How to Make Old Fashioned Fried Apple Pies

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Start to Finish: 1 hour
Servings 6
Difficulty: Moderate


It's tough to improve on a classic -- unless you deep-fry it. Old-fashioned fried apple pies pack the same generous dose of Americana as their baked brethren but elevate it with a flaky, golden-brown crust. Homemade shortcrust pastry and moderately sweet, firm apples are key here, so go all the way with the old-fashioned formula: use shortening in the crust and source the apples from a local farmer, if possible.

Ingredients

  • Dough

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoons baking powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 tablespoons shortening, chilled

    Filling

    • 1/4 cup water, cold
    • 1 cup apple cider or juice
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1 pinch ground cloves
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 pounds Braeburn or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
    • 1 egg, beaten

    Frying

    • 6 to 8 cups vegetable oil
    • Powdered sugar

    Special Equipment

    • Deep cast-iron pan or Dutch oven
    • Deep-frying thermometer or candy thermometer
    • Spider skimmer or slotted spoon

Make the Crust and Prepare the Filling

  • Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour, using a pastry cutter or fork.

    Add the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is pliable enough to form a ball. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

    Mix the apple cider or juice and granulated sugar in a saucepan. Sprinkle in the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and a pinch of salt. Simmer the cider until it reduces by half.

    Mix the apples, lemon juice, lemon zest in a mixing bowl and add them to the saucepan. Turn the heat to "Low" and simmer until the apples soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Set the apple filling aside.

Fill and Fry

  • Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out to about 1/8 inch thick on a floured work surface. Cut the dough into 5- or 6-inch rounds, using a saucer as a guide.

    Brush the edges of each dough round with the beaten egg. Spoon about 1/4 cup of filling on half of each round.

    Fold the rounds over to form the pies and seal the edges with the tines of a fork.

    Fill a cast-iron frying pan or Dutch oven with 6 to 8 inches of vegetable oil. Set it over medium heat on the stove and heat it until it reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Lower 2 or 3 pies into the oil, using a slotted spoon or spider. Fry the apple pies until golden brown, about 6 minutes each side. Retrieve the pies with the slotted spoon or spider and set them on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with powdered sugar while hot.

Cooking Notes

  • Keep the diced apples fresh. After dicing, place the apples in a bowl of cold water.

    Need a shortcut or variation on the old-fashioned crust? Substitute prepared biscuit dough or frozen puff pastry. Both are easy to work with and fry to a flaky finish.

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References

  • Photo Credit antares71/iStock/Getty Images
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