The power of apple pie is awesome: this simple dessert has been making grannies famous for generations. There is something about the smell of cinnamon, cloves and apples baking in a buttery crust that makes you feel good.
Technique tip: The pie is best served warm, but will keep, covered and at room temperature, for up to 1 day.
Swap option: I use different varieties of apples to get the best qualities of each, but feel to use your favorite type.
For the crust:1.
In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt to blend. Add the butter and pulse about 10 times, until the butter is in pea-size pieces. While pulsing the food processor, drizzle the ice water through the feed tube and process just until moist clumps form. (Or, to make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together. Add the butter. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is in pea-size pieces. Drizzle the ice water over the flour and gently toss the mixture together to moisten. Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and gently knead just until it forms into a dough.)2.
Transfer the dough to a work surface, divide it in half, making one half slightly larger than the other, and form into 2 thick disks. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 1 day.3.
Position a rack on the lowest rung of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F.
For the filling:
In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt together. Add the apple wedges and raisins and mix to combine.
Unwrap the larger disk of dough and set it on a floured surface, then lightly dust the top of the dough. (If the dough is too cold and firm to roll out, let it stand at room temperature, covered, until it softens slightly.)2.
Starting from the center of the dough and rolling toward the edges, roll out the dough into a 13-inch round, occasionally rotating the dough and dusting the surface with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Brush away excess flour. Place the rolling pin on the edge of the dough that's farthest away from you and gently and loosely roll the dough up around the pin until you have half of it on the pin. Hold the pin over the edge of a 9- to 9½-inch glass pie plate and unroll the dough, draping and centering it over the pie plate. Lightly press the dough into the dish. Trim the overhang to 1/2 inch. Refrigerate the pie shell. Roll out the other disk of dough on the floured surface into a 12-inch round.3.
Spread the apple mixture in the pie shell, then scatter the sliced butter on top. Cover the pie with the remaining dough round. Trim the overhang to 1/2 inch and press the edges together, fold the dough under itself so it is flush with the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the dough edge decoratively.4.
Lightly brush the top of the pie with the milk and sprinkle all over with the raw sugar. Using a small sharp knife, cut 4 steam vents in the top crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake the pie for about 55 minutes longer, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling through the steam vents.5.
Let the pie cool on a wire rack until warm. Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream.