To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and lard, and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to mix into a firm dough. Wrap in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220 C / Gas 7.
Roll out almost 2/3 of the pastry thinly and use to line a deep 23cm pie plate.
For the filling, mix the apples with the sugar and spices and pack into the pastry case. The filling can come up above the rim. Add the water if needed, particularly if the apples aren't very juicy. Roll out the remaining pastry to form a lid. Dampen the edges of the pie rim with water and position the lid, pressing the edges firmly together. Trim and crimp the edges.
Use the pastry trimmings to cut out shapes such as leaves, hearts and many more to decorate the pie. Glaze the top of the pie with the milk. Make 1 or 2 slits in the top and place the pie on a baking tray.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180 C / Gas 4 and bake until the pastry is light golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold. Sprinkle sugar on the top.