6 C. peeled and sliced tart apples (such as Granny Smith--about 2 lbs.)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 T. butter or margarine
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. whipping cream
2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 C. shortening
4-5 T. ice water
1 T. quick-cooking tapioca
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
For the crust, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing lightly with your fingertips or with a fork until the dough will form a ball.
Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the balls to a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Use it to line a 9-inch pie pan, easing the dough in and being careful not to stretch it. Trim off the excess dough and use the trimmings for decorating. Sprinkle the tapioca over the bottom of the pie shell. Roll out the remaining dough to 1/8-inch thickness. With a sharp knife, cut out 8 large leaf-shapes. Cut the trimmings into small leaf shapes. Score the leaves with the back of the knife to mark veins.
In a bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon. Fill the pie shell with the apple mixture and dot with the butter or margarine. Arrange the large pastry leaves in a decorative pattern on top. Decorate the edge with small leaves. Mix together the egg yolk and cream and brush over the leaves to glaze them.
Bake 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until the pastry is golden brown, 35-45 minutes. Let the pie cool in the pan, set on a wire rack.
Dan Kachel, Chef, Sand Springs Station