Back in high school I used to spend a week at a summer camp in Wisconsin. There used to be this farm stand (my mother would remember the name) that sold pies baked in an brown paper bag. We would always buy a few pies and the day that the last piece was was devoured was mildly heartbreaking. Since then I've been looking for a recipe to replicate it. I'd like to think that I found it.
Today I made the pie. It was the prettiest pie I've ever made in my life. It tasted pretty good too!
I have to admit that this pie has rendered me speechless. Jeff was pretty excited too.
What's so great about baking in a brown paper bag?? The way it caramelizes the crumbles on top. It was crispy, the fruit was tender, the crust was buttery and flaky, perfection.
Such a perfect way to enjoy fall fruit!
Brown Bag Apple Pie:
Recipe from King Arthur Flour
Recipe from King Arthur Flour
25 mins. to 40 mins.
60 mins. to 60 mins.
1 hrs 25 mins. to 1 hrs 40 mins.
9" pie, 8 to 10 servings
• 1 1/4 cups King Arthur Perfect Pastry Blend or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
• heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
• 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
• 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
• 3 1/2 to 4 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and sliced; enough to make 8 cups sliced apples
• ¾ cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons boiled cider, optional but tasty
• 3 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or ¼ cup Pie Filling Enhancer
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
• 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into pats
1) To make the crust: Whisk together the flour and salt, then work in the shortening until everything is well combined.
2) Work in the butter until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; some pieces of butter can be left a bit larger than the others.
3) Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing as you sprinkle the water onto the flour/fat.
4) When the dough is moist enough to hold together when you squeeze it, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough three or four times to bring it together, then pat it into a thick disk. Roll the disk on its edge, like a wheel, to smooth out the edges. This step will ensure your dough will roll out evenly, without a lot of cracks and splits at the edges later. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes, while you make the filling.
5) To make the filling: Put the sliced apples in a big microwave-safe bowl, and stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, lemon juice, and boiled cider.
6) Microwave the filling, uncovered, for 5 minutes. This softens the apples just a bit, and gets their juices flowing. Skip this step if you like; it's not critical, though we think it helps.
7) Stir in the flour or Pie Filling Enhancer.
8) Preheat the oven to 425°F.
9) Remove the crust from the refrigerator. If it's been chilling longer than 30 minutes, give it 10 minutes or so to warm up a bit. Roll it into a 12 1/2" to 13" circle.
10) Lightly grease a 9" pie pan, preferably one that's at least 1 1/2" deep, and lay the crust in the pan, settling it into place gently. Don't tug at it or stretch it; this could cause it to shrink as it bakes.
11) Spoon the filling into the crust.
11) To make the topping: Combine the sugar, flour, and butter, working them together until crumbly. Don't over-mix; you don't want the streusel to turn into a solid mass.
13) Spread the streusel atop the filling.
14) Place the pie in a brown paper grocery bag. If you're nervous about baking in a paper bag, see our tip about baking in parchment, above. Secure the bag closed; staples or uncoated paper clips work well for a paper bag.
15) Bake the pie for 1 hour.
16) Remove the pie from the oven, and carefully open it, avoiding any steam. Remove the pie, and set it on a rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Yield: one 9" pie, 8 to 10 servings.