Crispy apple fry pies with a hint of spice are doused in sweet glaze that helps put the crackle in every bite. Best part? You can eat them with one hand.
By Courtney Rowland
If you’ve never heard of a fry pie before, they’re pretty self explanatory. Pie crust is wrapped around a fruit or cream filling then fried and glazed. In some places they’re called fried pies, but at the Amish bakeries I’m familiar with, they always go by fry pies.
I don’t think I need to explain why these are so popular. They’ve got a lot going for them. First, PIE. Second, FRIED pie. Third, HANDHELD fried pie. And fourth, GLAZED handheld fried pie. If there were an Amish state fair, these would be the signature dish (except maybe they’d be on a stick).
For my first foray into fried pies, I decided to go with a classic, seasonal favorite–apple. This filling is simple with just a hint of spice. The crust is tender and flaky and just a little crunchy. And the glaze? It dries into a crackly sweet coating that seals in all the goodness.
Now imagine yourself being able to take the sweet, familiar, homey flavors of apple pie wherever you go. The portability of these means you can grab them for breakfast, eat them in your car (not responsible for any eyes-rolling-back-in-head accidents), pack them for a late-Autumn picnic, or one hand them while you fold some laundry. Actually, that last one may not be true. Test at your own risk.
- 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons cider
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 cups flour, sifted
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 2 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup HOT milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- For the glaze:
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
- To make the filling, combine the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until juices start to form, about 3 minutes. Make a slurry by whisking together the cider and cornstarch. Stir this into the pan, turn the heat up to high, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and set aside.
- For the dough, cut the butter into cubes then use a pastry cutter to work it into the flour. Continue to cut in the butter until it's in small pea-sized lumps. In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and salt together. Slowly pour in hot milk, stirring constantly. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Stir together until a dough begins to form. Turn the dough out onto parchment or wax paper, and knead it until it smooths out, about 1 minute.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal sized pieces and roll them each into a ball. Use a rolling pin to roll them out to about 6 inch circles. Fill each circle with 2 Tablespoons of apple mixture. Fold the dough in half over the filling and pinch the edges together to seal. You can flute the edges or use a fork to crimp them. If the edges aren't sealing properly, wet them with a little water.
- Heat the oil in a deep sauce pan to 350 degrees. You can test to see if the oil is ready by sticking a wooden spoon into the center of the pot. If small bubbles form around the handle, you're ready to go.
- Place the pies in the hot oil one at a time and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to dry.
- Repeat with remaining pies.
- While the pies fry, make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. It's best to glaze the pies while they're still warm. I use a pastry brush to brush the glaze on one side then let it dry, flip them over, and glaze the other side. You can put two coats of glaze on for extra sweetness if you like, but wait for the glaze to harden in between coats.
- Pies can be stored uncovered for 2-3 days. If you want the glaze to remain hard, do not place the pies in a plastic bag or sealed container. Just leave them on a wire rack or pan.
Courtney is the author, photographer, and flour dusted girl behind the blog NeighborFood. She believes in using real butter, in season produce, and mismatched plates. She loves gathering people at the table and sharing stories, spills, and the occasional corny jokes.