It can be tough to spot apple confections when the pumpkin spice parade starts earlier and earlier each year. But make no mistake, apples are making cameos in everything from jellies to beer to savory pork dishes.
I could simply make an apple pie to feed my apple hankering but that would be too safe. Let’s go with something even more satisfying. Fried pie. They’re portable, crispy, salty, sweet and tart. Hit’s just about every flavor profile. What more could you want?
2 tablespoons butter
3 granny smith apples diced (4 cups)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons apple cider
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup lard
1/2 cup hot apple cider
vegetable oil for frying
Cinnamon, sugar topping (optional)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Apple Cider Fried Pies
For the filling
1. Melt butter over medium heat in medium sauce pan. Stir butter until it has lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the diced apples, sugars and salt and cook for about 7-10 minutes until apples have softened.
3. Add the cider, vanilla and cinnamon and cook until most of the moisture has absorbed, about another 3 minutes. You should be left with a sticky syrup.
4. Stir in the flour until mixture has thickened, about another 2 minutes. Set mixture aside to let cool completely.
For the dough
1. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt. Create a well in the center of the mixing bowl by pushing the flour towards the wall of the bowl. I used the base of a 1 cup measuring cup to make this well easily.
2. Put the lard, in pieces, in the middle of the well. Breaking up the lard into pieces makes the next few steps easier. Add the hot (not boiling) cider to the lard in the well. Using a fork, begin to break the lard up into the hot cider so as to melt the lard, creating a lard cider slurry.
3. Once the lard seems just about melted start stirring in the flour. Use your hands to form a dough. No need to work the dough too much.
4. Turn the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the dough slightly and wrap in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Make the fried pies
1. After an hour take the dough out of the fridge. Unwrap and divide the dough into two. Dust a clean countertop with a little all purpose flour, place the half disk onto surface, and dust the top of the dough with a little flour. Using a rolling pin start in the center of the disk and roll outwards. Continue until you have a fairly thin piece of dough. If you want to get super precise I rolled my dough disk out to about 12 inches in diameter.
2. To make pies large enough to fit comfortably in my hand I used an average cereal bowl and sharp knife to cut the dough rounds. My bowl was a little over 5 inches in diameter. You should be able to get at least 3 dough rounds from one half of dough totaling at least 6 from the entire dough. Time to fill the dough.
4. Fill a small bowl with water. Place one dough round on a clean, floured surface. Dip your finger into the water, and run your finger along the edges of the dough. This will help seal the dough sides together. Next take about 2 tablespoons of apple filling and place it in the center of the dough round.
5. Take the top of the dough and fold it to meet the bottom of the dough round. Use your fingers to press the edges together. Take a fork and lightly press along the edge of the dough to seal. Repeat until you’ve got at least 6 pies. If adding the cinnamon sugar topping prep that now by combining both ingredients into a small bowl. Set aside.
6. Preheat vegetable oil to 350 degrees in a medium pan. Either use a candy thermometer to help you reach this temperature our test your oil by sprinkling a pinch of flour into the oil. It’s ready when the flour immediately fizzles and disappears. For the oil, you want enough so that the pies are slightly submerged but not completely. (Quick Tip: While the pan is preheating refrigerate your pies on a cooking sheet. It can take some time to get that much oil to heat up.) Working in batches, fry the pies at least 2 minutes on each side. The pies should be golden brown. Drain fat off of fried pies by placing the pies onto paper towels or cooling rack. Immediately sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.