Paper Bag Apple Pie

Boy oh boy do I have a treat for you today. 

If you haven't already volunteered to bring apple pie to Thanksgiving dinner, you should go ahead and do that right now. 

And no need to call your grandma to ask her for the family recipe. I've got you covered with this Paper Bag Apple Pie. 

This is hands down my family's favorite pie. We have been making it for years and I can't believe I haven't shared it with you yet. While I appreciate a good pie crust, it usually isn't the reason I enjoy pie. I am all about the filling. This pie has a flaky bottom crust, a perfect apple filling, and is topped off with a crumble topping. The entire pie gets sealed up in a brown paper bag and goes into the oven. 

I still haven't totally figured out what the paper bag does other than trap in some steam to help the apples cook, but it is pure magic. 

I should mention that it is critically important to put the paper bag on a cookie sheet before putting it in the oven. Trust me, I learned the hard way that the bag will catch fire if it is not put on a cookie sheet (#lessonlearned). 

Feel free to use your favorite pie crust recipe for the bottom crust. I used to make this one but tried out an all vegetable shortening crust this time around and had claims that it was the best crust people have had. I'm just sayin'. 

When I made this pie to photograph it, I went ahead and made two so I could bring one over to a friend. Confession #1: my hubby and I got into the one with the pretty pie plate before I could snap any photos so you are left with photos of a pie in a disposable tin pie plate. Confession #2: I accidentally brought my friend the half-eaten one...whoops! 

I hope you all enjoy this pie with your families as much as I do with mine. Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Paper Bag Apple Pie

Makes 1 pie

Note: The crust recipe makes enough for two crusts. You can freeze the other one for later. 

Crust (original recipe can be found here)

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup vegetable shortening, well chilled

4 to 8 tablespoons cold water

Filling

4-5 granny smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Crumble Topping

1/2 cup non-dairy unsalted butter (I used Earth Balance)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1. For the crust: Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Sprinkle spoonfuls of chilled shortening over dry ingredients. Pulse until mixture resembles the size of lima beans. Add 4 tablespoons of the ice water to the mixture. Pulse just until mixture begins to form a ball. Gradually add additional water if necessary. Turn dough out onto a lightly flour surface. Form dough into a ball. Divide dough in half. Gently press each half into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out.

2. Place oven rack at the lower third of the oven (you need enough room so the paper bag doesn’t touch the top of the oven while it bakes). Preheat oven to 420 degrees.

3. Place all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.

4. Remove pie dough from refrigerator and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough to fit a 10-inch pie pan. Crimp edges. Place filling ingredients into pie crust.

5. Combine all of the topping ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a fork or your fingers, press the flour and sugar into the butter. Evenly spread topping over the filling. It is ok if the entire top isn’t covered, the topping spreads as the butter melts.

6. Place pie inside of a paper bag and seal shut with staples or paper clips. PLACE PAPER BAG ON A COOKIE SHEET. Bake for 1-1 1/2 hours until the crumble topping is lightly browned. Remove pie from paper bag. Allow pie to cool completely before enjoying.