Add butter and apples to large, wide skillet over medium heat. Toss until apples are coated with melted butter.
Stir in both sugars, spices and salt. Bring to a simmer, then cook until apples are starting to soften, about 4-5 minutes.
In the meantime, combine water, cornstarch and apple cider vinegar in a measuring jug until no lumps remain.
Pour cornstarch mixture over the softened apples and carefully stir. Bring to a simmer, then simmer until filling has thickened and apples are tender. Cool before using in your favorite 9-inch pie crust.
Apples: I know many people swear by Granny Smith apples for apple pie filling, and I will admit: They are very tasty. My kids do not go for tart apples though, so I always use Gala and they work just fine for a more mild apple pie filling.
Apple cider vinegar: Don't worry, this will not make the filling taste of vinegar. It does give the whole thing some extra oomph though, and I can always tell the difference between an apple pie made with a touch of apple cider vinegar in the filling. It's just extra delicious!
Apple pie spice: If you don't have this on hand, use a blend of ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and pinches of ground allspice, ginger, cloves and a pinch of nutmeg (you can use a blend of any of these spices you have on hand, just be cautious and don't use too much of the spices called for by pinches). Or just use more cinnamon.
Make sure to fully whisk the cornstarch into the water before adding it to the apples - otherwise you'll end up with a lumpy filling.
It's also very important to stir the cornstarch slurry into the filling immediately - don't let it sit in one blob, or again, you'll have a lumpy filling.
Slice the apples evenly, otherwise you'll have pieces that are still firm and pieces that turn into mush. The exact size you cut your apples into is up to your preferences though: I like them best in about ¼ inch wedges. But I know others who prefer them in smaller pieces, or even diced. Almost anything goes, as long as you cut them all the same. Keep in mind: If you're slicing the apples much larger or much smaller than ¼ inch, you'll need to adjust the cooking time.
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