To officially welcome my favorite month of the year, Gabe and I started a tradition with our little family. Apple Picking in the north GA mountains, stock a bag as full as we can get it, and make a Brown Bag Apple Pie with the loot...
Gabe grew up in the Milwaukee area, miles from where The Elegant Farmer and Brown Bag Apple Pie recipe originated. Before they got big and famous he would visit their farm every fall.
They actually sell the well known pies on their site, and let me tell you....
its the best apple pie you will ever have. Even the Wall Street Journal says so;)
No pie can really quite meet the standard of The Elegant Farmer,
but people have tried. We adapted this recipe:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup ice water
- (or you can cheat and buy frozen crusts like we do sometimes, but it won't be the same.)
5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thickly sliced
- (we used our apple farm apples-7medium - as long as you the pile high since they shrink down)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- Supplies: 9-inch aluminum pie pan, 1 medium-sized brown paper bag
Make the Crust: In a food processor combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and pulse until pea-sized pieces appear. Add the water and pulse briefly—it will still look crumbly. Transfer the crumbs to 2 pieces of parchment paper or foil and form into 2 disks. Wrap the discs with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out 1 disk to a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Keep rolling until the circle is at least 2 inches larger than your pan. Line the pie pan with the dough, letting the edge hang over a bit. Roll the second disk, place it on a sheet pan and chill it until you're ready to build your pie.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, toss the apple slices, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg together. Transfer to the pie shell and dot with the butter. Brush the edges of the dough with water. Cover with the rolled-out top crust and pinch the edges together, turning them under all around to make a thick edge. Press with fork around or pinch for decorative edge. We usually cut a few leaf shapes out of the top for venting.
Slide the pie into the brown paper bag, fold the top down, and staple bag shut. Place it on a sheet pan. Bake for 1 hour.
Remove the pie from the oven and cut a large circle in top of the bag. Return to the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes more.
Let the pie cool
as long as you can stand waiting at least 30 minutes before serving.
The poor pie didn't even last long enough to be admired. It was gone in a few days. Hope you get the chance to try this over the holidays. You will never go back to any other pie...