Brown Bag Apple Pie.

Oh, how the desserts overfloweth at our house right now! I post dessert recipes a lot so I feel the need to reassure you folks that we do eat actual food. Meals without sugar. Really. In fact, this is another pie that I didn’t eat, besides a quick bite to see if it was done. I feel sugared out. But I love homemade cookies and desserts. I wish I could make a batch of just 3 cookies or so.

Maybe I should make cookies/desserts like normal and pack up what I don’t want to eat and distribute it to the masses (aka friends and family)? Good idea, Haley.

Here is a recipe for a pie that I’ve made for a couple of years. That’s actually a lie. I lost the original recipe so I found one online. After making this yesterday I am going to change several things about it, so I don’t feel bad claiming it as my own. That’s how recipes work right?

The key to the deliciousness of this pie is the brown bag. You literally toss, gently, the pie into a brown grocery bag, fold it up a couple of times, and staple or paper clip it. Then you toss, gently, the bag into the oven. Don’t be worried about that burning smell coming from your oven…well, don’t ignore it completely. I’ve never had a bag catch on fire but it will smell a little smokey. It will be a slightly charred when it’s all said and done, just make sure the bag isn’t directly touching any of the oven walls or burners. The bag holds a lot of moisture and “marinades” the pie. The result: An evenly cooked, nicely browned, to-die-for apple pie.

Also, you might notice in these pics, my pie looks a little flat. I didn’t use as many apples as normal and I chopped them way too small. I’m not sure why either of those things occurred as I had leftover apples. I just got to chopping and one thing led to another. You should get a good little mound going in your pie plate and also have either slices or bigger chunks of apple. Otherwise it will turn into Brown Bag Apple Mush Pie…which mine was certainly boarding on. The pie was still good. You can’t go too wrong with butter and sugar as the main ingredients BUT apples in an apple pie should be tart and have a little substance when you slice into them.

So here’s the basic recipe, followed by one other crumb topping I like. I use my own pie crust, I’ll include that recipe too. Feel free to use a pre-made crust or your own beloved crust recipe.

Buttery, Flakey Pie Crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced

1/4 cup ice water

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight (or pop in the freezer for a while).
  2.  Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. (This time, I took the dough out of the freezer and using my hands, spread it into the pie plate…worked just fine…not as pretty, but tasted just as good.)

Brown Bag Apple Pie, ready to be baked.

 Brown Bag Apple Pie

8 to 10 Granny Smith apples, pared, cored and sliced or cubed
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick butter
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Add this mixture to apples and mix well. Place in unbaked crust.
  2. Cut the butter into sugar and flour until very crumbly, spread over apples in pie crust. Add raisins and nuts if desired.
  3. Place into heavy brown paper bag. Seal with staples or paper clips. Bake 1 hour at 425 degrees. Remove from bag at once and sit on rack to cool.

Oatmeal Crumble Topping (another option for a yummy crumble topping)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg.
  2. Blend the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spread over apples in pie crust.

Eat & enjoy.

p.s. happy new year. don’t make resolutions you won’t keep. you’ll only feel crappy.

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