I'd like you to meet someone. It's your new favorite pie. If you've never heard of a Brown Bag Apple Pie, think of a simple vanilla spiked pat-in crust, a luscious cinnamon laced apple filling covered with a buttery streusel topping, all baked inside of a paper grocery bag so that it gently steams and the sugars carmelize. This is "THE" apple pie, the one you'll be making again and again. It's the pie everyone will be requesting for years to come. It's the pie that sent reader "Lucky" on a wild goose chase (or should I say pie chase?) through Ohio. Here's what she wrote in the comment section
Monday, November 23, 2009
"Brown bag apple pie! I can't wait! My husband once sent us on a chase all through Ohio Amish country looking for one because he had seen it on some news segment years ago...the only clue he had was that it should only take a tank of gas to get there from Cleveland and you buy the pie from a restaurant on a hill. We found it, but it would be much easier if I could make one at home!"
Oh, yes. You can make it at home and save yourself a tank of gas in the process.
But I also wanted to share this pie for my cousin Julie, who was hunting for a good recipe. I didn't know cousin Julie very well growing up, when we were only a few minutes apart geographically. I was an obnoxious, wild maniac kind of short haired, tough-skin kid, and Julie was wise and reserved, hiding under a brown bag of shyness. I saw glimmers growing up, but I really didn't know how hilarious, witty, open, deep-thinking, inspiring, and intelligent Julie was. Now I know, so she's stuck with me in her blogging backpocket for life. Prudy plus cousin Julie, BFFs. See for yourself, right here.
And now for Lucky, Julie, and the rest of you all, let's make that pie. This is the world's simplest crust; just grab a clean-handed nearby kid to press it into the pan for you. These are Sailor's hands. Sometimes I use her hands in pictures and readers think that they are my hands. Mine are old and haggard and they are coming up in later pictures. I don't want to take credit for young, nubile hands.
Next you peel and prep the apples, coating them with cinnamon and sugar. Pour it into your crust and pat it down. These are the old hands I was telling you about, the ones that need Palmolive Madge to come over and give her some pointers.
Sprinkle the topping over the apples. Place the pie in a brown bag. Ask your grocer for a plain brown bag, or use an old paper gift bag. Secure the bag with staples and place the bagged pie on a cookie sheet. Bake for two hours without peeking. Peel back the bag.
Watch out for steam and bubbling, caramelized juices.
Don't wait for Turkey day; devour it on the spot. You can always make another one.
Apple Pie in a Brown Bag
Estimated Cost: $5.00
Notes: Position your rack to the lowest spot in the oven.
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
5 medium baking apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced ( I like Granny Smith for this pie.)
2tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into bits
Preheat oven to 350. Blend all crust ingredients in a large bowl. Pat into nine inch dish. Wipe out bowl with paper towel. Blend filling ingredients in same bowl. Pour into pie crust and pat apples down. Wipe out same bowl with paper towels. Combine flour and sugar for topping in same bowl. Cut in butter with pie cutter or knives. Sprinkle over apples in pie. Place pie in brown bag. Staple bag shut or secure with paper clips and place on cookie sheet . Bake on lowest rack in preheated oven at 350 for two hours. NO PEEKING. Also, PLEASE make sure that your bag is not touching the sides or top of the oven. There may be a slight paper burning smell, and that's just fine. Remove from oven and let stand for ten minutes. Carefully remove from bag, watching out for steam. Serve nice and warm, if possible, or make it a day early and reheat it by the slice in the microwave.
PS Last night it was daring and dashing West, so I didn't have to make any cumbersome appearances behind him on stage. I wore a long, dark winter coat, just in case. If you don't understand a word I just said, scroll down and read yesterday's post.
PSS There are only THREE days left to vote at French's. Click here. And bless your little ol' voting hearts.
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