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3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup cold vegetable shortening
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 Tbsp. sugar
Sift flour, salt, and sugar together into a large bowl. Blend in shortening with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in ice water a little gradually until dough comes together. Divide the dough into two halves. On a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, roll each half with a floured rolling pin into an 11-inch round. Transfer one round to a 9-inch pie dish, gently pressing it in to fit. Transfer second half to a baking sheet and cover with parchment paper. Refrigerate both pieces for 30 minutes.
10 1/2 cups peeled Gala and Jonathan apples cut into large bite-size chunks
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
4 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. Vietnamese cinnamon
1/4 tsp. apple pie spice
1 pinch salt
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
1 cup golden raisins
1 Tbsp. half and half (for brushing on top of pie)
2 Tbsp. large crystal sanding sugar
Preheat oven to 400° and position rack in the lower third of the oven. In a large heavy saucepan toss the apple chunks with lemon juice. In a small bowl combine very well the two sugars, the cinnamon, apple pie spice, cornstarch, and salt. Add this mixture and the butter pieces to the apples (toss until well combined). Bring this mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan for about 2 minutes. Then add raisins and continue to stir for another 2 minutes or until apples have slightly cooked down (not letting them burn). Remove pan from burner.
Assembling the pie
Pour apple mixture onto the bottom crust in your pie dish mounding the fruit in the center. Flip your top crust dough over and center the dough onto the mounded fruit. Trim the pie’s top overhand to about 3/4”. Fold the overhang under the bottom pastry edge to form an edge that rests on the lip of the plate. Press the top and bottom edges together firmly, crimping with your fingers all the way around. Using a soft pastry brush, brush the half and half lightly on top (not on the edges of the pie) and evenly sprinkle the top with sanding sugar. Using a sharp (greased) knife, cut vents in a star pattern on the top of the crust for steam to escape.
Put the pie on a standard-size baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. Make a large, loose, foil tent over the top of the pie and continue to bake for at least 30 minutes or more. Top will be nicely golden-brown and the filling will be bubbly.
Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 1 1/2 hours and longer if possible. The cooler the pie, the neater the slices. Also great served with vanilla ice cream!