Friday, July 8, 2011

Apple Pie and the Fourth of July

A group of our neighbors had a little get-together for the 4th of July and kindly invited us.  All of the families contributed in one way or another to the community feast and, as the 4th is our nations birthday and all, Miss Calamity and I decided to bring fried apple pies.

For years, I searched for the perfect crust for fried fruit pies, only to be disappointed time and again.  When I used regular pie crust, the results were dismal - the crusts crumbled, were too thick and never held together.  Every attempt I made seemed to bring me a little closer to an acceptable crust, but perfection alluded me.  Finally, on a whim, I tried a pasty crust recipe from a little known cookbook called Hearth & Home by Karey Swan.  It was fabulous!  Finally, an easy to make, easy to handle, perfect crust for fried hand pies.  We fill these pies with everything from blackberries to apples to pears - whatever we can think of.  We limit ourselves to making these about two times a year, otherwise, none of our clothes would fit!

This is what fried apple pies were meant to be!.....

Fried Pie Pastry
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 tsp. salt
3 T. sugar (omit if using for meat pies)
4 1/2 to 5 cups flour

Cut up the butter into a bowl and add the boiling water, stirring till melted.  Stir in the salt and flour till forms a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate while making the filling.  Cut into 16 equal pieces and roll out on floured board.

Melting the butter with hot water
Adding the flour
Stir into a ball (the dough is very
soft and malleable)
Wrap in plastic wrap and put into refrigerator

Apples (pealed and sliced) (fresh or canned)
Flour (sprinkled over fruit - less for fresh fruit, slightly more for canned fruit)
Sugar (to taste)
Cinnamon (to taste)

Really, I just fake the filling.  I use whatever I have handy.  For the 4th of July apple pies, I used 9 quarts of canned apples, about 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar (the apples were sweet) and 2 T cinnamon.  I adjust the sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit and add a little bit of nutmeg if I am using pears instead of apples.  Just about any berry works well also (although I have never tried strawberries).

Four of the nine jars of canned apples that we used
I drain the apples in a colander
Adding the flour and sugar to the apples
Next comes the cinnamon
Gently stir to combine
Put filling on 1/2 of a rolled out pie crust
Fold the pie crust over the filling
Use a fork to seal the edges of the pies
Fry the pies in a large cast iron skillet until nice and brown, about 5 minutes on each side.

Fry until lightly browned (about 5 minutes per side)
Freshly fried pies
After the pies have cooled, I like to drizzle them with a little icing.  For these pies, I used 1 cup of butter, melted, 3 cups of powdered sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla and enough milk to make it drizzle-able.  Just stir together and beat until no longer lumpy.

Adding powdered sugar to the butter and
vanilla in the icing
Adding milk to create a drizzle
Stirring to combine
Beating with a hand beater
Drizzling icing
Fried apple pies ---- simply divine!

A whole bunch of empty jars!


  1. Enola,

    About how many pies were made with the 9 quarts of apples? Just trying to get an idea of how much this recipe makes.

    Do you think you could freeze some of them before you cook them?

    Southern Gal

  2. Southern Gal;
    The nine quarts made 31 very large hand pies. I did double the crust recipe. I think they would freeze quite nicely if you wanted to make a bunch to fry later. Sir Knight thinks the pies are twice the size of a "hostess" hand pie.

  3. I can testify -- these were FABULOUS. Wow. Glad to have the recipe!

    - Patrice Lewis

  4. Oh my! The fried pies look delicious. I've saved the crust recipe to make some for our family reunion. Thanks for sahring.

  5. Back in the day, we're talking 50 years ago, I ran around with two sisters, Joyce and Joanie. Their mom was from West Virginia, as was mine. So we had that southern thing in common.
    Their mom, Norma, made THE BEST fried apple pies and I haven't had one since she passed. Some times Joyce would make them and they were just as good, but not quite like her moms. She never drizzle the icing on them due to the diabetic problems that ran in the family. Sadly, Joyce is also gone. This brought back a lot of good memories. Thanks!!

  6. Yum! I'm going to try these.

  7. love this pasty/pastry like a charm. thank you for sharing.

  8. You're killing me. I wonder if this recipe will be banned once Obamacare fully kicks in. They look so delicious I can't stand it.

    NoCal Gal

  9. Oh my! Enola, these look fabulous! I still make your survival bars, and my family loves them. They will flip over these. I have never fried up a turnover. I will definetly have to make these. Thanks for the recipe.

    P.S. Chicken fried steak is on the menu this week.

  10. Enola, I have not had a fried pie since I left home!
    Where I was reared, women would make these in many different fillings and sell them from baskets that they carried to the open market. One elder woman made feather light coconut custard, pecan, fig, and sweet potato fried pies and my tante and I would sit and wait for her on the steps of our house to catch her on her route and purchase one or two or three.
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
    I am going to try improvising with some of my dried storage fruits, rehydrated and spiced up, and see how they come out.
    I better plan ahead before I make them to walk a couple more laps around the cow pasture before I indulge in these!


  11. Enola,
    Sounds yummy. Did you use fresh ground flour or store bought? I am wondering because I only grind my own and everything turns out quite different with it compared to store bought flour.
    Also, how do you get your comments below your pictures? I have not been able to figure this out so on my blog so all the photos are posted at the top and then the writing is below it all! Arghhhh!

  12. Enola,

    I really enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work! I also have a question about the flour. If it is store bought, is it all-purpose or self-rising?

  13. Wow! That looks awesome, I can't wait to try these. This makes my mouth water and stomach growl; and I just had my breakfast. :) This is my first visit to your blog, it will not be my last. I am taking a dive in, and reading to my hearts delight. Thank you for sharing.

  14. I have a silly question....what did you use to fry the pies in? Veggie oil, lard, butter??

    Thanks! Looks delicious!

  15. a question also :) Have you ever canned pie filling with clear gel? It's a nice shortcut. I'm definitely going to the peeler/slicer for my apples this year. I'll bet you put yours up in 1/4 the time it took me to peel, core and slice. Thanks for the recipe. (and if we're doing a poll I use peanut oil or coconut oil depending on what's opened)

  16. Paintedmoose;
    I used store bought flour this time, however, fresh ground does work nicely (but they hold together better if you use a little white flour). To get comments below your pictures, just click on the picture after you have imported it and it will give you an option bar and you can choose how big your picture will be and it has an option that says "caption". Just click that and it will give you a cursor under the picture.

    Anonymous 6:07;
    I used all-purpose flour, not self-rising.

    Anonymous 7:38;
    I used Crisco, however, I have used bear grease and they turned out wonderful. If I don't have Crisco, I use canola oil. I also have used lard. Whatever you have on hand will work great.

    Anonymous 9:39;
    Yes, I have canned apple pie filling. I love it! I'll have to try peanut or coconut oil. Thanks for the suggestion.


  17. Thank you for posting this recipe. We used a canned pie filling, and they were wonderful. The sweet crust is the treat.

  18. I have a question.... has anyone ever canned from store bought tins items you may not have access to fresh? If so, how did you do it and how long of a shelf life does it have (if you know). Thanks for your help and all of your wonderful knowledge for those of us just beginning :)