It took me a long while to get these pies made. The recipe came from my good friend Linda, Texas Cooking Queen, but I'm afraid I didn't do her justice. I'm sure her fried pies come out gorgeous and crispy. Mine ... not so much.
But, ugly as they were, they were SOOO tasty.
I'd never heard of fried pies. And I've never made pie crust at all, so I was a little nervous. My grandmother tried to pass on her famous recipe to me. We spent a wonderful afternoon with her making pies and me taking notes. That was our first mistake, I guess. A person needs to DO pie crust dough, you can't just learn the technique from watching or reading. But to be honest, all the destructions my grandmother gave me were so full of cautions and warnings that I was intimidated. Scared, even.
My friend Linda encouraged me to try, and she made it sound a lot easier. The recipe below is her mother's, I think. For a first attempt, I did ok, but the main thing I learned is that good pie crust must be earned over time and repetition and there's no substitute for experience.
I think the next time I make these, I'll try baking them to see if the crust comes out as crispy. Fried was wonderful - I loved the texture - but I'm sensitive to fried foods in general, so there was a bit of a bite-back.
FRIED CHERRY PIE
Pie Crust ingredients
2 cups flour
3/4 cup shortening
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
2 cups chopped cherries
1/2 cup dried cherry-flavored cranberries
1/2 cup corn starch
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond paste/pie fillling
You can use any fruit you like for the filling. Linda swears by dried apricots. I included both dried and fresh fruit.
Put the fruit, corn starch, almond extract and sugar into a pan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer until the dried fruits become fat, and the juice becomes thicker.
Prepare pie crust dough. Mix together flour and salt in a bowl. Mash the shortening ino the flour - use a fork or a pastry cutter - until it looks like peas. Add water to moisten until it can be formed into a ball.
Break off half the mixture and roll out on a flat surface to about 1/8 " thickness. Use a bowl or any shape you like to cut out pie crust pieces. Depending on the size of your cutter, you should get between 5-10 pies.
Onto each pie, spread about a teaspoon of the almond paste and a couple of spoonfuls of the fruit mixture. Fold the dough over and press the edges together with a fork. If you used a bowl, your pies will now be half circles. I used a square tupperware so my pies were triangles.
Place the pies into a frying pan with 3-4 tablespoons heated vegetable oil. Fry until golden brown on each side. Place on paper towels and press lightly with another paper towel on the tops to absorb the excess oil.