After 6 years, An Inspired Cook is getting a new look. There are now more recipe categories with a photo of each recipe to make it easier to find that perfect recipe and visualize how it might look. I hope you all will come along with me for the next chapter. Here’s one of my favorites . . . fried pies. I have to admit they are my guilty pleasure, there I said it! Honestly I love all pies but I am especially fond of fruit pies. Sweet fried pies which are sometimes referred to as hand pies are filled with any number of fruits and sometimes even cream fillings like chocolate or lemon. For these cherry pies I opted to used frozen cherries over fresh. Frozen cherries break down when cooked and emit the juice that’s needed to make a glossy pie filling that tastes so good in a fried pie. Then there’s the lemon glaze, the oh so yummy icing on the cake . . . um I mean pie!!
Heat a skillet with about 1 inch of oil. To know when the oil is hot enough, dip the handle of a wooden spoon in the hot oil and if it bubbles around the handle it’s ready to go. Fry for just a minute or two, just long enough to brown on one side, then gently turn with a spatula to brown the other side
3 cups Frozen Cherries
1/2 cup Sugar
3 tablespoons Cornstarch
Spritz of Lemon Juice
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla or 1/8 teaspoon Almond Extract
Dough (adapted from NeighborFood)
2 cups Flour, sifted
4 tablespoons butter, cut into smaller pieces
2 large Egg Yolks
1/2 – 2/3 cup Hot Milk (start with 1/2 cup and add more if needed)
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons Milk
1 – 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
Vegetable Oil for frying
To make the cherry pie filling, add the cherries to a medium heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Spritz cherries with lemon juice and continue to stir as the cherries heat up. As the cherries begin to release their juice add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add vanilla or almond extract and the cornstarch. Continue to stir as the cherries thicken and becomes a glossy pie filling. Remove from heat to cool.
To make the dough sift the flour and cut in the butter until it resembles coarse meal. The butter pieces should be no larger than pea size. In a small mixing bowl combine the egg yolks and salt. Whisk the egg yolks and salt together. Gently pour the egg mixture into the hot milk and whisk to temper the eggs. Stir together until a dough begins to form. If the dough is crumbly and won’t bind together add warm milk a tablespoon at a time until the dough forms. Turn the dough onto a generously floured surface and knead just until dough smooths out. Form into a round disk.
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Use a floured surface to form dough into individual round disks. Roll each dough ball with a rolling pin until it is approximately 6 inches round. Continue with the rest and set aside.
Add approximately 2 spoonfuls of cherry filling to the center of each of the rolled dough circles. Wet the outer edges of the dough with your finger so that it will seal. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges together with your fingers to seal.
Heat approximately 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Test the oil by placing the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil, when it bubbles, the oil should be hot enough to fry the pies.
Add the pies to the hot oil and fry for approximately 1 – 2 minutes to brown on one side. If they are browning too quickly turn the heat down. Carefully turn them over with a spatula to brown the other side, again 1 – 2 minutes. Drain on a cooling rack. Continue frying any remaining pies.
To make Lemon Glaze, sift powdered sugar into a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the milk and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. Use a pastry brush to apply glaze onto warm pies.
Pies can be refrigerated and re-warmed in an oven or toaster oven.
Makes 6 fried pies