Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the crust as above. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil to catch drippings and set aside.
*In a large Dutch oven, melt the 4 tbsp butter and add in the sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt over medium heat. When the mixture begins to bubble, add the apples and toss with the sugar mixture. Continuously toss the apples for about 5 minutes, just until they begin to release their juices.
Remove the apples from the heat. Stir the tapioca starch (or cornstarch) into the apples. To cool them quickly, spread them out onto a baking sheet. Allow to cool completely before filling the pie crust.
Prepare the bottom crust according to the recipe directions. Pile apples high in the bottom crust. Dot pieces of butter all over the top of the apples. Place top crust on top of apples (carefully wrap around rolling pin and unroll on top of apples). Remove excess crust overhanging on sides (my favorite tool for this is kitchen shears). Tuck the bottom crust into the top crust around the edges. Crimp as desired. Cut slits into the top crust to vent. Use scraps for decorations, if desired. (Scraps can also be wrapped well and stored in the fridge or freezer, to be used for one single-crust pie OR made into pie crust pastries--see below).
Brush the top crust with heavy cream or milk and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
Place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment (to prevent spills in your oven) and bake at 400° F for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 350° and continue to bake for 1 hour, shielding the edges with a pie crust shield or foil as necessary. If a knife inserted into the center gives no resistance, the pie is done. If there is resistance, continue baking at 10-minute intervals, checking after each, until apples are soft.
Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool for about an hour before serving. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream (or even a slice of cheddar cheese)!.
Store on the counter for 3-4 days (can also be stored in the fridge for the same time).
*To make pie crust pastries, simply brush each piece with leftover cream or milk and sprinkle each with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Place in the oven while pie is baking for about 10-12 minutes or until crisp. *It's not absolutely necessary to precook the filling. This pie will still be delicious without precooking. It may, however, have the gap between the crust and filling.