Fried Pies

Fried pies are a Southern staple. Unlike cakes, which require expensive ingredients that could be hard to come by in rural Arkansas, they’re a quick, affordable way to enjoy a sweet treat.

Mix flour and sugar and cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add beaten eggs and buttermilk, stirring just until mixture comes together.

A fried pie’s crust is typically made from flour, butter or shortening, and cold water. To prepare a simple crust, mix the butter or shortening with the flour until it forms soft lumps. Stir in the ice water until the dough holds together.

Roll out the dough into six-inch circles, adding any excess back to the dough ball. Place a spoonful of filling in the center. Fold the other half of the pie over and crimp or flute edges with thumb and forefinger or press with a fork. If the dough is too moist to hold its shape, return it to the freezer for a few minutes.

If you are making a cream filling, brush the top with egg wash or melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar before baking. To prevent the pies from becoming mushy when they cook, cut a series of slits in the top crust for steam vents. If you plan to freeze the pies, wrap them tightly and place in the freezer.

Fried pies are quick and easy to make, a long-standing tradition at fairs, cookouts, restaurants, bakeries and in home kitchens. Unlike baked pies which take hours to cook and cool, fried pies are portable, do not melt and taste just as good cold as they do hot.

For the filling of this recipe, choose a favorite pie filling, such as apple or cherry. If using cherries, halve or quarter them before mixing with other ingredients.

The dough is prepared in the same way as for a traditional pie. It is rolled on a floured surface to a 12-inch circle, then placed into a 9-inch pie plate.

A few tablespoons of the chosen filling is placed on half of the biscuit dough. Wet your fingertips and run them around the edges of the pie to help it stick together when you fold over and crimp the edge. When all the pies are made, heat oil in a skillet and carefully drop one at a time. Cook until golden brown and remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

Fried pies are a comfort food of the past, eaten by generations of Texas families. They are easy to prepare and can be made without a refrigerator, making them perfect for road trips or camping. They last a long time and can be easily eaten with the hands. They are also a great dessert for children because they don’t require plates or cutlery.

To prepare a pie, have students flour a surface and flatten a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it is a six inch circle. Have them place a dollop of filling in the middle of the circle and fold over. They can moisten the edges with water to help seal it. Once all the pies are prepared, they can be fried right away or frozen for later. If frozen, they should be thawed before being put in the oil. If they are still cold, the pies will splatter and can cause burns.

A sweet dessert made with fruit and a dough that withstands deep frying, fried pies are popular at fairs, cook-outs, restaurants, and bakeries. They’re also a great snack for picnics, as they are portable and don’t melt.

The trick to making a good fried pie is to keep the filling warm and the dough cold. If the filling is too hot, it will cause the pies to expand and tear during the frying process; if the dough is too cold, it will shrink and not hold the filling in place.

Working with one dough square at a time, brush the edge with beaten egg, spoon 2 teaspoons of filling in the center, and fold the edges over to seal; crimp edges, if desired. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. If not serving immediately, cover pies and refrigerate until ready to fry. These pies freeze well, too.فطاير محمرة

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