Lee's Apple Pie

David Tanis’s cinnamon-and-cardamom-spiced pie is a nod to Napa winemaker Lee Hudson’s Texas background. It has a classic mountaintop profile, because it’s packed with lots of tart, crisp apples. Slideshow: Great Apple Pie Recipes 

Lee’s Apple Pie
Photo: © Fredrika Stjärne
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
6 hrs
1 9-inch pie


pie dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of ice water


  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • Pinch of ground cloves

  • 3 pounds assorted apples, such as Mutsu, Golden Delicious, Winesap or Gravenstein—peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 1 tablespoon brandy

  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving


make the dough

  1. In a bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in half of the butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the remaining butter, sprinkle in the egg-water mixture and, using a fork, quickly toss the dough until evenly moistened. Gently knead the dough until it just comes together. Gather the dough into a ball and cut it in half. Press each half into a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or, preferably, overnight.

  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 disk to a 14-inch round. Fold the dough in half and transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate. Unfold the dough and gently press it into the pie plate without stretching. Trim the dough flush with the rim of the pie plate. Refrigerate the pie shell. Lightly dust a large baking sheet with flour. Roll out the remaining disk to a 14-inch round; transfer it to the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate.

make the filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small bowl, combine the sugar with the flour, orange zest, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves. In a large bowl, sprinkle the apples with the brandy. Add the spice mixture and toss well.

  2. Fill the pie shell with the apples, arranging the slices so there are no gaps. Drape the dough round over the apples and gently press it, without stretching, to cover the apples. Trim the top dough overhang to 1/2 inch and fold it under the pie crust bottom. Crimp the edge decoratively to seal. In a small bowl, beat the cream with the egg yolk. Brush this glaze over the top of the pie. Using a small, sharp knife, cut four or five 1/2-inch vents in the top.

  3. Bake the pie in the bottom third of the oven for 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and crisp and the filling just starts to bubble. Transfer the pie to a rack to cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours. Cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream.

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