At the restaurants, we use pastry flour for pie crusts, but if you find yourself without it at home substitute all-purpose flour and cornstarch to achieve the same crispy tenderness.
Makes 1 pie, double crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold lard or vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice cold water
For the dough, sift together the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Sprinkle in the pieces of cold butter and lard or shortening. Using your fingers, squeeze and rub the butter and lard or shortening into the flour mixture until the pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in the water and gently mix. When the dough barely comes together, form two discs, one slightly larger than the other, and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
On a floured counter top, roll larger disc of chilled dough out into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Place dough into a 9-inch glass pie pan and gently push into the bottom of the dish, letting the outside of the circle drape over the edges. Cut off excess dough and using a pinching motion, create a crimped edge.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and bake bottom pie crust “blind” for 8 to 10 minutes.
3 pounds Pink lady apples or other crispy apple, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons instant tapioca
Juice of 1 small or 1/2 large lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
Place the fruit into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with sugar, tapioca, and lemon juice, and then gently toss. Let sit at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes or until some juices are released.
While the bottom crust is baking, roll smaller disc of dough into a circle about 1/4-inch thick and trim to fit just inside the bottom crust, then place on a plate. Cut a few decorative vents in the top and refrigerate for 1/2 hour or overnight if wrapped.
Remove the “blind” baked pie crust from the oven and turn temperature down to 375 degrees F. Pour fruit filling into crust then “float” smaller piece of dough over the top of the fruit mixture. Top piece of dough should almost touch the bottom crust but it will not be joined to it. Return pie to oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until filling bubbles and crust is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a rack to room temperature before serving.