Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Yesterday evening I made a quick run to the grocery section of the big-box retailer across the river. My mission was a sack of White Lily flour for the extraordinarily toothsome—if admittedly somewhat peculiar sounding—apple-pie-in-a-bag Myladylove was busy preparing. Flour and some French vanilla ice cream to go with the pie. 

After after a day spent working in the yard, we'd decided this wonderful pie, à la mode, would constitute our supper. Not merely dessert; the meal in its entirety. I figured, in order to make sure of covering my nutritional needs, I'd better count on partaking of seconds…possibly thirds.

Oh, I also needed to pick up a brown paper bag. Can't bake an apple-pie-in-a-bag if you always carry your groceries home in plastic.     

I will admit it is indeed handy, when such moods strike and you realize you're missing several critical ingredients, to have such a modern emporium nearby. Everything from dog treats to motor oil to a wedge of sharp cheddar available for the effort of a brief drive. Downstream, across the bridge, back upstream along the main thoroughfare which parallels the stream—though at a blessedly fair distance from the water. Perhaps a mile-and-a-half by road, or a third that from here as the crow flies.  

A short trip which takes you from our practically rural setting to garish, congested suburbia. Yet two worlds which remain unreservedly separated by a dense, hundred-yard band of old riparian woods along each bank. Plus, on the far side, a wide park beyond the trees, additionally bordered by a tangled weedfield, and finally an intervening hill that cuts off any sight or sound of highway traffic, businesses and their parking lots.

I do sometimes feel like Pa, on Little House on the Prairie, taking the buckboard and making the monthly, day-long journey to town for supplies. Except for me, it's three minutes each way.  

The sun was long down, light fast giving way to darkness. A waxing Hunter's Moon, nearing three-quarters full and bright as new silver, had rolled high above the trees. To the west, a painted sky was done up in autumnal oranges, reds, pinks, and yellows, decorated with hints of purple and blue. An undulating vee of geese, so far off they looked like a wavering cross-stitch on luminescent silk, appeared to be heading for the river beyond the hill.

When I reached the store's concrete façade, I was surprised by the sudden feel of it's radiated heat. Like walking close to an oven. Which reminded of the delectable pie soon to come and thus the necessity to hustle at my errand. 

In case the notion of baking your own apple-pie-in-a-bag strikes you as eminently worthwhile—and I assure you, your time will be well spent—here's Myladylove's recipe: 

6 or 7 medium apples, peeled and sliced (We used Winesap, but Granny Smith or your favorite baking variety works just as well.)
2 Tbs. flour
1/2 c. cane sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Mix flour, sugar, and cinnamon, then toss together with the readied apples. Place in 9-inch unbaked pie shell. (A little heaping is fine.)    

1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c. cane sugar
1/2 c. flour

Spread over apples on top, coating evenly. This becomes the pie's top shell. Using a baking sheet in case of over-bubbles, insert pie into brown paper bag. (Myladylove always places the bag on its side—horizontal instead of sitting upright.) Fold bag top closed and secure with paper clips or staples. Put on rack in the center of pre-heated 400˚ oven, taking care the paper bag doesn't come in contact with the oven's interior surface. Bake for 1 hour. Remove, cut away bag. Allow to cool to the level of your lip-pain tolerance…add whipped cream, ice cream, or nothing whatsoever should you prefer yours straight. Enjoy. Repeat as necessary.

And before you worry and ask…

No, the bag won't catch on fire.

No, baking in a brown paper bag doesn't give the pie a "funny" taste.

No, I haven't a clue who might have come up with such an odd baking method in the first place—or why—but it works, and scrumptiously well.                                         


Gail said...

HI GRIZZ - a perfect dish for an Autumn evening and it looks so scrumptious. And now that I have the recipe and the notion to cook it in a brown paper bag I am excited to do so. Thanks to you and your Lady Love. :-)
Love Gail

Grizz………… said...


It was perfect—and perfectly delicious! You'll enjoy doing this, and astound friends and family when you take the thing out of the hot oven in a paper bag.

Please note: I messed up in my original posting of the recipe. The second mix of melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon FORMS the second (top) crust. You DO NOT add a top crust. I have revised the post.

Gail said...

thanks for the update/clarity. I got it!! :-)
Love you

Carolyn H said...

boy, does it look scrumptious. So I have to ask, how does the pie in a bag taste different than a regular, homemade apple pie??

Grizz………… said...


Sheesh! Couldn't believe I messed that up…but glad I caught it early.

Grizz………… said...

Carolyn H…

It is scrumptious…or in the case of the pie in my pix, was scrumptious, as it's now only a delicious memory.

Humm…I don't know that I can answer your question re. a taste difference. There is one, certainly—but this is so subjective. There are just so many variables. Variety of apples used, thickness of slices, spices, etc. Sometimes you might add a bit of dark brown sugar. In some ways maybe more like an apple cobbler, and less like those "regular" pies where every apple slice is defined, barely cooked, still almost a little crunchy. Does that make sense? Less sweet than some pies, but more bubbly and gooey-good than others, perhaps.

I'm not so much a critic and connoisseur of apple pies as a devoted fan who might allow that while all apple pies are worthwhile, some are more worthwhile than others. The only way to know is try one out for yourself—you can't go wrong. It will still be an apple pie!

Carolyn H said...


The topping for your bag pie sounds like what I put in my apple crisp. Lots of people make apple crisp with oats. I don't let those near my apple crisp.

Grizz………… said...

Carolyn H…

I've never made apple crisp, but remember a friend's neighbor, a German Baptist lady, often brought a dish over for him and his wife—and I occasionally lucked out and happened to be there to share. And now that you've reminded me, it does seem fairly similar. BTW, even without having apple crisp making experience, I don't think I'd like the oats version.