When I think about Thanksgiving, I automatically think of my family’s Thanksgiving dinner when I was growing up in Houston. My father was a golf pro, and he would work most of the day on Thanksgiving at his club and then come home, along with his crew, for a later dinner at our house. My uncle and his family lived in Houston at the time, and they would come to dinner, as well. It was always a large group, and because of that, I was relegated to the kids’ table along with my older cousins until I was at least 30. This still a point of contention years later because all the good stuff was happening at the adults’ table in the dining room.
My aunt and mother did all the cooking, most of the time not ever having an exact number of how many folks my dad and uncle were bringing with them to this dinner before hand. My aunt used to make this dessert, and the first time she brought it, she brought it in the paper bag. The unveil was stunning. Apple pie that makes its own crust while cooking in a paper bag.
When my mother made it the for the first time, she must have gone through a whole spray bottle of water, as to not burn down the house. I made it myself for the first time today, and almost put the Louisville Fire Department on alert in anticipation of a house fire.
Nothing caught on fire, and it worked just as it should. My kids were ever so thankful for a “homemade dessert” and told all their friends it was such a miracle, because their mother was not a baker. (That is the truth, and I will admit I was scared when I opened up the paper bag, wondering what I would find.) It worked perfectly and it is incredible. Thank you to my Aunt Lillie for the recipe and for the walk down memory lane.
Paper Bag Apple Pie
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. water
- 1/2 cup + 5 Tbsp. flour
- 6 sliced apples cored and peeled (I used Granny Smith)
- 1 uncooked pie crust
- 5 Tbsp butter softened
- Paper grocery bag
- cookie sheet
- spray bottle of water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Peel, core and slice your apples. Mix apples with 1 cup sugar, 5 Tbsp. flour, salt, cinnamon and water. Pour into uncooked pie crust.
- Mix 1/2 cup sugar, dash cinnamon, 1/2 cup flour, and 5 Tbsp. butter in a separate bowl. Dollop this mixture on top of the pie.
- Place pie into airtight paper bag. Staple bag closed and spray with water before and several times while cooking. The bag needs to stay damp so that it doesn't catch on fire in your oven.
- Place bagged pie on a cookie sheet to bake.
- Bake at 425 degrees for one hour.
- Serve a la mode or with whipped cream (we use Trader Joe's House Whip).
I used six medium size Granny Smith apples. You could also substitute Honey Crisp here or any other apple that is pretty packed with flavor.
Slice them into a size that will make for a comfortable bite. Add other ingredients.
This is the part where you start sampling.
Now you are making what will be your top crust. You can mix this with your hands, as well.
Pour it all into the pie crust.
Dollop the crust over the top and then take the remainder mixture and spread it evenly over the top. Don’t worry, this will turn out to be a crust even though it is not wet. Don’t ask me how.
Put in bag, remove excess air and staple shut. Then place this bagged pie on a cookie sheet, because it is going to leak through the bag and cause a big mess in your oven otherwise. Spray the entire bag with water to dampen. (Bag does not need to be soaking wet).
About every 10-15 minutes, spray the bag.
When you remove the bag from oven, you’ll hear the pie bubbling over inside. This is like an adult science fair project. Here is the big unveil:
Serve a la mode or with whipped cream. We used our favorite Trader Joe’s House Whip.
This pie is messy, so the picture is not perfect. But the taste is perfect, so don’t mind the mess.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our StyleBlueprint Readers. I am thankful for you every day.