Apple Pie in a Bag

Apple Pie baked in a brown paper bag

Apple Pie baked in a brown paper bag

It’s getting closer to the big day, you know what day I’m talking about, right? Thanksgiving, of course. It’s my most special meal, well it seems every meal is my most special meal, but this one definitely is. In fact, I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.  It’s the one day I will eat with reckless abandon. For me it’s a food version of a perfect storm. Every food I consider to be one of my favorites will make an appearance at my Thanksgiving table.

I embrace this holiday not just for the food, but for the fact that I truly am thankful for the food, and for my family.

I was speaking to my sister-in-law, Wanda the other day and she told me about a pie she makes that is my brother’s favorite. Since Apple Pie is a requisite for any Thanksgiving dinner I thought I would try it out before the big day. I was intrigued because this pie was baked in a brown paper grocery bag. She said that the bag kept the crust from over browning and that the apples became soft and tender and stayed juicy. Hmmmm, sounds like Mama needed to give this a try. Well Wanda, I was quite pleased with the results. I used a pre-made crust for this pie, but hey, if you’ve got the energy then go ahead and make your own crust.

Apple Pie baked in a bag

Apple Pie baked in a bag

Apple Pie in a Bag 

  • 7 crisp, tart apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sugar – divided
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 stick, unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 box pre-made refrigerated pie crust, 2-9″ crusts
  • 1 large brown paper grocery bag


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.  Peel, core and thinly slice your apples placing them in a large bowl. As you slice them, sprinkle a teaspoon or so of the sugar mixture over the apples to coat them so they won’t turn brown as you slice them. When all the apples are sliced and in the bowl, spoon in the remainder of the sugar mixture and toss to coat all the apples.
  2. Place one of the 9″ crusts into a 9″ pie dish. You may need to roll it out a little, so you should do that on a piece of parchment paper.  Spoon the apple mixture on top of the crust.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 stick of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Pour this mixture over the apple mixture.
  4. Place the remaining crust on top of the pie. You may have to roll it out a little so that it fits over the pie. Seal the edges of the 2 crusts together. With a sharp pairing knife, poke 5-6 slits on top of crust so that the steam can escape.
  5. Place the pie into a large brown paper grocery bag and then staple the ends shut.
  6. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Leave pie in bag for 5 minutes after removing from the oven.
Apple Pie baked in a bag

Apple Pie baked in a bag

Mama’s Tips

I sprinkled my apples with a teaspoon of the sugar mixture as I sliced them. The sugar mixture kept the apples from turning brown.

When pie is done baking, if you like a browner pie crust, remove the pie from bag and bake a few minutes more til browned on top.

Place bagged pie on a cookie sheet to avoid messy spills in the oven while baking.

Removing Apple Pie from the paper bag

Removing Apple Pie from the paper bag

Recipe: Easy

54 Comments on “Apple Pie in a Bag”

  1. Jenni says:

    Maybe a silly question, but the bag won’t catch on fire?

  2. thebrookcook says:

    I have made MANY MANY pies and have never come across a recipe to bake it in a bag! 🙂 It looks so beautiful, I might have to try it!! Did you brown your pie a little more after removing it from the bag? Thanks.

    • Mama's Gotta Bake says:

      I know, I never heard of baking a pie in a bag, but my sister-in-law said she had been doing it for years. Anyway, it came out good, and I did brown mine for a few minutes.

  3. Just yesterday I was skimming through the latest issue of Cooking Light and I actually saw something on apple pie in a bag! So interesting! This is a great post. 🙂

  4. PigLove says:

    mmmm – apple pie. My favorite!! I’ll take a slice… or the entire pie 🙂 XOXO – Bacon

  5. Rosa M Lillo says:

    Wow, Sheryl, you never stop amazing me! This bag thing I must try and soon!
    Great pie, BTW

  6. cloverleaf says:

    I’m traveling, but as soon as I get home, I’m making this pie! What a fun recipe!

  7. Alice says:

    How ingenious! Looks delicious.

  8. Fascinating. I’ve baked dozens of pies but never in a bag. does it effect the texture of the crust at all? I love a crisp, flakey crust.

  9. My grandparents used to buy this when I was little. Now I can make my own for them!!

  10. Nancy says:

    I don’t want to seem like an echo…but…wow, never heard of this before! Thanks for being the provider of my “I learned something new today” moment! Definitely putting this on my “to do” list. Thanks!

  11. Such a brilliant technique! I’m
    actually amazed! I’ve heard of raising dough in plastic bags, (but) now I need to do a pie in a paper bag too!

