Easy brown bag apple pie with a delicious crumb topping and flaky pie crust. The brown bag helps seal in all of the delicious flavors and leaves you with the best apple pie you’ve ever tried.
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Apple Pie in a Brown Paper Bag
This is one of those recipes that I have to make every fall. It takes a little more time to whip up, but it’s oh so worth it. The crust is crispy, the filling is caramelized and the crumb topping is golden and buttery. If I’m looking for a quicker apple dessert, usually I’ll make an easy apple crisp, apple crumble recipe or apple dump cake.
This brown bag apple pie is so easy and is absolutely delicious. My friend Nicole first brought it to my home last year for Thanksgiving dinner and I knew I needed to get the recipe to share with you. It comes from her grandma and tastes like the most wonderful homemade apple dessert.
Anyone can learn to make this recipe. It’s pretty simple (as far as pie making goes) and turns out amazing every time! We drizzled a little salted caramel and added homemade ice cream on top. Seriously divine and the crumble topping is amazing.
This apple pie consists of three major components: a crust, a filling, and a streusel topping, but uses nearly the same ingredients in each.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Apples: The star of this dessert and rightly so. I like to use a mixture of granny smith and honey crisp to really make this pie shine.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar offers just the right amount of sweetness to balance the tart apples.
- Flour: All-purpose does its job in the crust and topping.
- Butter: This acts as a binder for the crumbly topping.
- Spice: Cinnamon and nutmeg add just the right amount of warmth to the apples.
- Milk + oil: These provide the necessary liquid to make the crust flakey.
Why Bake Apple Pie In A Paper Bag?
Using this brown bag method really does make this the best apple pie you’ve ever tried. Below are a few reasons why:
- It helps seal in all the yummy juices and flavors.
- The filling gets caramelized and tender, while the crumble toppings gets golden.
- The pie crust doesn’t over bake and has the perfect crispy and flaky texture.
Of course you can always take the traditional route and use a classic recipe for Dutch apple pie, but using this easy brown bag method is definitely worth a shot!
How to Make Apple Pie in a Bag
- CRUST. Make the dough for the pie crust (or use store-bought pie dough), then press the dough into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Do not roll it out.
- FILLING. To make the apple pie filling, mix together the sugar, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. You can use regular sugar or brown sugar. I like to do 1/2 and 1/2. Gently toss the mixture with the sliced apples, then let them sit for about 10 minutes. Then pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell.
- CRUMBLE. Add flour, butter and sugar to a bowl and use your fingers (or a fork) to mix together until crumbly. Then sprinkle the mixture on top of the apple filling.
- BAKE. Place the pie in a brown paper bag and staple it shut. Then bake the pie in the oven at 350°F for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and slit the bag open with a knife. Then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Don’t roll out the pie dough. Pat the dough into the bottom and sides of the dish with your fingers. If you need to smooth it out, you can use the back of a hot metal spoon to gently push down and smooth out the surface.
- Keeping the bag from burning. Since the oven is at a lower heat, the paper bag won’t burn as it cooks. When you place it on the rack, just make sure it’s not touching the heating element (or else it could burn that way). You can also place the bag on a baking sheet.
- No peeking! The beauty of the brown bag method is that it helps seal in all those delicious juices and flavors. As tempting as it can be, don’t open the bag while the pie is cooking. Let it work it’s magic!
You honestly can use any type of apple when making this recipe. My favorites to use are granny smith and honey crisp because of their sweet taste and crisp texture. However there are plenty of others that would work too, such as Braeburn, Cortland, Golden Delicious, or Jonathan.
The best way to ensure your pie cooks evenly is to evenly slice your apples 1/4-inch thick.
No biggie. If your pie dish is bigger, you may need to add more filling and make a little more dough to cover the whole dish.
Looking for more seasonal pie favorites? This apple cranberry pie is one of our favorites with juicy apples and fresh cranberries!
More Apple Desserts
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Brown Bag Apple Pie
- 1 pie dish
- 1 paper grocery bag
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ cup oil
- 2 Tablespoons cold milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar , or brown sugar (could also do 1/2 each)
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 cups sliced apples
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup salted butter , softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
Optional toppings: Vanilla ice cream and/or Caramel sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, oil, and milk until well combined Pat mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Do not roll out. (To smooth it out, use the back of a hot metal spoon and gently push down to smooth evenly.)
- In another medium bowl, stir sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss lightly with sliced apples. Let sit 10 minutes for sugar mixture to melt onto the apples. Pour into the unbaked pie shell.
- In a small bowl, mix flour, butter, and sugar with your fingers or a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over pie. You’ll want to bake soon before the butter mixture softens too much.
- Place pie in brown paper bag and staple shut. Bake 1 1/2 hours. (If oven bakes hot, reduce to 325 degrees. No peeking.) Slit the bag open with sharp knife. Remove pie from oven and let cool completely so it thickens, about 4 hours.
- Serve the pie with vanilla ice cream and caramel on top, if desired.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Hi Jamie, yesterday (Sunday) I made your Brown Bag Apple Pie, WOW, Beautiful. I already love making Pie and eating it, and so does my family; its a gift and a pleasure to be able to construct PIE in any flavour, its an act of love. Anyway my point is we loved it, we cannot believe it turned out so lovely, we are going to use this method to try other flavours and combinations
Thank you for such an amazing recipe!
Made it many times always turned out
Glad to hear it’s been a success! :)
Can I make a “bag” out of parchment paper instead of using a brown bag?
I have not tried this, let me know if you do. The purpose of the brown bag is to trap the steam and makes the apples extra juicy.
Best apple pie I’ve ever had. The crust melts in your mouth. Excellent recipe, thanks so much for sharing!
I’m so happy to hear you loved it! Thanks for your comment and review, Vanessa :)
I made this many times way back in the sixties. THE best apple pie ever!
Love it! It really is the best! :)
I’ve made this pie for over 30 years and ALWAYS get told it’s the best apple pie people have ever had. It’s the perfect combination of easy and delicious. Also, I’ve never seen this recipe since I found it in a cookbook in 1990.
This comment just made my day! I’m so happy it’s always a hit! :)
Do you make the slit in the bag before baking?
Nope! Place the pie in the bag and then staple shut and bake for 1.5 hours (no peeking). Then slit the bag open and remove the pie from the oven to cool for about 4 hours.
Can this pie be baked in a Reynolds oven bag?
I’m not sure! I’ve never heard of anyone using a Reynolds oven bag for pie. Please let us know how it goes if you give it a try.
Absolutely amazing! A no-roll crust and the smell of the bag baking had me skeptical, but upon opening the bag, I found a perfectly baked pie! …and it got rave reviews from all who ate it! Your recipe yielded a tender flaky crust, perfectly cooked apples, and a sweet crumb topping! I can’t wait to make it again! …and eat it again! (Side note: I did add some vanilla to the apples, so I added a little cornstarch to absorb the liquid, otherwise followed your recipe to a T.) Excellent recipe – Thanks!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the pie! Thank you for your comment and review Jenny. :)
This is such a cool method! I am so glad I tried it. The pie baked up so beautifully and it was like unwrapping a yummy present when it came out of the oven!