1Sift together the flour, salt, and sugar to start the crust. Cut in the shortening.
2Add in the butter and start to work it into the crust with a pastry cutter, if you have one. You can use your hands, but be watchful if the butter starts to melt. If the butter starts to melt, place everything into the freezer for a few minutes so it will cool back down.
3One or two teaspoons at a time, add in the ice water and continue to work the dough. Continue this until the dough comes together into a ball - then *stop*.
4Divide the dough in half. wrap both halves in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. When it's ready, grab one of the dough balls and roll it out onto your pie plate. The one I have pictured is a 9.5 inch pie, but it should fit anywhere from a 9 to a 10 inch pie plate.
5Blind bake your crust for 10 - 15 minutes at 425. You can save the other half for another pie. Make sure to turn the oven back down to 350 after the pie crust is finished.
6Next, the apples. Pour the apple cider and the sugar into a large stockpot and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Core the apples (I used Honeycrisps for the one pictured) and cut each apple in half. Use a mandolin to slice the apples so that you end up with thin, half-moon shaped apple slices.
7Place the apple slices into the cider. Once all of the slices are in the cider, turn it to medium heat. Let the apples simmer at medium heat until you can roll them without tearing them, about 15 - 20 minutes.
8The custard I used for this is really just a basic buttermilk pie that's been altered slightly to fit into the crust and support the apples. In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and sugar.
9Place the eggs into your mixing bowl and slowly start to beat them. Slowly pour in the melted butter. When it's ready, add the flour mixture to your mixing bowl.
10Once everything is combined, add in the buttermilk and vanilla.
11Arrange your cooled, drained apple slices into rows of varying sizes. For the picture, I used 4 rows of 12, 4 rows of 10, 4 rows of 8 and 8 rows of 5 slices. The more slices in a row, the larger the rose bud will be.
12Pour the custard into your pie shell.
13Start with the larger rosebuds first.... Gently roll the apple slices into your rosebuds and place them into the custard. You may need another pair of hands to help them stand up while you continue to roll, or you can do what I did in the picture and press them down a little further into the custard so they will stand on their own (I was a little short on hands that day).
14Continue rolling your rosettes and placing them into the custard. I started with the largest, and then worked my way down, using the smallest to help fill in any gaps in space that came about.