Fruit Filled Fried Pies

It’s been years since I made fried pies and I thought it was time I reacquaint myself with this delicious treat. 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, too. Once you try these, be prepared for the temptation to 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 temperature, around 360°.

Also, if pies start to brown too quickly lower your 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.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup solid shortening, cut into chunks
  • 9-12 tablespoons ice water
  • Canola Oil for frying

Fruit Filling

  • 3-4 medium peaches peeled and diced
  • 3-4 large apples peeled and diced
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 cup cold water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 1 teaspoon for apple filling or 2 tablespoons for peach
Directions

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, combine the fruit, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and 1 tablespoon 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 tablespoons 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 tablespoons of ice water tossing the flour mixture until the water is thoroughly blended. If the mixture seems dry add in more water 1 tablespoon 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 1/4 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 1/2 - 2 tablespoons 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 1/2 teasoon of vanilla. Brush or drizzle over the warm pies.

Makes 8-10 pies of each fruit filling

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