At a southern deli or restaurant, you can find a modern day version of an old tradition…. fried pies. I will never forget introducing this southern pie to my husband who is from the Northeast. To say the least, he has enjoyed every mouth-watering fried pie I make.
The history of the fried pie is a difficult one to pin point. Some believe they are the offspring of New Hampshire’s “crab lanterns.” Others say they are primarily a southern tradition that began to use scraps of dough and dried apples. Then there are those who believe the fried pie is a relative to the “turn over.” Whatever the case may be…..the fried pie has had a significant place in my family.
My Grandmother, Bonnie, would make fried pies as soon as her apple tree started dropping apples. She would collect the apples in her apron, cut off the bird pecks, and cook up those apples with lots of sugar and cinnamon. When she was younger, she would use biscuit dough left over from making biscuits. But as she got older she began using canned biscuits and rolling them out flat then filling those suckers with her apples.
I can remember my Grandfather coming home from work and smelling the fried pies. He would be smiling from ear to ear and Grandma had to shoo him from the kitchen so he wouldn’t spoil his dinner.
There are dozens of fillings for those pies. Apples are a staple but you can find chocolate, peach, blueberry (my favorite), cherry, blackberry, boisenberry….any fruit you can think of can go into those pies.
A few years ago, I found a newspaper article that was about fried pies. It was about a lady whose grandmother used to make her fried pies out of pie crust leftovers and sugar. She would use different food colors to make a rainbow of fillings. The lady explained that it was always fun to find out what color you got. My family’s favorite is cinnamon sugar fried pies. They will dance a jig if they see me making them!!
Here is a few recipes that you might can use to make delicious fried pies!!
Colored Sugar Fried Pies
pie crust scraps, pie crust dough, biscuit dough or canned biscuits
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Food coloring of choice
Roll dough into a circle 5-7 inches in diameter. Sprinkle sugar across bottom half of circle. Divide a pat of butter into thirds and place on top of sugar. If desired, drop 1 drop of food coloring of choice on each pat of butter. Fold top half of dough over bottom half, press edges of dough together using tines of a fork. Poke a few holes in top to let steam escape. Bake @ 425 degrees until brown.
Cinnamon Sugar Fried Pies
pie crust dough, biscuit dough, or canned biscuits
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
Oil or Butter for frying
Roll dough into a circle about 5 inches in diameter, sprinkle sugar on top and cinnamon too. Place dot of butter over sugar. Fold dough over to form a half circle. Using tines of fork, press edges together. Heat oil or butter in a skillet and fry dough, turning once to brown both sides. Butter will melt into sugar and make sugar fried pie.** I use cinnamon sugar… you can find it in the spice aisle of gro. store or make your own.
Fruit Fried Pies
pie, biscuit or canned biscuit dough
Fruit of your choice chopped or mashed
oil or butter for frying
Roll dough into a circle about 5 inches in diameter, sprinkle sugar on top and spoonful of mashed fruit. Place dot of butter over sugar and fruit. Fold dough over to form a half circle. Using tines of a fork press edges together. Heat oil or butter in a skillet and fry dough, turning once to brown both sides. Butter will melt into sugar and make sugar fried pie.
I hope you enjoy making these wonderul fried pies!! And they are cheap to make!! Thank God for Grandmas!!