Food pØrn: I like pie!!! edition
What’s better than a freshly baked pie? Fried pie, that’s what:
They’re easy to make, too. Details below the fold.
You can use most any filling for fried pies. Today, my pre-teen assistants and I made an assortment: cherry, apple and blueberry. Here’s what you’ll need:
—Fresh fruit (I suppose you could use canned filling. If you had to.)
—Pie crust (homemade or store bought)
—Spices (just cinnamon for us today)
—Big jug o’ vegetable oil
—Large pot suitable for deep frying
—Lots of paper towels
—Big slotted spoon or frying basket thingie
—Drying rack (roasting pan with rack works nicely)
—Sharp-edged bowl or large glass to serve as a dough cutter
Here’s how to do it: Take your sturdy pot (we used a dutch oven) and pour the jug of vegetable oil in there. Heat it up to not-quite high. It’ll take awhile to get nice and hot, so while it’s heating, you can assemble your pies.
First, we pitted cherries in a bowl and tossed them with a little sugar and flour. They looked like this:
Sort of like a grisly crime scene, but they tasted good! Don’t worry if you have a puddle of liquid as shown above—that’ll sort itself out while you’re assembling. Anyway, we made three bowls—one cherry, one peeled and diced apple, and one blueberry. All three were tossed with sugar and a little flour as described above. We also added cinnamon to the apple mixture.
Now, here’s the controversial part—the shape. We used store-bought crusts, the kind that are found near the cookie dough in the grocer’s cooler and come in nicely folded pairs—two per box. Since this isn’t my first time at the rodeo, I knew it was best to use a bowl as a cookie-cutter since it would yield a shape that was small enough to fry up quickly and evenly but big enough to hold a decent amount of filling.
But my assistants this day had all sorts of different ideas about how to cut the crust, for example, using a small glass and fusing two crusts together to make one pie, using a big bowl to make one giant pie, etc.
I could have squashed their suggestions under the weight of my superior knowledge, but how would they learn anything? Hence the various shapes above, and a few “epic FAILS” that had to be consigned to the trash can.
Anyhoo, if you’re doing it the right way, use a smallish bowl to cut your shape, then fill half of it with a scant handful of your fruit mixture, fold it over into a half-moon shape, fold the edge over, and then crimp with a fork to seal. Make sure you poke some holes in the crust, or it could explode during cooking. (Really.) Then, gently lower it into the hot oil:
IMPORTANT: DON’T TRY TO COOK MORE THAN TWO AT A TIME!
It should sink to the bottom, with the oil bubbling furiously around it, and then float majestically to the top. (If either of those phenomenon fail to materialize, you are SO screwed.) After a very short time—maybe three or four minutes—your pies will turn a lovely golden brown. Then it’s time to take them out:
Gently place them on a rack with paper towels under the rack to absorb the oil. You can sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on the apple versions if you’d like. As you can see in the photo above the fold, the girls kind of over did it. But they meant to do that.
Here’s what one of the cherry pies looks like when sliced in half:
These pies are NOT good for you. Despite the presence of fresh fruit, they’ll probably shave an hour or two off your lifespan. But it would be the worst hours anyway. So enjoy!