For the Pastry
- In a large bowl, sift flour, corn starch, salt, and sugar together; ensure they are well blended. Using a cheese wire or a carving knife, cut the butter into 1/8” slices. Layer the slices into the flour, coating each slice separately.
- Take a pastry blender and cut the butter into the flour without using your hands. Sprinkle the ice water sparingly over the dough, tossing with the pastry blender. Mash/twist the dough with the palm of your hand right in the bowl, until it comes together in a cohesive mass.
- Shape into a disk, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge or cool place overnight.
For the Filling + Final Steps
- Combine the apples, tapioca starch, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge; preheat the oven to 400° F. Slice apples ¼ inch or less in thickness to prevent large air pockets. Sift the sugar, tapioca starch, and spices together; toss them over the apples to coat well.
- Separate the pastry into two unequal portions. Roll out the larger piece for the bottom crust, layer into a 9” pie dish, letting the pastry overhang the sides. Cut the sides with scissors, about 1/2” bigger than the rim of the dish.
- Roll out the top crust. You can cut lattice, cookie shapes, or use the circular top to your liking.
- Sift a very light layer of cornstarch over the bottom pastry, layer apples over. Fit the top crust, using a fork to mash the top to bottom, or else pinching the two together. Slice vent holes if using a circular top. Optional: brush the crust (not the edges) with egg white if you prefer a darker, more rustic pastry.
- Place the pie on a dark baking sheet and put it on the bottom rack of the oven. Immediately reduce temperature to 375° F. Bake for 45 minutes then check every five minutes until crust has browned and filling is bubbling.