5.05.2011

The Thrifted Kitchen {Paper Bag Apple Pie}


Many moons ago I remember watching an episode of "Throwdown With Bobby Flay" on Food Network where he challenged two older gentlemen (I think they were brothers) who made what were recognized as the best apple pies in that part of the country. However, it wasn't the actual pie that was interesting to me, it was the way they cooked it: in paper bags! I'd never seen that method before.


All this excitement came rushing back when I was leafing through one of my thrifted recipe boxes and found a recipe called "Paper Bag Pie" scribbled on an aged note card. I made it this week, and let me tell you...it was soooo good! The pie was gooey in the middle and crunchy and caramelized on top. I topped it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and thought that things just couldn't get any better. :)


And now, my dear readers, I bring it to you today in the hopes you'll have just as much fun with this old-but-new-to-me cooking technique!

Paper Bag Pie
Yields one 9-inch pie

One unbaked pie shell (I used a frozen one I had in the freezer, letting it thaw to room temperature)
Paper grocery bag

Filling:
   3 apples (I used Granny Smith), peeled and sliced
   3/4 cup sugar
   2 tablespoons flour
   1 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping:
   1/2 cup sugar
   1/2 cup flour
   1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine sliced apples, sugar, flour and cinnamon. Place into pie shell. In another bowl, combine sugar and flour. Cut in butter with knives or a pastry blender until fine crumbs form. Spoon topping onto filling.

Place pie in paper bag, folding the open end under to create a seal. Place directly onto oven rack and back for one hour.

* Notes: First off, don't get nervous if it smells like something is faintly burning (unless of course you see smoke coming from the oven!). I'd never put a paper bag in the oven and was worried about it going up in flames, but mine was fine. I guess that's just the smell when it's being heated like that!

Second, some recipes say to put it on a cookie sheet first, which I might do next time. When I got the pie out some of the sugary topping had fallen off and was burnt onto the bottom of the bag, and a cookie sheet might help prevent that.

Let me know if you give it a whirl! I'd love to hear how it went! 

{Images by me}

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