Merry Christmas and Classic Apple Pie

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Merry Christmas!!  I hope you were able to spend time with your loved ones and enjoy the day.  I spent the afternoon at my parents house in Oldham County, where we had a white Christmas.

I spent the morning baking my very first pie, which was a huge success!  This is the most delicious apple pie I have ever had –  Bernie rated it pretty high too!

Classic Apple Pie, from Baking Illustrated

Ingredients:
1 recipe basic pie dough – double crust
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the workspace
3 1/2 pounds of apples – I used organic granny smith’s (3), braeburn (3), and fuji (2)
1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon grated zest from lemon
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg white, beaten lightly

Directions:
Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on it and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated for more than one hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable)

Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface r between 2 pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate by rolling the dough around the rolling-pin and unrolling over the pan. Working around the circumference of the pan, ease the dough into the pan corners by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while pressing into the pan bottom with the other hand. Leave any dough that overhangs the lip of the pie plate in place; refrigerate the dough-lined pie plate.

Peel, core, and quarter the apples; cut the quarters into 1/4-inch slices and toss with lemon juice and zest. In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup of the sugar, the flour, spices, and salt. Toss the dry ingredients with the apples. Turn the fruit mixture, including juices, into the chilled pie shell and mound it slightly in the center.

Roll out the second piece of dough to a 12-inch circle; place it over the filling. Trim the edges of the top and bottom dough layers to 1/2 inch beyond the pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that the folded edge is flush with the pan lip. Flute the edge or press with fork tine to seal. Cut 4 slits in the dough top. If the pie dough is very soft, place the pie in the freezer for 10 minutes. Brush the egg white on the top crust and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Place the pie on the baking sheet and lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake the pie until the top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate the pie from front to back and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue baking until the juices bubble and the crust is deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes longer.

Transfer the pie to a wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours.

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