Make the filling
In a large nonreactive pot, mix the apples, all but 2 Tbs. of the cider, the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved and the apples are evenly coated. Mix the cornstarch and remaining 2 Tbs. cider into a paste; add this to the apples. Stirring constantly, boil until the liquid is thickened and clear, about 1 minute. (you're not cooking the apples, just thickening the juices). Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Assemble the pie
Position racks in the low and middle spots of the oven. Set a foil-lined baking sheet on the lower rack to catch drips and heat the oven to 425°F. Prepare a double pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan and fill the shell (see Classic Pie Crust). Brush the heavy cream over the top crust and sprinkle with the crushed sugar cubes, pressing lightly to secure the chunks. Cut at least three vent holes. Bake on the middle rack until the crust is golden and the apples are tender when pierced with a knife, about 55 minutes. If the top starts browning too quickly, tent the pie with foil.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on eight servings;
Photo: Mark Ferri