"As American as apple pie" is a commonly used phrase in the United States. However, the origin of apple pie really dates back to 14th century England, so the phrase conveys the feeling of American wholesomeness more than American origins. Brushing the top crust with a little bit of cream or milk will help it brown nicely.
For the Dough
- 3 cups flour
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable shortening, preferably Crisco, cut into small pieces
- ½ cups cold milk
For the Filling
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ¾-1 cups cornstarch
- 1 ½ tbsp. ground cinnamon
- ¾ cups fresh lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)
- 12 golden delicious apples (or about 5 lbs.), peeled, cored, and sliced
For the pie dough: Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or 2 table knives, work shortening into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle cold milk over dough and mix with your hands until it holds together. Form two-thirds of the dough into 1 ball and the remaining third into another. Shape dough balls into flat disks. Wrap each one with waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
For the filling: Mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Add apples and mix with your hands, tossing until well coated.
Preheat oven to 250°. Roll the large disk of dough out on a well-floured surface into a 12" × 15" rectangle. Fit the dough into a 9" × 13" baking dish. Arrange the apples in even layers in the dish, then pour any syrupy juices over apples. Roll remaining disk of dough out on floured surface into a 9" × 13" rectangle and place it on top of the apples. Tuck the edges down into the sides of the dish and cut several holes in top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake pie until apples are meltingly tender, about 3 hours. (For a browner crust, increase oven temperature to 350° for the last 20 minutes of baking.) Allow pie to cool for at least 4 hours before serving.