Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gramma's Fried Apple Pies, and an Apple Pie, too

Is there anything in the whole world quite so yummy as a good apple pie?  Yes!  A good FRIED apple pie!

My Gramma made the best, and I mean THE BEST, fried apple pies known to mankind.  They were so amazing!!  Mine aren't quite like hers.  Unfortunately no one got her exact recipe, and I don't even know that she had one.  I think it was a dash of this, a taste of that, and this might be good so I'll just put a pinch.  She had this monster of a pressure cooker, and a three foot long rubber spoon that she stirred the astounding batch of apple awesomesauce with.  You could smell them all the way outside, and even though we were thoroughly sick of peeling apples, I don't remember complaining about it.  *note:  I could be wrong LOL Dad would know better.  But peeling apples mean apple pies, and apple pies were worth peeling apples.

WARNING:  This is going to be one of ~those~ recipes, you know where nothing is quite what it seems.  Fiddle with it.  Everyone's tastes are different.


1/3 - 1/2 c (give or take) each white sugar and brown sugar.  With Granny Smith apples, 1/2 c wasn't enough, so I added in a little extra for the next batch.
3-4 Tbsp flour or corn starch - I like corn starch better.  It doesn't taste, and it seems to thicken more evenly.
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
2 tsp vanilla flavoring or extract
1/2 c butter
7c apples peeling and sliced or chopped. - for fried apple pies, chop them small.  For a regular apple pie, it's up to you.  Some people like them sliced, others chopped.  Me?  I don't care as long as it's good :-P

Melt the butter, add both sugars and melt together.  Stir it frequently to keep it from scorching.  Add everything but the starch or flour, and mix in well.  Turn the heat down low and let them stew slowly.  Keep an eye on them, stirring them now and then to make sure they're not sticking.  When they've gotten as soft as you want them (if I can cut them with a spoon without having to press too hard, that's about right) add in the starch or flour, and let it thicken up as thick as you want it.  Remove from heat and get your crust(s) ready.

Double Pie Crust:

2c all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 c shortening or butter (chilled)
6 Tbsp cold water

Combine the dry ingredients, cut in the shortening, add water one Tbsp at a time and mix until a cohesive ball forms.

Divide the dough into two almost equal balls (one slightly larger than the other) and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.  Put the larger circle in the pie plate, add the filling, and top with the smaller circle.  Fold the edges under and crimp how you like.  Gramma used to use a fork.

Cut a few air vents in the top, and bake at 375 for 30-50 minutes, until it's a nice golden brown.  You can use an egg white wash on the top to make it shiny and pretty and get a better color.

But to make Gramma's fried apple pies, you need biscuit dough.

6c self rising flour
1 - 1 & 1/2 c shortening
1 & 1/4 cup milk

and a little extra flour for fiddling.

Just a note, this is not how I make buttermilk biscuits.  I use more shortening and more liquid.  I think they're too tough like this, but that's the secret.  You have to have tough biscuit dough for good fried apple pies.  Work the biscuit dough till it is a little drier than you want it for biscuits.  (Is this not helpful?  I'm doing my best.)  Normally biscuit dough is kind of sticky and softish.  You want your dough to be not sticky, and a little more dense, like playdough... sort of.

Roll it out and cut circles just like you would for biscuits.  Then roll out the biscuits until they are a little thicker than a pie crust, but thinner than for a sheet cookie.  (I know, I know.. I get more country by the sentence with these instructions!)  Put a couple tablespoons of your apple goodness in the center, fold over and smoosh the edges together.  Now, put a little water around the flattened edge to moisten it, and fold it back on itself so the water helps it stick.

Cook it in a preheated skillet that is only lightly greased (yes, grease.  Not oil.  I don't know why but it makes a difference.  Oil seems to soak right into the dough.)  over medium to medium high heat.  Let it get good and brown on bottom.  Don't fiddle with it!  You'll bust it.  Gently flip it over, and brown the other side.

They are so yummy!

If you don't want to make as many all at once, the biscuit dough can be reduced by 3.

2c flour
1/3 - 1/2 c shortening
3/4 c milk

The apples are perfectly good frozen and thawed later.


  1. if you lived closer, I would be right over for a pie, they look delicious! 2 of our sons will be here Saturday doing some truck repairs, maybe I will make a batch then. I've got all the ingredients.
    My mom used to make fried apricot pies, except she used pie crust and she cooked them in an almost dry electric skillet, pretty much like you describe.

    I am very impressed with how good your cast iron cleaned up. I have several pieces but have never really enjoyed cooking with them, even though hubby thinks I should. But we can't do everything those hubbys want, now can we?

  2. I'd be more than willing to share :-D.
    I may have to try the pie crust idea. The biscuit tastes right, but the texture and thickness are hard to pinpoint. She may have even used pie crust. No one knows for sure. Everyone answered "I think she used biscuit dough" when I asked, and my family in Tennessee use biscuit dough for theirs. My Gramma used her electric skillet, too. It heated more evenly than the stove top.

    Why don't you like the cast iron? I think I like it for nostalgia, and continuity as much as for the excellent heat distribution and non-stick qualities once it's seasoned right.

  3. Hello - I just have a hard time cleaning cast iron, and it is probably because I don't use it enough to get it really seasoned.
    I have a big skillet, a little skillet and some little cornbread pans. Hubby uses a dutch oven when he cooks beans outside.
    Everytime I replace a nonstick skillet, I think I should just use cast but then I don't.
    In fact tonight, I fried some okra in a skillet and I really should of used that cast iron instead of the nonstick.

    and more about the fried pies, I did not get any made this weekend but maybe I will tomorrow.
    My mom usually made peach or apricot, the filling was from dried fruit and it had a very intense fruit flavor. so good!
    I am positive mom used her regular pie crust for her fried pies. That is funny they both used electric skillets.

  4. You don't use soap on them do you? Because that's bad news bears. When they aren't seasoned well, it's best to use them for things that either produce enough grease on their own not to stick (bacon, sausage, etc.) or for frying where you'll use a lot of grease in the pan.

    When you go to "clean it", wipe it out with a hot damp rag if you have to, put it on the eye or in the oven to dry completely, and grease it while it's still hot to keep it from rusting. If there's nothing stuck on, just wipe out all the solid bits, and if necessary grease it. If what you cooked was greasy enough, just rub it in.

    I know, that sounds icky. A lot of people don't like cast iron because they don't feel it's very sanitary, but I never got sick from Gramma's cooking :)


Share your thoughts, ideas, advice, recipes, suggestions - I'd love to hear from you.