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Fried apple pies

I already had decided that, if the squirrels left me any apples this year, then instead of making a big apple pie that I’d have to eat all by myself, I’d make fried apple pies, with a vow to eat no more than one a day. The squirrels did leave me some apples, I did make fried apple pies today (two of them), and I ate only one.

I’m an old hand at making apple pies. If I’ve ever made fried apple pies, though, I don’t remember doing it. I Googled for some guidance. The recipes are all over the map. To my taste, some of the recipes sounded terrible — for example, the ones that call for canned biscuit dough for the crust. Even homemade biscuit dough sounds terrible, to me, as a crust for fried apple pies. Some recipes call for sheets of store-bought puff pastry. No way. I settled on a Scottish-style hot-water crust, not least because I wanted to practice making hot-water crusts using the pasta machine that I bought a few weeks ago.

I did what I usually do: I consulted a number of recipes to clarify the concept, then I did the job according to my own judgment without really measuring anything. The hot-water crust turned out beautifully, and the pasta machine worked very well for the job. My rolling-pin skills are not the best. The pasta machine, on the other hand, turned out beautiful rectangles of even, sturdy dough that could easily be cut for rectangular fried pies. I minced the apples, added sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little corn starch, and cooked the filling until the corn starch thickened. After frying the pies in about three-quarters of an inch of oil (about 350 degrees) and turning them once, I put them on paper towels for a few minutes and then transferred them to a cooling rack.

Now that I think I’m competent with hot-water crusts, I’m sure there will be lots of savory little main-dish pies this winter. Another virtue of hot-water crust is that it’s frugal with oil or butter (I used a little butter today) and lower in calories, unlike my usual pie crusts, in which I use quite a lot of olive oil.

My next experiment with hot-water crust will be making some little pies to be baked rather than fried.


  1. JamesM wrote:

    Whwn I was a starving doctoral student, a real splurge was Pepperidge Farm turnovers in puff pastry. Apple or cherry were totally decadent. Fried pies are not the same but equally delightful. My husband’s 94 year old mother makes them with dried apples. Nothing better and it comes with a loving memory.

    Sunday, July 11, 2021 at 8:39 pm | Permalink
  2. daltoni wrote:

    Hi James: Two questions! First, do you know of a source for what we in the South call “pie cherries”? That is, the bright red, sour cherries used in pies, as opposed to dark cherries, for which I have very little use. I have never been able to find such a cherry tree for my orchard. And, on Amazon, one can pay $10 a can for canned pie cherries! Second, is your Ph.D. in music?

    Sunday, July 11, 2021 at 8:45 pm | Permalink
  3. JamesM wrote:

    Sadly I have not encountered pie cherries save in cans at the supermarket. Fruit trees seem to belong to a bygone era. I have a dear cousin in Abingdon, VA and she is up to her ears putting up fruit, vegetables, etc. Dinner with her is like a trip down memory lane. Yes, guilty as charged. Indiana University, 1982.

    Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
  4. JamesM wrote:

    Try this

    Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 5:48 pm | Permalink
  5. JamesM wrote:

    Let me know if this works.

    Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 5:50 pm | Permalink
  6. daltoni wrote:

    Thank you!

    Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 6:07 pm | Permalink
  7. JamesM wrote:

    My cousin who is a master gardener confirmed Montmorency cherry. Lemme know if you need help de-stoning!!

    Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

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