Rhode Island Greenings, Roxbury Russets, and Cortlands are among the traditional Yankee cooking apples. That old familiar McIntosh is plenty good, too.
Start to Finish Time:
Heat oven to 400º.
Pare, core, and slice apples. Add to a large bowl and toss with nutmeg or cinnamon (if you like spice) and ¾ cup sugar. Roll out 1 Flaky Piecrust disk and line a 9-inch pie tin.
Arrange apples. Cover with second Flaky Piecrust disk. Make several slits in the top for escaping steam and crimp edges firmly.
Brush top crust with milk and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º, and bake 50 minutes longer. Serve hot with sliced cheese.
Fool-Resistant Flaky Piecrust
There’s no such thing as a foolproof piecrust, but this one comes pretty close. For easiest handling, roll it out between two sheets of waxed paper. The paper wrinkles, so you have to remove each sheet and smooth it from time to time. It takes only a moment, and if you have trouble using a “lightly floured surface,” you can solve a lot of crust-making problems this way
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine flours with salt and pulse a few times. Let sit a moment so dust can settle.
Divide lard in half; add to bowl. Pulse until mixture resembles fine meal. Add butter pats and pulse to chop them to the size of lima beans.
With the motor running, add water in a steady stream. Process just until dough begins to clump around blade.
Turn mixture onto a work surface and press it together gently with your hands. Don’t knead it; overworking makes for a tough crust. It should hold together but still be on the dry and crumbly side.
Divide dough in half, and form each half into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.
Bring dough to room temperature before rolling out. Rolling will glue in any last independent floury lumps.
Dough will keep in refrigerator up to 3 days. It also freezes well.
Yield: 2 crusts