Friday, April 13, 2012

Fried Apple Pies

In the kitchen with pastry again, but this time instead of a big pie, I opted for these hand held fried pies.  I had a request from one of my husbands friends, so I happily obliged.  These are perfect for a lunch box or transporting anywhere.  Had it been a slice of pie, I am sure it would not have stayed together by the time lunch rolled around.

Do not let the picture fool you.  These pies are not runny, the pool on the plate is the caramel sauce that I poured on top of the whipped cream I put in the center of the plate.  I know some of you are wondering about the star shape with 4th of July coming up, but I am sorry to say that Williams Sonoma does not carry this product any more. It is called a pocket pie mold and  the shapes they sell now are a heart, apple and a 3 pack of mini molds.

These pies really did hit the mark in what I wanted.  The filling was not too saucy, more like just a clump of apples with a touch of spices.  That clump was about the closest you can get to eating a bowl of fresh chopped apples.  One bite gives you a cinnamony, flaky crunch of the fried pastry and a pop of real apples inside.  I think the key to having some texture to the filling instead of mush is the choice of apple.  I chose Honey Crisp, but there are a lot of good varieties out there, just make sure that they are very firm and tart. 

I have not included the pastry recipe, for there are a lot varieties already out there along with different personal preferences.  Also, since the recipe is for hand-shaped pies and most people do not have the molds, the recipe below has the hand made method.  It makes 6 hand pies.

I will be away from home today due to appointments in the city, so I will catch up with my blogger friends tomorrow. I wish you all a wonderful weekend. 

Fried Apple Pies
adapted from Bubby's Homemade Pies

pie dough for an 8-10 inch double crust pie
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of cloves
2 tart firm apples, peeled cored and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks (mine for 1/4 inch chunks)
2 tbs light brown sugar
1 tbs unsalted butter
juice from 1/2 lemon
pinch of salt
2 tbs whiskey (optional)
cooking oil, for frying

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs cinnamon (more or less, depending on your preference)

Place a saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter.  Then add the apple chunks and stir, making sure that all pieces are coated with butter.  There will not be a lot of butter in comparison to the apple chunks, but coat them the best you can.

Turn the heat down to low and add the remaining pie ingredients, except for the pie dough and the cooking oil.  Cover and let cook at a simmer for about 25 minutes.  The recipe states that after this time the mixture will be light a chunky applesauce, but my apples still held their shape.  The cook time will vary, depending on your choice of apples and also your personal preference on what kind of texture you want your filling to have. The longer you cook the more mushy the apples become, so use your own judgement.

Then take a wooden spoon and roughly stir the mixture, breaking up the apples into smaller chunks.  Remove from stove and place filling in a heatproof bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill for at least 2 hours before using as a pie filling.

Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.  Roll one piece into a 6 inch square and place 3 tbs of apple filling in the center of 1/2 of the square.  Fold the other half over the filling and seal with some water.  Then seal the top two edges together the same way and repeat with the bottom two edges of pastry.  Take each sealed edge and fold it inwards, about 1/4-1/2 inch.    Using a fork dipped in water, crimp down the sealed edges, sealing completely and making sure you are not too close to the filling. Place pie on a wax paper lined baking sheet.

Repeat the filling and forming process, until all 6 pies are made and placed on the baking sheet.  Then freeze for 3 hours or more before frying the pies

Fill a 10-12 inch round pan or skillet with oil to reach a depth of 1 1/2 inches.  Place over medium high heat.  Then fill a shallow bowl or plate with the sugar and cinnamon.  Stir to make sure the cinnamon is blended well.  Also, take another baking sheet and line with paper towels.

Once a thermometer registers that your oil is 375 degrees, remove the pies from the freezer.  Place 2 or three pies into the oil and let one side fry to a deep golden brown.  Then turn and let the other side do the same.  With a slotted spoon or slotted spatula, remove one pie and place in the bowl of cinnamon sugar. Toss the sugar over the face up side, turn pie over and do the same on the other.
Place coated pie on paper towel lined baking sheet.  Then remove the other pie from the oil and continue with the frying and coating process for the other frozen pies.

These can be served warm or cold.  Also, you can top them with ice cream or put some whipped cream with caramel syrup on the side.  Enjoy!
                                   LAST YEAR: Cinnamon Walnut Horns