    Love this tip & thanks for sharing!

  12. I’ve heard of baking chicken in a paper bag but never pie. Really interesting, the pie looks great.

  13. ritavegas says:

    That’s something new…!! I really have to try baking in a brown grocery bag! I love apple pies and your pie looks yummy!! And especially your crust!! Yumm Yumm!!

  14. Michelle says:

    And here I thought I’d heard of just about everything… But not that one. So interesting!

  15. Alicia N. says:

    My mom always made our Thanksgiving turkey in a brown paper bag! This could be a fun experiment – though paper bags are at a premium here in WA state. Thanks for sharing!

  16. SugarDino says:

    This looks lovely! Apple pie is yum 🙂

  17. MCS Gal says:

    I am a pie maker so I am going to try this. The bag should catch the drips as well.

  18. What an interesting thing to do! Nice pie! 🙂

  19. This looks so good! Is apple pie more traditional than a pecan pie? I wanted to make a pie next weekend, even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, I always love the idea of having a meal that you really think about what you are thankful for. It makes you remember the small important things in life. But I was going to do a pecan one, but should it really be apple?

    • My experience has been the traditional pies served at this holiday are usually pumpkin, apple, pecan and cherry. So Charlotte I say go ahead with that pecan pie, I bet your family will love it!

  20. bakeaffairs says:

    Thats an interesting and clever idea! I have to try this out very soon! Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful weekend, Bridget

  21. Brooks says:

    Sheryl, I mirror your views regarding Thanksgiving food and being thankful for it. Especially the part about reckless abandon—it’s the singular time of year where I give the weight scale it’s own special holiday off. I love Wanda’s method of preparing the fruit. And the apple pie I’ll be making this year? It’s in the bag!

    • Mama's Gotta Bake says:

      Brooks, I got a good laugh about the scale having it’s own holiday off. So true, so true!

  22. themondaybox says:

    Some years ago, when we were living in the northeast, there was a restaurant/bakery that advertised their specialty as fruit pies baked in a bag. I was intrigued and bought an apple pie in a bag (apple pie is my husbands favorite food on earth). I was disappointed to find a pie in a pie pan nestled in the bag in which it was cooked. I had imagined that somehow the paper bag was going to be the cooking container (no pan)! What a mess that would have been! 🙂 Your pie looks delicious. There will definitely be apple pie on our Thanksgiving table.

  23. Hi, Sheryl – I can tell that your family is already getting excited for beloved Thanksgiving. This pie looks perfect. Though I do not crave pies, there is something very sentimental and scrumptious about an apple pie on Turkey Day. I am with you on a slightly lighter crust – your removed the bag at the ideal time. I pinned this immediately for the holiday and made note of Mama’s tips and tricks. Thank you for sharing with us! Oh, and on a note not related to your fantastic apple pie recipe: the photos and props are outstanding. Mam’as Gotta Bake is visually appealing and professional, yet still warm and cozy. I love “stopping by.” Be well! – Shanna

  24. My mother always used to heat up bread/buns in a paper bag in the oven, but I’ve never heard of baking a pie in a paper bag…and I bet it is utterly fabulous. I am doing this for sure!

    Also, thanks for the tip of sprinkling sugar on the apples as you slice them.

  25. radhika25 says:

    Oh! And I thought you were turning 21 🙂

  26. Add me to the list of those who’d never heard of this. I’m gonna give it a gluten-free try. The bag sounds like it might be great for that as I’m finding I get a lot quicker browning with gluten free flour.

  27. Francesca says:

    Looks good enough for my Friendsgiving + expat party this weekend 😀

  28. PriyaBaby says:

    my favourite….but paper bag is new to me….will try….nice to ‘see’ you after a long time….

  29. I can’t believe the bag didn’t catch on fire! I imagine if it did, you could make youtube videos like the ones where people’s turkeys catch on fire when they try deep frying it. It could be a new wacky Thanksgiving tradition 😉 This pie looks amazing, no surprise since you made it, Mama! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  30. sarahdixon1 says:

    This looks amazing!

  31. Faith says:

    I did this about 2 years ago, and managed to set the bag on fire LOL. Pie sadly did not make it by the time I was able to rescue it from the flames. I am tempted to try again but its still to soon. Loo

  32. I just sent this to my daughter. She loves to make apple pie.

  33. Rörschåch says:

    My grandmother used to roast her turkey in a paper bag. I still have the recipe. Looking at the recipe I can see my mother’s handwriting. It says, “Turkey à la Blanche”. It made the best, crispy-brown breasted turkey. Thank you for giving me a smile today just remembering that recipe.

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