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Grandma's Fried Fruit Pies

These little pies are so good. The last time I made them, the people who said "I'll just have one," had at least two. This recipe is from an article about fried pies
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Crisco or other good vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
Mix together the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender, fork, your hands, or whatever method works best for you, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir together the beaten egg with the water and sprinkle over flour mixture. Sprinkle in the vinegar, mixing lightly, until ingredients are well combined. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Fried Pie Filling

Although the basic recipe is listed, please note that for each cup of dried fruit, you need at least a half-cup and probably more of water, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. If you make a dozen pies, you may want to mix up the flavors. Using the proportions in this recipe, for example, I made six Apricot and six Apple/Cherry by using approximately 1-1/2 cups of dried apricots and 1 cup of apples and 1/3 cup of dried cherries. Of course, I cooked the apricots separate from the apples and cherries.
  • 3 cups dried fruit (apricots, peaches, apples)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
On very low heat, simmer the dried fruit in the water for 30 to 45 minutes, or until very tender. Add water if necessary to prevent scorching. Allow to cool; mash fruit slightly. Stir in the sugar and spices. This step may be done in advance and refrigerated; however, warm up the fruit (microwave is fine) enough to take the chill off and make it workable before filling your pies.

Putting The Fried Pie Together

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and cut it into four equal pieces. You can then cut each of the four pieces into three equal pieces, leaving you with 12 golf-ball-size dough balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 5- to 6-inch circle. Your circles do not have to be perfect, and ragged edges are okay.

Put 2 generous tablespoons of filling onto one side of the circle of dough. Seal the pie by wetting the inside edge of the dough with water (use your finger), and then fold over the dough, making the familiar half-moon-shaped pie. Make sure the edges of the dough are even, and press and crimp to insure a good seal. You can use a fork to give you a bit of a decorative edge if you like. You can also correct the more ragged edges during this step because the dough is pliable. Just make sure the filling is sealed in and any holes in the dough are crimped.

Frying

I use two methods and both are good. To deep-fry, heat the oil in a deep pan with steep sides or a deep-fryer. Carefully lower the pies into the oil, one at a time, and fry until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. You don't have to worry about cooking the filling since it's already cooked. The frying process merely cooks the dough.

The second method is panfrying. Fry the pies in about a half inch of oil in an electric frying pan set to 375° F. Panfrying takes a little longer and the pies have to be turned, but the end result will be every bit as good. Sprinkle the hot fried pies with confectioners' sugar or cinnamon sugar.
This pastry recipe will make twelve 5- to 6-inch pies.
Note: Whatever the frying method, be sure your oil is very fresh. You don't want your pies to take on the flavor of last week's onion rings.
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