Years and years ago, as a young wife and new mother, I strolled baby down to a friend’s home for a short visit. The friend was known for her wonderful desserts and as luck would have it, she was in the process of frying pies before her girls got home from school. What timing I had?!! And she was making APRICOT pies.
That afternoon marked a new chapter in my life as a chef! I remembered my mother making fried pies out of canned biscuit dough and they were good. But the crust on my friend’s fried pies was fantastic.
I’ve tried other pastries…bought refrigerated pie dough, recipes for “from scratch”…but I always come back to this one. So, here goes…
Fried Pie Crust
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon salt
4 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter flavored shortening
1 can evaporated milk
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
Cut the shortening into the flour mixture.
Whisk eggs and canned milk together in a small bowl.
Lightly mix the milk mixture into the flour mixture and blend well.
At this point, you can refrigerate the pastry dough wrapped in plastic or in a plastic bag.
Remember the Apple Pie Filling that I canned?
I opened a jar that I had refrigerated. If you happen to be using this filling, pour off any liquid the may collect. The less watery liquid you have, the better off you are. The pies I made with this filling were GREAT! Big Boss can’t stay out of them!! I did sprinkle some cinnamon over the filling before I started makes the pies.
If you’re using fresh apples, combine 4 cups of thinly sliced and then halved apples (Granny Smith, Gala, Honeycrisp…any apple that holds up to baking and stays crunchy) with 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup flour and cinnamon.
Start rolling out 1/2 of the dough on a floured surface to about 1/8″ thick. Cut out circles with something like a pot lid that’s about 5 1/4″ across. That makes a perfect sized pie that’s easy to handle. Anything larger that 6″ in diameter will be hard to work with? A large coffee can, a plastic tub like a cottage cheese tub, a large drinking glass….
Important Note!!: when making fried pies, always be sure that your filling is cold. It will be much easier to fill the dough and fold over the edges. Trust me on this.
I usually cut out 4 circles at a time. Then I brush the edges with water lightly, place about 2 Tablespoons of filling in the middle of the circle. Quickly squish the edges together. You may need to pick the pie up and hold it vertically to do this so that the filling doesn’t squish out…that’s why the filling needs to be cold and firm. Then press a fork around the edges to seal the dough.
Repeat the process until your dough is used up. You may have filling left over. You may have dough left over. There is no magic formula on this as it’s a total guessing game.
You are now ready to fry these babies up.
Heat your canola/corn/peanut oil in a heavy pot. I always use my Le Creuset pot. Have a cookie sheet lined with paper towels…a couple of layers. And have your tongs at the ready.
I like to use a candy thermometer to watch the temp of my oil…I try to keep it right around 350º.
Carefully drop 3-4 pies into the hot oil. Fry a minute or so on one side then with tongs carefully turn the pie over. Fry another 30 seconds to 1 minute. The pie should be golden.
With tongs remove the pies from the oil and place onto paper towels. Repeat till you’ve fried all pies. Remove the oil and pot from the heat.
I reuse my oil by straining it when it’s cooled down some. I take a whole sheet of paper towel and push it down slightly into a canning jar or metal coffee can. Then slowly pour the oil into the jar, stopping to let the oil drain down frequently. Put a lid on the jar or can and label it for frying pies!
Once the pies have cooled some, I either mix milk, vanilla and powdered sugar and brush the tops of the pies with it….OR…you can roll the pies in granulated sugar…OR neither. Whatever your preference is!!
Eat when cool enough to handle….OR…zap in the microwave…OR…reheat at 350 for about 8 minutes, flipping over halfway through…this will crisp the crust right up!!! Again, eat when cooled a bit.
OR….getting tired of the “ors”???! Make the pies up, throw in a freezer bag, freeze and fry up later. Genius, huh?!!
Next up? Fried Pecan Pie!!!!!!!!