Friday, March 07, 2008

I got tagged for a recipe...

Cookie, over at the Cook Shack has tagged me for a recipe that quote: "...that no modern health conscious person in their right mind would eat today..."

Well, I got to thinking and the only thing that popped into my head, regionally, was the humble and ubiquitous Fried Pie. Once a winter time staple around here, it still occasionally pops up by the plateful at VFD potlucks and fund raising pie auctions, lovingly made by lil' granny women, who learnt it from their moms and so on. It was about the only way to make the tough leathery and discolored apple slices, strung up on string or baling twine and dried by the woodstove, palatable. Time has updated it and the preference to filling has changed, making it appear more like a home made version of the McDonalds apple pie and some have even gone so far as to use canned biscuit dough (!) for the crust. Sorry, homey don't play that game. Iffin you're gonna make fried pie, do it like it's 'sposedta. Here's one version:

2 cups dried apples (chopped or broken into smaller pieces)
A dab of raisins, if you got them- about a 1/4 cup or so. (raisins were a bit of a luxury item back then, so they're optional.)
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt or thereabouts
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons lard
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk (set aside a tablespoon of that for sealing the crust, later)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (if you have it)
1 teaspoon cinnamon- or less, to taste
1 tablespoon sugar or brown sugar, you can mix the 2 or just use one or the other. I use both and a bit more than a tablespoon!
More lard for deep frying
Cover dried apples with water; simmer, covered, for about a half hour. Drain, mix in your raisins with the apple chunks if you want and let the whole thing cool for a bit.

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the lard. Add eggs and milk, mix it up to form a soft dough. You ain't making a pie's more like a biscuit dough. Roll dough out thin and cut into 4 or 5 circles about 5 inches in diameter, about corn tortilla size. A large coffee can is perfect for this! You can just cut it into large squares too, if you're real inept, but circles are the traditional shape.

Mix the nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar.

Place about 1/2 cup dried apples in the center of each circle, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon (or more!) of the sugar mixture, then fold over. Some folk add just a teensy bit of butter on top of the filling before sealing, but that's optional and a matter of taste.
Wet edges with a little milk and seal with a fork. Poke a few holes in the topside of crust with the fork before frying up.
Fry in a dutch oven with about 2 inches of melted lard in it until golden brown. Like doughnuts, you'll need to flip them.
Carefully fish them out of the hot fat and drain well on a bunch of paper towels, or if you're real hi-tone and fancy-a cake rack.

If all you've known is McDonald's apple "turnovers", then your first bite of these will be a surprize. It's an acquired taste. A lot of folks can't stand 'em, but quite a few think there ain't nuthin' better. Try it with fresh apples or other fillings and it might go down better!
Now if you're health conscious, you can sub vegetable shortening in the crust and canola oil for the frying, but that really wasn't the point of this recipe, right?
We were going for gooey, artery cloggin' goodness!!


Blogger Cookie..... said...

Whoa Liz! I could feel my arteries cloggin up just readin that one. Good One!

3/07/2008 6:11 PM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

Lard, baby. That's where it's at.
; )

3/08/2008 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been reading blogs for years and never felt compelled to leave a comment.

Thank you so much for this recipe. My grandmother, from Kentucky, "taught" me to make these when I was about ten. I was just thinking about them the other day. Thank you!!

These are exactly like she made. She also boiled her "tea towels" in huge pans on the stove with lye soap. Something else I've never gotten around to doing.


3/09/2008 7:41 PM  
Blogger Lemuel Calhoon said...

Nothing is better than cake with the old fashioned "lard" icing.

3/09/2008 10:55 PM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

Thanks, Kelly, for stopping by and commenting! I have kin in Kentucky, too. (the Ashland/ Flatwoods area)
Fried pie seems to be a staple to this region, and no surprize that it's in Kentucky as well since alot of the Ozark hillbillies originally hailed from the hills there.

Cookie, I know you have a few health issues, so please try the recipe with the minor changes! I don't want your heart attack on my hands!

Lem, I barely remember those days! I think my aunt used to whip lard or at least Crisco into the frosting whenever she made a cake. I know it sure didn't taste store boughtened!

3/10/2008 7:34 AM  
Blogger Fish-2 said...

Lordie, but that brings back memories. My grandmother, also from Kentucky, used to dry apples in the fall then make fried pies out of them during the winter. When my three brothers and I would find out she was "fixin'" to do this we would be on hand. She had to fry them up for about an hour before she could get ahead of us eating them as fast as she had them done. Now that I live in Kentucky, I've encountered these at county fairs, festivals and such - and again sampling them. My triglycerides are elevated.

3/10/2008 7:47 AM  

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