FRIED PIES

If you’ve been to a convenience store in Alabama, chances are you’ve encountered a fried pie, stowed in a basket at the counter and wrapped tightly in cellophane or butter-drenched wax paper. Growing up, family road trip pit stops didn’t mean Cracker Jacks or candy bars for me; it was the fried pies I coveted, portable pockets of apples and peaches wrapped in a pie crust shell. A certain gas station in Cullman, Alabama, sold my favorite pies, so stopping there was always one of the most anticipated parts of a trip to the beach.

I was inspired to try my hand at the fried pie after a recent brunch at Dyron’s Lowcountry in Birmingham, where I had an apricot-goat cheese fried pie served alongside brown-butter ice cream. This got me to thinking about the endless possibilities of fillings and thus the fried pie experiment began. Two things I’ve since learned: don’t overstuff the pies, and make a large batch because they go fast. Here are a couple of recipes that I hope would make my Southern grandmother proud:

BLUEBERRY-PEACH FRIED PIES WITH BASIL WHIPPED CREAM

For the pie crust:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
6 tablespoons shortening
¼ cups ice water

Sift flour, salt, and sugar together. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives. Sprinkle with ice water and work together with your fingers. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.

For the filling:

2 cups fresh peach slices, peeled
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine the first five ingredients in a pot and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring often, until the peaches have a jam-like consistency. Let cool for another 30 minutes. Combine the last four ingredients and in a bowl and let sit for 15 minutes, then add the blueberry mixture to the peach mixture and stir together.

For the basil whipped cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
6 large basil leaves
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

Puree the basil leaves in a food processor. Combine the puree with the cream and sugar and whip with an electric mixer until the mixture holds and forms soft peaks.

For the pies:

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 5 inch circles. Spoon 1 ½ tablespoons of the filling onto the dough, fold, and crimp with a fork. You should be able to assemble 12-14 pies. Fill a large cast iron skillet or pot with about an inch of canola oil and heat to 360 degrees using a candy thermometer. Fry the pies, not overcrowding the skillet, for about 5 minutes on each side. Drain pies on a paper towel and serve warm with the basil whipped cream.

STRAWBERRY-RICOTTA FRIED PIES

For the filling:

1 quart fresh strawberries, cut into quarter-inch pieces
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¾ cup water

Combine strawberries and sugar in a pot a simmer over medium heat. Mix together cornstarch and water in a bowl and slowly add to the strawberries. Continue cooking, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.

For the pies:

Using the same pie crust and process as the first recipe, assemble the pies with ½ tablespoon ricotta cheese and 1 tablespoon of the strawberry filling. Fry and serve with your favorite ice cream—I like mine with pistachio.

Our pies are shown above on Heath Etched b & b plate and our Organic Cotton Jersey Napkin.

-Kristy


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2 thoughts on “FRIED PIES

  1. Rebecca West

    Oh my goodness! And I just happen to have fresh blueberries and peaches in the fridge, thank you Jack O Lantern Farms.

    Reply

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