Paper Bag Apple Pie

24 Mar

You may be wondering why I decided to make an apple pie in March. Isn’t apple pie something that’s made when apples are at their peak in the fall? Yes.


I chose to make an apple pie in March to honor the memory of my grandpa. I never had the opportunity to know him because he was taken at far too young of an age, but I know that he was a one of a kind guy. He was a hard worker who owned an apple orchard, a devoted husband to my wonderful grandma, and a loving dad to my amazing mom. Grandpa George would have been 100 years old today! That milestone deserves something special. Something akin to making the world’s best apple pie! The apple orchard has since been turned into housing developments but the cider mill remains under new ownership and grandpa George’s memory lives on.


So let’s talk about the world’s best apple pie. It’s baked in a paper bag. I’m not sure exactly what the paper bag does to it, but it’s something good. It is unlike any apple pie I’ve ever tasted.

The pie starts with a delicious flaky bottom crust.


The crust is then filled with lightly sweetened apples.

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The topping is created by dolloping a combination of butter, sugar, and flour over top.

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Place the whole thing in a paper bag, place it on a cookie sheet (this is a VERY important step), stick it in the oven and let it do its thing.



While the memory of grandpa George is something that lives on every day, today I’m making it extra sweet.


The Crust (note: this makes enough for two single crust pies, freeze half for later)

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

6-8 tablespoons ice water

The 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

The Topping

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened but still cold

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the crust: Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Sprinkle the butter pieces over dry ingredients. Pulse until mixture resembles the size of lima beans. Add 6 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 hour. Remove pie from paper bag. Allow pie to cool completely before enjoying.


3 Responses to “Paper Bag Apple Pie”

  1. Sue dickey March 25, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    This apple pie looks to die for. I need to make something exceptional as a heartfelt, thinking of you gift for different occasions. I believe I have found it. Thank you.

    • rpnorman March 26, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

      Happy I could help! Thanks for stopping by and reading 🙂


  1. No-Sugar Added Pumpkin Pie | deliciousbalance - November 24, 2014

    […] drop, I crave comfort food. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the warm comfort  of my Paper Bag Apple Pie, slathering some butter on my Maple-Thyme Parmesan Biscuits, or indulging in some Toasted Oatmeal […]

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