This overstuffed apple pie is topped with a glorious dome of a crust made with duck fat. The crust is pushed down with the palm of the hand before being sliced.
Make the crust exactly like the crust for the grape pie (preceding recipe), but be sure that all of the ingredients and utensils are chilled—duck fat melts at a lower temperature than lard. Make
Peel, core, and slice the apples. (I use an apple corer that simultaneously cores and sections the fruit into 8 perfect slices.) In a bowl, sprinkle them with the sugar, lemon zest, nutmeg, and rice flour. Toss so that all the ingredients are evenly mixed.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Remove the chilled pie shell from the refrigerator and begin filling it with the apples, evenly distributing the butter pieces throughout. Pile the apples high in a mound. They will come above the top of the pie plate, several inches above in the center. Set the filled pie aside.
Roll out the remaining half of the dough, then gently lift it up on the rolling pin and center it on the filled pie, allowing the excess dough to fall over the edges. Gently pat the top crust into place on top of the apples, then run a sharp knife point around the rim just inside the lower crust so that the top crust is cut off just where it meets the lower. Set the excess dough aside. Then, working deftly and lightly, lift up the bottom crust that is hanging over the sides of the pie plate and fold it over the rim, tucking in and sealing the top to the bottom crust and crimping the rim between thumb and forefinger to create an attractive edge.
With a thin, sharp blade cut several steam vents in the crust, brush it lightly with milk, and sprinkle it with sugar. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for about an hour or until the crust is an even golden brown. Allow to cool partially before slicing, pushing the golden dome down lightly to meet the fruit, which will have settled somewhat. Serve with crème fraîche, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.
© 1992 All rights reserved. Published by UNC Press.