.
Keep it aside to cool. If it hardens before adding to the pie, slightly warm it up to loosen it.
To make and bake the pie:
Egg Wash : Whip up 1 egg with 1 tsp cream
Remove the dough on to the kitchen counter and let it rest for 5 minutes. Divide it in two.
Place one part of dough between two ovenproof parchment papers. Roll out the dough as big as possible maintaining a thickness of about 1/2-3/4″. Return the second part to the refrigerator.
Fold the dough in quarters and place the dough with pointed tip in the center of a pie dish. Open the dough and make sure it covers the entire dish. Let the extra bits of dough flow over the rim.
Press down the dough gently on the pie dish and the sides too to get rid of any air bubbles. With a pair of shearing kitchen scissors, cut out the extra dough hanging but let it cover the rim. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Remove the dish from the fridge and place the filling into the pie making sure it’s evenly spread. At the same time, remove the second dough too. Roll the dough as big as the pie dish.
Place the dough over the filling and gently pinch it to seal the edges around the rim of the dish. Make a criss cross in the center of the dough. Apply egg wash. Place the dish in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator and keep it aside for 10-15 minutes, if using a glass pie dish. If not, then it can be baked directly after removing from the refrigerator. Apply egg wash again.
Bake the pie in a preheated oven set at 425 deg F for 20 minutes. Turn down the temperature to 375 deg F and let the pie bake for 60 minutes.
For decorative pie:
Make shapes from the second dough. Shapes can be a lattice, braids, leaves, flowers, etc.
For lattice shape, cut the dough after rolling it out into thick and thin strips. Place them vertically and alternate thickness next to each other with a slight gap between them. Now fold alternate strips in halves. Place one strip horizontal across and bring back the folded half in place (I.e. Straighten it) and repeat to make a pattern by interweaving the strips.