Make one: top and bottom
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Begin by making your crust. Stir the flour and salt together. Gently blend the shortening into the flour mixture with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly and chunky. When coarsely mixed, set this mixture aside.
Beat the egg and cold water together. Add the apple cider vinegar to the egg mixture. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and lightly fold them together. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the water start to absorb. Using your hands again, mix until a dough forms. If it is still too crumbly to become cohesive, add an additional 1-3 tablespoons of cold water. Be careful to not over mix as over working pie crust makes it tough, or add too much water because the dough will become too sticky. When it becomes a workable dough, check to make sure you can see marbling from the shortening—if you can, you’re going to have a yummy, flaky crust.
Score the dough down the middle with the edge of your hand and pull it apart into two pieces. Shape them into two round discs, wrap them in plastic wrap, and then chill them for one hour in the refrigerator (if you’re in a hurry you can put them in the freezer for half an hour).
While the dough is chilling, make the apple filling. In a heavy sauce pan, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch. Stir in the apple cider and lemon juice. Cook on medium heat until thick and bubbly. When finished, scoop the sauce into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator.
Begin preparing the apples. Peel, core, and slice them into about ¼ inch slices and place them in a microwave safe bowl. When they are all cut, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Then stir the apples and microwave for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the cooled sauce and place back in the refrigerator.
To make the bottom pie crust, take one of the cooled dough disks out of the fridge. On a floured surface, roll the dough from the center out into a circle until about ⅜ of an inch thick. Make sure the dough is about 1 – ½ inches larger than the pie pan all the way around. When you are finished rolling it out, carefully fold the dough in half and then in fourths to pick it up and transfer it to your pie pan. Press the dough into the pan to remove any air pockets. Put the bottom crust in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to get it cold again.
Pour the apple filling into the bottom pie crust. Carefully move apple slices around until all the sides are filled and the top is even, without any apples sticking up which would protrude through the crust. Put it back in the refrigerator while you roll out the other dough disk.
Decide what style top you want to make: For a traditional top crust, lay the rolled out dough on top of your pie. Trim any side with excess dough to just even it up, but still leave as much length as you can. Roll the two crusts together, bottom side up all the way around, then crimp the edges. Cut slits in the top crust to allow air to escape. Brush it lightly with whole milk, avoiding the crimped edges, and sprinkle with coarse sugar. For a lattice top crust, roll the dough out, cut into 1-inch strips with a pizza cutter, then alternate laying the strips down in a lattice pattern. Trim the strips to the length of the bottom crust and roll the bottom crust up, tucking the strips in as you go. Crimp the edges. When you are finished, there is no need to cut slits in the dough, but still gently rub milk onto the top with your fingers and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then (leaving the pie in the oven) reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 30-40 minutes until the crust is golden brown.