Paper Bag Apple Pie

Paper Bag Apple Pie

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Servings 8



  • 1 1/4 cups pastry flour blend or King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt heaping
  • 3 tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter cold, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 4-5 tbsp ice water


  • 3 1/2-4 pounds apples peeled, cored, and sliced. Enough to make 8 cups sliced apples
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp boiled cider optional but tasty
  • 3 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 8 tbsp butter cold, cut into pats


To Make the Crust:

  • Whisk together the flour and salt, then work in the shortening until everything is well combined.
  • Work in the butter until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; some pieces of butter can be left a bit larger than the others.
  • Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing as you sprinkle the water onto the flour/fat.
  • When the dough is moist enough to hold together when you squeeze it, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough three or four times to bring it together, then pat it into a thick disk. Roll the disk on its edge, like a wheel, to smooth out the edges. This step will ensure your dough will roll out evenly, without a lot of cracks and splits at the edges later. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes, while you make the filling.

To Make the Filling:

  • Put the sliced apples in a big microwave-safe bowl, and stir in the brown sugar,cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, lemon juice, and boiled cider.
  • Microwave the filling, uncovered, for 5 minutes. This softens the apples just a bit, and gets their juices flowing. Skip this step if you like; it's not critical,though we think it helps.
  • Stir in the flour or Pie Filling Enhancer.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Remove the crust from the refrigerator. If it's been chilling longer than 30 minutes,give it 10 minutes or so to warm up a bit. Roll it into a 12 1/2" to 13" circle.
  • Lightly grease a 9" pie pan, preferably one that's at least 1 1/2" deep, and lay the crust in the pan, settling it into place gently. Don't tug at it or stretch it; this could cause it to shrink as it bakes.
  • Spoon the filling into the crust.

To Make the Topping:

  • Combine the sugar, flour, and butter, working them together until crumbly. Don't over-mix; you don't want the streusel to turn into a solid mass.
  • Spread the streusel atop the filling.
  • Place the pie in a brown paper grocery bag. If you're nervous about baking in a paper bag, see our tip about baking in parchment, above. Secure the bag closed; staples or uncoated paper clips work well for a paper bag. Place the pie in its bag on a baking sheet, which will make it easier to handle.
  • Bake the pie for 1 hour.
  • Remove the pie from the oven, and carefully open it, avoiding any steam. Remove the pie, and set it on a rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Keyword Apple, Flour, Lemon