In a small bowl, combine 2 cups sliced apples with lemon juice; toss lightly. Set aside. Place remaining apples in a medium saucepan, along with ¼ cup apricot preserves, ⅓ cup sugar, Cognac, butter, lemon peel, spices, and raisins. Bring to boiling, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 to 35 minutes, or just until applesauce consistency. Cool 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F. Pour warm applesauce mixture into the bottom of unbaked pie shell. Arrange remaining apple slices, attractively, on top. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and apple slices are tender and glazed. Transfer to rack. In a small saucepan, heat remaining apricot preserves with the rest of the sugar, stirring until preserves are melted. Remove from heat. Brush over top of apples. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings