Paper Bag Apple Pie

While I am getting towards the bottom of my giant bag of apples from NH, there’re still enough for a few more recipes, including this one, an apple pie you bake in a bag.

(I didn't end up needing one of the big ones and one of the small ones.)

I’ve never been super confident when making pie crust (I usually just buy them), so I was relieved that this pie has a streusel top, so at least I only had to make one crust. The bottom crust turned out to be pretty easy, actually, and the coworkers I shared the pie with thought it was good. Success!

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups 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

Filling:

  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and sliced; enough to make 8 cups sliced apples
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons boiled cider, or apple juice concentrate
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Streusel topping:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into pats

Start the crust by whisking together the flour and salt. Work the shortening in with a pastry blender or your fingers until well combined. Work the butter in until the mixture is unevenly crumbly, with some butter pieces still a bit larger than others.

Add the water one tablespoon at a time, stirring as you sprinkle. When the dough is moist enough that it holds together when squeezed, stop adding water and knead it three or four times to bring it together. I just did this in the bowl so I didn’t have to clean another surface, and it worked fine. Pat it into a thick disk, then roll the edge of the disk on a counter to smooth out the edges. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight. I did this much at 11:30pm, then got up at 5am to finish the pie so I could bring it to work. Oof.

When you’re ready to make the filling, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put all the filling ingredients into a big bowl and stir. I found out at 5am I didn’t have lemon juice, so ended up just replacing it with more apple juice concentrate, and nothing exploded, nor did the apples get overly browned.

If you do refrigerate the dough for more than half an hour, take it out about halfway through cutting apples, so it has 10 minutes to warm back up before you use it.

Microwave the filling uncovered for 5 minutes.

While the apples are in the microwave you can start rolling out the dough into a 12 1/2″ -13″ circle.

Rolling into a circle is a rough concept for me.

Lightly grease a 9″ pie pan and lay the crust gently into the pan.

Spoon/pour the filling into the crust.

Make the streusel topping by working together all the ingredients with a pastry blender or your fingers until crumbly. Don’t overwork or it’ll turn into a solid lump. Sprinkle the streusel over the filling.

Use your fingers to form a little moat wall with the edge of the pie crust, removing any huge extra chunks.

At this point, if you have a brown paper supermarket bag, put the pie in that and staple or paperclip the end shut. If you don’t have a bag, you can just staple two pieces of parchment around the pie. Please, please, don’t use wax paper. If you’re not aware, you’re not supposed to bake with wax paper. It isn’t meant to withstand high heat and will get fumes all up in your baked goods.

Bake for one hour.

Looks delicious!

Cut open the bag, lifting the flap you cut so that it’s aimed away from you so that you don’t get burnt by any steam that may be inside.

Remove the pie from the bag and cool for at least half an hour before slicing. After about half an hour it was still hot, but I had to go to work in the rain, so I (very loosely) wrapped it with foil, but poked holes in that and didn’t close the sides so that it could steam/cool without the top getting soggy. Carried the pie in one hand and an umbrella in the other for half an hour! Learned something about my own arm strength (–that I don’t have any in my right arm).

I really liked the crunch (and the sugaryness) of the streusel. I thought the filling was a bit too nutmeggy, but I was the only one that thought so, and I’m always strongly anti-nutmeg, so that’s probably just my problem.

If you think any of this pie made it back home…you are mistaken.

Paper Bag Apple Pie

Lightly adapted from King Arthur Flour.

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups 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

Filling:

  • 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 (I used some leftover frozen apple juice concentrate)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Streusel topping:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into pats

Make the crust by whisking together the flour and salt. Work the shortening in with a pastry blender or your fingers until well combined. Work the butter in until the mixture is unevenly crumbly, with some butter pieces still a bit larger than others. Add the water one tablespoon at a time, stirring as you sprinkle. When the dough is moist enough that it holds together when squeezed, stop adding water and knead it three or four times to bring it together. Pat it into a thick disk, then roll the edge of the disk on a counter to smooth out the edges. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.

When you’re ready to make the filling, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Stir together all the filling ingredients in a large bowl.

If the dough has been refrigerated for more than half an hour, take it out about halfway through cutting apples, so it has 10 minutes to warm back up before use.

 Microwave the filling uncovered for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, roll out the dough into a 12 1/2″ -13″ circle. Lightly grease a 9″ pie pan and lay the crust gently into the pan. Spoon the microwaved filling into the crust.

Make the streusel topping by working together all the ingredients with a pastry blender or your fingers until crumbly and then sprinkling over the filling.

Use your fingers to form a little moat wall with the edge of the pie crust, removing any extra crust.

Place the pie in a brown paper supermarket bag or make a pouch out of two sheets of parchment. Either way, seal with staples or paperclips, then bake one hour.

Cut open the bag, avoiding any steam that may be inside.

Remove the pie from the bag and cool for at least half an hour before slicing.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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One Response to Paper Bag Apple Pie

  1. Pingback: French Silk Pie | sparecake

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