Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Southern Fried Fruit Pies

Servings: Makes 1 dozen pies
These little goodies originated in the southern part of the United States. Several other countries have their variations of fruit pies such as Mexico. Their's are called Empanadas, and can be either savory or sweet.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1 egg, separated
1/3 cup vegetable shortening, melted
1 can (16 ounces) fruit pie filling (any fruit pie filling of your choice, such as peach, apricot, apple, blueberry, etc.)
Chopped nuts, (optional)
Additional shortening or vegetable oil for frying

Garnish: (optional)
Confectioners' sugar

1). In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. In a small bowl, mix cream, egg yolk and melted shortening. Add liquid ingredients to the dry to make a soft dough. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

2). Remove half of the dough from the refrigerator; keep the remainder chilled. Lightly flour a board. Divide the dough into 6 parts and form balls. Flatten one with your hands, then roll out to the size of a saucer. Place 2 tablespoons filling in center of the dough. Fold over until the edges meet. Press edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with remaining dough to make 1 dozen pies.

3). Beat egg white until frothy, adding a teaspoon of water. Brush edges of pies with egg white mixture to seal. Place pies in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

4). In a large, deep skillet, melt enough shortening or use enough oil to reach a depth of about 2 inches. Heat to 375° F (190° C). Add pies, no more than 2 or 3 at a time, and fry until golden. Turn once and cook until golden on the other side, about 3 to 5 minutes total. Drain well on absorbent paper. If desired, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

1). If you do not want to fry your pies, they may be baked on lightly greased baking sheets at 425° (220° C) for 12 minutes.

2). 1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts may be used instead of making the pie dough from scratch, or you can also substitute with ready-made store bought refrigerated biscuit dough.

3). Coarsely chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, can be mixed in with the fruit pie filling giving these fried pies an extra crunch.

Makes 1 dozen fried fruit pies.

Date: June 30, 2003