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Apple Pie in a Brown Paper Bag

Image by Just Add Ink


It sounds bizarre to say this but one of my favorite things to smell cooking is a brown paper bag. Nothing was more exciting than coming home from school to the smell of a paper bag cooking in the oven. Those were the days my mom was baking Apple Pie En Papillote (in a paper bag), easily one of my family’s favorite desserts.

When I could, I would sit and watch my mom through the entire process: rolling the crust to perfect thinness, patiently hand peeling the skin off the apples with one of our crappy knives, sweetening the apples (then of course she and I would both taste test to make sure they were okay), and then crumbling the delicious butter and brown sugar mixture all over the top. She would use the side of one of our butter knives to flute the edges before sliding the pie into a big brown grocery bag and stapling it shut. I felt like the process took hours to complete (little kid time, you know how that goes) but that just made the pie even more delicious.

The first time I was old enough to make the pie with my mom, I almost had to throw in the towel because my hand was cramping up during the peeling process. INow I’m (almost) a pro. I have to confess it took me years to get it right. Not that it wasn’t delicious the first time I attempted to make it without my mom, but it wasn’t even close to as good as hers used to be. Maybe it was the blood, sweat and tears she poured into hand peeling all those apples. My apple peeler-corer-slicer from Pampered Chef doesn’t exactly require the same amount of dedication.

My lastest effort this last week was by far my best, despite a little mishap of a smoldering hole forming in the bag. Luckily my boyfirend noticed that the kitchen smelled much more like fire than usual and we quickly transfered the pie to a new bag. Let me assure you, that’s the first time that ever happened to me and I think there was something on the bag so don’t worry, it’s a rare occurance.

Image by Edgar

Regardless of whether you hand peel or not, bake it with someone else or try it solo, please share this recipe with the ones you love. I hope your families love it as much as mine does!

Apple Pie En Papillote (in a paper bag)
From Too Many Good Recipes by Kerry Amormino
Yield 8-10 servings

Ingredients
Filling
2 1/2 lbs tart cooking apples, cut into chunks
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Dash nutmeg

Crust
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp shortening
5 to 6 tbsp ice water

Topping
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar

Toss apples and lemon juice. Combine remaining 5 ingredients. Toss well with apples.

Combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add ice water and stir with fork.

Roll out and line 9″ pie plate. Make a high fluted edge. Spoon apples into pastry.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour, butter, brown sugar and sugar. Stir until smooth paste forms. Dollop over apples, then spread to cover.

Place pie in large brown bag and stape or cip closed. Place on center rack in over. BE SURE that ag does not touch top or sides of over.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Cool on rack in bag 10 minutes. Carefully cut bag and remove pie.

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One Response to “Apple Pie in a Brown Paper Bag”

  1. Foxy says:

    Great Recipe. I’m happy to say that this was the first pie I’ve ever baked… and I think I pulled it off quite nicely. It tastes great and John approved. Thanks for sharing.

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