Thanksgiving without pie is like Ernie without Bert, popcorn without butter, a flag without a breeze. They're simply made for each other. Sure, the turkey is important, but let's be honest, it's just a road stop on the way to pie.
A lot of people have anxiety about making their own pies, but I've got a recipe that is both amazing and accessible, even for a beginning baker. Plus, it bakes inside a large brown paper bag, which makes it unique and mysterious. You pull the paper bag out of the oven and tear it open like a present, and what a present it is! The steam will escape and you'll be peering at a perfect Thanksgiving pie. Try this recipe and I promise you'll have a new favorite. It's that good.
Brown Bag Apple Pie
Crust 1 1/2 cups flour 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil 2 tablespoons milk
Combine ingredients and mix well with a spoon or electric mixer. Using your hands, press the dough evenly into a 9-inch pie tin.
Filling 6 cups sliced tart apples (Granny Smith are ideal) 2/3 cup sugar 2 heaping tablespoons flour 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Toss all ingredients together and mix until apples have an even coating of the dry ingredients. Fill your crust with the mixture.
Topping 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter (barely softened)
Mix together with a fork until you've got a loose, crumbly mixture. Spread it evenly on top of the pie. Place pie tin inside a large brown paper bag (the size from the grocery store is perfect). Fold the end of the bag over and secure it closed with a few staples or paper clips. Carefully transfer the bag to a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. (The paper bag will create a protective shield around your pie, allowing it to cook to a beautiful golden brown without drying out or burning around the edges.) Remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute or two. Tear the paper bag open from the top, allowing the steam to escape. Serve warm or cool.