Monday, February 02, 2009

Southern Fried Apple Pies

Fried Apple Pies

Just as every culture has its own version of the dumpling they also have their version of the hand pie. In the South they're almost always fried apple pies, and they pop up everywhere. You can buy them at school athletics events in concession stands; they're always available at bake sales; several companies have their own version that are sold in vending machines (but yes, they're texturally different than the homemade kind); there is usually an apple stand at festivals and fairs selling all things apple - including fried apple pies; and if you're like me you can remember your own grandmother making them. They're neat, tasty and filling. They're easy to make and wrap and give as gifts. I don't know many people who dislike them. And they're terribly versatile. So of course every culture has its own version. But to get back to the South, let's talk apple ones.

This is a very basic fried apple pie recipe, and it doesn't include a recommended variety of apple for the filling. As with most apple pies I tend to use green apples because I think their tart taste is a perfect backdrop to added sugar, and they're less-juicy, fairly hard texture makes them great for foods where you want a bite of apple between your teeth and not just a bit of apple mush. Granny Smiths are the perfect choice because they're available year-round, and you can find them everywhere. Mine came from Washington so shhhh .... don't tell my local farmers! (I live in North Carolina, which is a top-10 apple-producing state.)

Let's just be upfront about this next part: Yes, they're fried. And yes, you can bake them, but they won't taste the same. Nobody is saying you have to eat the whole batch. Nobody is saying you can't go that baking route - I'm sure they'd be terribly tasty made that way. But if you want authenticity - even at the cost of your slim hips - try frying them one time. Try it if you dare, of course, because you may never go back to baking them again. Consider yourself warned.

This recipe calls for a powdered-sugar garnish at the end, but I prefer mine hot and plain with no frills - kind of like how I prefer my men. For those of you who like men who require a bit more maintenance you might try sprinkling yours with cinnamon and sugar or serving them along side a dollop of ice cream. But if you want my advice? Stick with the original. A fresh, fried apple pie wrapped in a paper towel is a perfect breakfast, snack or dessert. Trust me and all the other Southern grandmas who have learned the same thing.

Southern Fried Apple Pies
Adapted from AllRecipes
Printer-friendly version

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water
2 apples, peeled and diced
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 to 1 cup vegetable oil

1. In a medium saucepan, add apples, sugar and cinnamon. Cook on low heat until apples are soft, then remove from heat and mash with a fork to create a thick applesauce. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, sift flour and salt. Cut in shortening. Add water and mix until dough sticks together and you can form a ball. Dump dough onto a well-floured surface and roll it out to about 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut out 4-inch circles with a large cookie or biscuit cutter.
3. On each round drop 1 large tablespoon of apple mixture. Using your finger, moisten edges of dough. Fold in half then press edges closed with a fork.
4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry pies two to three minutes on each side, until golden. Drain on paper towels and, while still hot, sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.


  1. This makes me wish I was better at frying things. Those looks delicious. I'd like one for breakfast this morning.

  2. OMG! You read my mind! I was JUST talking to my mom and grandma about making some of these! I remember one time my dad and I ate 13 each! Yeah, I was a pudgy little kid. But it was worth it!! So gonna make these this week!!

  3. Aww man! These look good. Hmm, I'll have to make these on a splurge day! I love crust! lol

  4. Wow, that's a great sales pitch for a fried apple pie! I've never had one, but obviously I'm missing out..

  5. This is the coolest recipe! And how great would it be served at a party?!

  6. Oh, my, grandma knows what she's talking about! That first photo is a great one. It's lunchtime & I haven't eaten yet, one of those would so hit the spot!

  7. All the flavour and goodness of ie and no untensils needed, what could be better than that!!

  8. there's nothing, and i mean nothing that can rival a true fried apple pie. not baked, not blueberry, not anything. great post. :)

  9. hot and plain with no frills ... love it! i'm totally with you :-).
    i've never had a fried apple pie, but i have a pretty good idea of their amazingness from your awesome photos. and now i REALLY REALLY want one this second!

  10. Oh my goodness, I want one! I've got to try these. They sound sooo delicious :)

  11. OMG. If I could marry that pie I would. LOL! Thanks for sharing.

  12. I've never heard of those, but I'm sure my kids will give me more hugs if I make that for them!!

  13. Those look DELICIOUS! I might have to try them (as a midwesterner, the closest I've been to a fried apple pie came from the 7-11)

  14. These look amazing....and so easy ... Thanks for posting...will have to give them a try. :)

  15. Reminds me of my grandma's. She fried them in her grease dripping from her meats. Hdrs had a soft crust and they were YUMMY. I have made them once but just couldn't figure out her crust. These look really yummy & I think(I know) I want one right now so off to vet apples & make some for my kids. Thank you for sbaring :)


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