In a wide, shallow, 6-quart sauté pan, melt 4 tablespoons of the unsalted butter over medium-high heat.Once the butter has melted, add the apple slices and sauté them in the butter for 2 1/2 minutes.
Sprinkle the ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and kosher salt. Stir the spices and salt into the apple mixture, then add the lemon juice.
Once steam begins rising from the spiced apples, stir the brown sugar to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium. Stirring frequently, cook the apples for 3-4 minutes.
While you're waiting for the syrup to form, make the slurry.Add the cornstarch to a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the cold water until the mixture is smooth and runny.
Soon, a puddle of sugar-liquid will form in the bottom of the pot of apples and begin to simmer. Use your spoon to create a well in the middle of the apples. Whisking constantly, pour the cornstarch slurry into the center of the apples. Once the slurry is added, use your spoon to stir the apples into the mixture you've just created.
Within a minute or two, the slurry will begin to thicken the juices in the pan. Use your spoon to fold the apples into the glaze to ensure they are fully coated. Continue cooking and stirring the apples into the glaze until the glaze looks thick; think corn syrup. Once the glaze is thick, add the remaining butter to the apples in the pot. Stir the butter rapidly into the hot glaze.
Cool the Filling, Then Fill the Bottom Pie Shell
Set the pan filled with the apple cinnamon filling into a larger pan filled with ice water that reaches halfway up the sides of the apple filling pan. Cool the apple cinnamon filling in this manner, stirring the filling frequently to redistribute some of the heat. Once cool, you can proceed with filling the pie shell.
Roll out one disc of pie dough into a 13-inch circle. If you're baking in a 10-inch pan, roll it out to 14-inches. Make sure the circle of pie dough is rolled evenly and no thicker than 1/8-inch. Lay the circle of dough into your pie tin. Once the bottom circle of dough is in the pie tin, use your knuckles to press it gently into the corners and bottom of the pie plate. This will keep the sides and edges of the dough from shrinking down as the pie bakes.
Pour the cool apple cinnamon filling into the bottom shell. Use the back of your spoon to press the filling down to prevent any air pockets in your baked pie.
Weave the Lattice Top
Roll out the second disc of dough into a 15-inch circle 1/8-inch thick. If you're baking a 10-inch pie, roll it out to 16-inches. Use your pastry wheel (or a pizza cutter) to cut out 18 strips of dough, each 3/4-inch (about 1 cm) wide.
Set the pie plate onto a piece of parchment paper and use a pencil to mark the circumference of the top of the pie plate. Once you have your circle marked, flip the paper over.
Starting in the middle of the circle, place strips 3/4-inch apart. Make sure they're evenly spaced. Fold back every other strip to the middle of the circle. Pay attention to the strips of dough that are straight. Those will be folded back on the next step.
Lay a strip of dough across the pie, starting in the center. Straighten the strips of dough you folded back. Now, fold back the strips of dough that you left straight.
Lay another strip of dough 3/4-inch from the first one (that you laid across). Unfold the strips of dough to return them to their straight positions. Fold back the strips you folded the first time and repeat.
Continue this pattern until the top half of the circle is weaved, then do the bottom half.
Carefully slide the paper with the latticed dough onto a sheetpan or pizza pan and refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes. This will firm up the butter in the dough and make transferring it easier.
Prepare the Egg Wash
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and cold water. Once the mixture is smooth, brush a thin layer of the egg wash onto the rim of the bottom pie crust.
Remove the chilled lattice top from the fridge and quickly, but carefully, flip it onto the filled, bottom pie shell. Press the lattice to the rim of the bottom shell to seal it. Once sealed, use a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen shears to trim off the dough that's touching your counters. Leave the rest of the hanging dough for forming the crust.
Brush a layer of the egg wash on top of the lattice crust. Fold the excess strips of dough up and to an angle to create the crust. Once the strips are folded, crimp the edges by grabbing the dough between your thumb and forefinger and twisting counter-clockwise or by pressing the tines of a fork onto the edge.
Cover the Bottom Half of the Pie and Chill for a Sharp Crust
Chill the pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This is the best way to ensure your crust stays nice and pretty. While the pie chills, preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).
Bake the Pie
After 30 minutes, remove the pie from the fridge and brush another layer of the egg wash over the surface of the pie. If you're baking in a glass or ceramic pie dish, allow the pie plate to warm up for five minutes on the counter.* After five minutes, put the pie into the oven and bake it for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C) and bake it for an additional 40-45 minutes. Rotate the pie after a half hour to make sure the pie browns evenly. If you find that the pie is browning too much, place a piece of foil over it (lightly) to cover it.
When fully baked, the crust should be golden brown and the pie filling will bubble through the lattice. Once the pie is done baking, remove the pan from the oven. Allow the pie to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving.
Swaps and Substitutions:
Replace the Granny Smith apples with Braeburn, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, or Jonagold. But, avoid Golden Delicious and McIntosh Apples. Both will become too mushy in this recipe.
You can also omit the spices and use Apple Pie Spice, or add 1/2 teaspoon of allspice and/or 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom to the spices in the recipe.
Tips and Techniques:
For a tall pie, use 9 large apples. For a shallow pie, use 8 apples.
A metal pie tin bakes the best pies, but ceramic or glass (or aluminum if you plan to freeze it) will also work.
Cool the filling completely, or the residual heat from it will cause your bottom crust to become soggy and gummy.
*Putting an ice-cold pie plate (especially a ceramic one) into a raging hot oven could cause it to shatter.
Make-Ahead Apple Cinnamon Pie Filling:
Prepare it as instructed and store it in a covered container in the fridge.
Store the filling for up to 2 days.
The cold air will firm the butter in the filling up quite a bit, so you need to stir it well before using it.
Store leftover apple cinnamon pie at room temperature, covered by a cake dome or cloche. You can also store it in a container in the fridge.
Reheat slices of pie on high for 15 seconds in the microwave for a warm, freshly-baked flavor.
Enjoy this pie within 4 days of baking for the best taste.
To freeze the Prepared Apple Cinnamon Filling:
Allow it to cool completely.
Transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to two months.
You can thaw it overnight in the fridge.
Stir well before using it to fill your pie.
Freeze Unbaked Apple Cinnamon Pie:
Refrigerate the lattice-topped pie to firm up the dough.
Wrap the pie in two layers layers of plastic film and freeze it for up to 3 months.
Thaw the frozen pie in the fridge overnight or bake it from frozen after brushing the egg wash over it again. You'll need to add an additional 30 minutes at 350°F (177°C) to the baking time if you're baking from frozen.
To freeze the Baked Apple Cinnamon Pie:
Bake and cool the pie completely.
Wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil, and freeze it for 2 months.
Thaw it at room temperature, uncovered, or in the fridge, covered.
You can warm it in a 200°F (93°C) oven for 20 minutes for a freshly baked taste.