Both beginner and professional bakers constantly search for new tricks to perfect their delicious treats. One of these tricks is using a paper bag for baking.
You might wonder: why bake apple pie in a paper bag when you can do it without the added hassle?
Baking apple pie in a paper bag can give your pie the perfect golden look that you desire, but the method isn’t without its risks.
What are those risks, and how can you work around them? Let’s find out!
You can use this technique to get golden pies. However, baking with an ordinary grocery paper bag in the oven isn’t ideal because the bags aren’t designed for that purpose.
For one, they contain glue and chemicals that could negatively affect your health.
In addition, they can’t withstand the heat of the oven or the microwave. If you aren’t careful, the bags can catch on fire!
Parchment paper is a suitable alternative for baking and cooking because it’s heat resistant. It’s also USDA-approved.
Overall, you’ll get nearly the same results as using a paper bag if you wrap your apple pie in multiple layers of parchment paper.
Baking apple pie in a paper bag (or parchment paper) is a nifty trick if you’re baking a pie with a double crust.
When you bake a covered pie, the heat is focused near the top and can result in a brown upper crust instead of a golden one.
On the other hand, if you take the pie out of the oven when the crust is golden, the apple filling might still be raw or mushy.
That’s where the parchment paper layers come in handy.
The layers keep steam from getting out, locking it inside to ensure the tenderness of the filling. Additionally, the parchment paper protects the crust from the oven’s heat.
Baking apple pie in a paper bag or parchment paper is straightforward.
First, you need to gather the following ingredients for the double crust:
- 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups of cold unsalted and unmelted butter
- 1 tsp of salt
- ¼ cup of cold water (or as needed to knead the dough)
For the apple pie filling, you’ll need:
- 6 large Granny Smith apples (cored, peeled, and evenly sliced)
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 ¼ cups of sugar
- A pinch of nutmeg (optional)
Next, it’s time to make our double-crusted apple pie. Here’s how:
- Mix the flour, cold butter sticks, and salt using a food processor or a spatula.
- Add water gradually to knead the dough.
- Roll the dough into two discs, cover them with plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge for 4 hours.
- Flour a surface and roll the discs into two 12-inch circles.
- In a medium bowl, mix the apple slices, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Press one dough circle evenly into a pie dish and trim any excess.
- Fill the pie with apple slices, then use the second circle to cover the pie and trim the excess.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Wrap the pie in two layers of parchment paper and tuck the edges under the pie dish.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
While we’d recommend parchment paper, some people still prefer to take the risk with paper bags. If you decide to use bags, consider the following tips:
- Don’t let the bag touch the top of the pie.
- Make sure to secure the paper bag after putting the pie. For instance, you can staple it shut.
- Don’t let the bag touch the oven tray.
- Watch out for smoke or other signs that the bag is burning.
Why should you bake apple pie in a paper bag? Well, the paper bag lets the pie cook more evenly.
It keeps the crust from browning and the apples from getting mushy. However, parchment paper is preferable to a regular paper bag, especially when it comes to health and safety considerations.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.