Contributed by Wholesome Sweeteners
(Perfect for those fall days when the apple of your eye brings you a whole basketful of apples!)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut in bits
12 tablespoons ice water
3 1/2 lbs. apples, about 8, peeled, cored and sliced*
3 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice
2/3 cup corn starch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups blue agave nectar
To make the dough:
Mix together the flour and salt. For best results, place in the work bowl of a food processor. Toss the butter with the flour and pulse 8 to 10 times just until it resembles coarse crumbs. (Alternately, use your clean hands or two forks to mix it together). Pour into a bowl and stir with a fork, gradually adding the ice water until dough is moist enough to hold together when pinched between your thumb and forefinger. You may need more or less ice water to moisten the dough, and the dough need not form into a ball.
Gather the dough and divide 2/3 into a disc and wrap in plastic. Repeat with the remaining 1/3 dough. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
To make the apple filling:
Toss the apples with the lemon juice. In a separate bowl, whisk together the corn starch, cinnamon and agave syrup.
When ready to bake, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
Roll the larger disc of dough out to fit your favorite large deep-dish pie pan (or use a 9 x 13 baking dish), and place gently in the pan. Arrange the apples in even layers in the pan and pour over the agave and corn starch mixture. Roll out the remaining disc of dough and place it on top of the apples. Tuck the edges down the sides and cut several holes in the crust to allow steam to escape. (If there is extra dough from the bottom, crimp the edges together, or decorate with leaves).
Bake for about 2 hours. Cool for about 2 1/2 hours before serving. Serves 12 to 15.
*Chef Mani Niall recommends using firm, sweet apples for this recipe. (Because the lemon juice provides an additional, but slight, tartness to the recipe, he recommends against using Granny Smiths or Macintoshes.)