Fried pies are another southern classic that people love. I don't think people make them much anymore though. They are actually not all that hard to make, but they do take time. It just seems that most people don't really know how they are made. So when I went to cook with my mother last week, we did a batch of fried pies. We usually use dried apples for the apple pies, but on this day she had some really good Gala apples so we decided to use them. You can, of course, used the dried fruit. We also made the dough for the pastry with a buttermilk baking mix, but a lot of folks do use canned biscuits. In my opinion, the taste of the dough you make up is much flakier and better, but the biscuits work. You will need the large biscuits though. Here is what you will need:
5 Gala apples or some other firm apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 stick butter (4 Tbs.)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbs. cornstarch
2 cups buttermilk baking mix (like Bisquick)
1 cup water
1 stick melted butter (for brushing the tops)
Place the peeled, diced apples in a skillet with the butter sugar and salt. Saute them until they cook down and get tender.
Mix the apple juice, cinnamon, vanilla and cornstarch together. Pour over the apples and bring to a quick boil then turn the heat to medium and cook until the juices thicken. The apples should be cooked until they are mush but should be very tender. Turn off and let this cool on the stove. Place in the refrigerator and chill. It's really best to do this the day before to allow sufficient time to get cold, but you could do it in the morning and have it cold enough by the late afternoon. If the filling is not cold, it makes it really hard to keep it in the pies when you fry them.
Mix the baking mix and water until you get a soft dough, like biscuit dough. You might have to add just wee bit more water than the 1 cup. It's really best to do this ahead and chill the dough also, but you can proceed from here.
Cut about a 7" circle from each rolled dough section. A good way to get a nice circle is to place a large saucer or bread and butter size plate down and then cut around it..voila, pretty circle of dough. Place about 1//3 cup of the apple filling in the center.
With a pastry brush wet the edge of the dough all the way around with a little water. Fold the dough over and seal them with the tines of a fork all the way around. Continue with the other seven until they are all filled and sealed. It is a time consuming little task making fried pies. This might be why nobody knows how to make these anymore...lol! Your family will love you for the effort though, so keep going, we are almost there!
Now time to fry and this is where we need to discuss your options. You can deep fry these in a deep fryer of oil. Actually, a lot of folks do it this way. Just heat your oil to about 350 and drop them 1 or 2 at a time in and cook until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Or you can fry them in a large skillet with about a 1/2 inch of oil in it. or my mother puts oil on her large griddle (like you cook a batch of pancakes on) and places all of the pies on them at one time. Take the melted stick of butter and brush the uncooked side with it, then when you turn them, brush the other side with it. and brown the other side. This actually works great and you can get them all cooked at one time and quickly. With this method the pies are not as greasy as with the deep fried method, but for some people that is what they like about a fried pie...grease. This produces a more buttery pie. We love them like this, but you know between me, Mama and Paula Deen, we keep the dairy farmers in business with our butter consumption...lol! You can't go wrong with either method...deep fry or pan fry.
Fried Apple Pies!