Fried Fruit Pies
It’s been years since I made fried pies and I thought it was time we became reacquainted. Fried pies are also called hand or pocket pies and are a perfect single serving dessert. The filling can be sweet or savory and the crust can be homemade, from a mix or even canned biscuit dough. If the thought of these tasty treats taking a hot oil bath doesn’t appeal to you, they can be oven fried. Uncooked pies can be wrapped securely, frozen and fried another time. Once you try these, be prepared for the temptation is grab a few from the freezer and treat yourself. They can be addictive.
There are a few helpful hints that will make your frying experience a fail proof one. Trust me, I’ve botched up enough and learned the hard way. If using a precooked filling and or making a smaller pie, the temperature should be around 375°. Non cooked and larger pies should be fried at a lower filling, around 360°. Also, if pies star to brown to quickly lower heat to 360. A good thermometer takes all the guesswork away, and if you’re going to take the time to make fried pies, a thermometer is a wise investment.
My first choice of oil for frying these pies would be peanut oil. Which I would use in a heartbeat if I were just making them just for me. However, in light of so many kids and adults with nut allergies I decided to go with canola oil. One more thing before I share my recipes that will help you when buying fruit for pies. One pound of peaches will yield approximately 3 cups of slices and one pound of apples will yield 2 cups sliced. There’s nothing worse then coming up a couple of peaches or apples short when you’re in the middle of a recipe.
For the filling I followed the same recipe amounts only substituting the apples and peaches.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 cup solid shortening, cut into chunks
9-12 TBS ice water
Canola Oil for frying
3-4 medium peaches peeled and diced
3-4 large apples peeled and diced
8 TBS sugar
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ cup cold water, divided
1 TBS cornstarch plus 1 tsp for apple filling or 2 TBS for peach.
In a large saucepan, over medium heat, combine the fruit, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and 1 TBS of the water. Bring to a simmer while stirring over medium heat. Cook stirring frequently until the fruit is tender and the mixture is reduced slightly. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. In a small bowl stir together the remaining 3 TBS of cold water and the cornstarch until well blended. Add to the fruit mixture and cook while constantly stirring until the mixture thickens. Let cool to room temperature.
While the fruit mixture is cooling make the dough. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, your fingers or a knife and fork, cut in the shortening until mixture is like pea sized crumbs. Add 9 TBS of ice water tossing the flour mixture until the water is thoroughly blended. If the mixture seems dry add in more water 1 TBS at a time. Knead the dough until smooth and divide it in half. Shape each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
Work with one disk at a time. Roll it out between sheets of waxed or parchment paper until it’s approximately ¼ thick. Using a 4-5” cookie cutter, lid or bowl as a guide, cut out rounds of dough. Stack the dough between sheets of waxed paper. Gather, re-roll and cut scraps.
Fill each dough round with 1 ½ – 2 TBS of filling in the center. Sometimes it’s best to err on the side of less with the filling so that you can get a good seal around the edges. Fold the dough over to form a half moon. Using your fingers or a pastry brush wet the inside edges with a little water to create a good seal. Use a fork to crimp the edges and seal the pies.
Heat at least ½ inch of oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat until it reaches 360°,or until a small bit of dough dropped in sizzles. Gently lower the pies into the hot oil with tongs or large slotted spoon. Do not over crowd the skillet. Over crowding when frying can result in uneven cooking. Fry until light golden brown 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spatula/spoon and drain on a plate covered with paper towels. If desired make a glaze with one cup of powdered sugar, 2 tsp of milk and ½ tsp of vanilla. Brush or drizzle over the warm pies. Makes 8-10 pies of each fruit filling.
I took a huge risk with this one, but that’s what makes cooking fun. For these pies I used Jiffy Pie Crust Mix and the traditional ingredients for the Class Cuban Sandwich to make a savory pie. They tasted great but the next time I will make a few changes.
For this recipe I used thinly sliced cooked pork tenderloin, which made the filling a bit too bulky. Ground or shredded cooked pork would have been a better choice. In addition rather than chopped pickles, I think relish would work better.
1 lb thinly sliced and cooked pork tenderloin
1 cup chopped ham
2 large bread and butter pickles chopped
1 cup Swiss cheese chopped
2 pkgs Jiffy Pie Crust Mix
Prepare pie crust mix according to package directions. Roll dough out to ¼” thickness. Using a 4-5” cookie cutter, lid or bowl as a guide, cut out rounds of dough. Stack the dough between sheets of waxed paper. Gather, re-roll and cut scraps. Hold the round of dough in your hand as if it were a tortilla. Starting with the Swiss cheese add in small workable amounts of each filling. Leave enough space to fold ends over and seal by wetting the edges with your fingertips or a pastry brush. Crimp the edges with a fork.
Heat at least ½ inch of oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat until it reaches 360°,or until a small bit of dough dropped in sizzles. Gently lower the pies into the hot oil with tongs or large slotted spoon. Do not over crowd the skillet. Over crowding when frying can result in uneven cooking. Fry until light golden brown 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spatula/spoon and drain on a plate covered with paper towels. Makes 10-12 pies.
I’m sharing these goodies at the following parties this week:
Wow Us Wednesday’s