Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Granny's Fried Apple Pies

vintagecook

Fried Apple Pies

Granny was well known for her specialties: potato salad, pound cake, fried apple pies...
What, you may ask, is a fried apple pie?  Well if you're from the South you've likely tried them.  Traditionally they are made with dried fruit and are fried.  Not like McDonald's apple pies, either.  These are far more tender and delicate than that.

About this time of year, Granny's trees were full of green apples.  Green apples are not Granny Smith variety but immature apples, which are still green, as opposed to the ripened apples.  Green apples of all varieties  are tart and sweet and a little bit hard to bite into, but as children we haunted the trees when the apples got big enough to eat, even if they were green.  Granny was forever warning us we'd have a stomach ache from eating so many but we never did have.  And we knew they were good to eat because Granny would gather up big pans full to pare and slice.  Often too she'd make some into her wonderful  lattice topped deep dish Green Apple Pie, a dish I grow more and more nostalgic for year after year.  Alas, a dearth of green apples exists in my life. 

She would take all the rest of the apple slices  and lay them out on old window screens, covering with cheesecloth and another screen and let them dry in the hot August sun.  She'd gather up those dry apple slices to store in muslin bags and a little later, make Fried Apple Pies.  Typically we'd have them all through the winter months for Sunday desserts, when she wasn't making Pecan Pie or Pound cakes.

Now the 'recipe' that follows is a very loose one.  The measurements can be adjusted up or down to suit your family's needs.  The apple filling is merely one option.  Some folks like to make sweet potato pies (using mashed cooked sweet potatoes), some use dried peaches, and Mama's grandmother liked to make chocolate pies (she'd fill with cocoa and sugar and  a drizzle of cream over the dry ingredients).  You can make berry pies using preserves.  Suit yourself, but do try a fried pie at least once.

Granny began by taking about 2 cups of dried apple slices and poured over them apple juice to cover.  Then she put the apples on to cook, adding more apple juice as needed.  When the apple slices were plump and tender and most of the liquid had been cooked away, she'd make up a biscuit dough and roll it thin.  She'd cut into circles roughly as big as a saucer, plop 2-3  tablespoons of apples in the middle,  fold and pinch the edges shut.  Then she'd heat a cast iron skillet, add a couple tbsps of oil and butter mixed and when the oil was hot, she'd place those pies in the skillet to fry slowly.  When browned on one side, she'd turn to cook on the other side and then remove them to drain on a paper towel. 

You can do this whole recipe with canned biscuits and applesauce if you'd prefer. I have just baked them in the oven which suits us and our digestion admirably.  My family looks forward to this as a seasonal treat just before Autumn arrives and Summer ends

3 comments:

  1. I've never made a fried pie. They do sound good.

    We used to have two apple trees in the yard where I grew up. I liked the green (before they were ripe) apples as well, or better, than after they were ripe. Lots of summer days outside snacking on green apples and purple grapes right off the vine, unwashed, of course. Vividly remember me and my cousin giving our dog bit-off bites of apple and occasionally whole grapes, too. didn't know back then that grapes were poison for dogs. We didn't worry about everything back then like we do now.

    My mom never made fried green apple pies, but she did fry our green apples until they were caramelized and delicious. I don't remember exactly how she made them, but oh how I dearly would love to be sitting at the kitchen table with my Mom and Dad again having Mom's fried green apples for desert.

    I'm wondering if they might have green (unripe) apples at the fruit stand. I'll have to look when I go for my peaches.

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  2. ah thanks for the memories. My granny had a big early apple tree in her yard and a huge crab apple tree. I loved crab apple jelly and my mama made applesauce out of the early apples. Wish I had a green apple tree too so I could make those fried apple pies. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. ah thanks for the memories. My granny had a big early apple tree in her yard and a huge crab apple tree. I loved crab apple jelly and my mama made applesauce out of the early apples. Wish I had a green apple tree too so I could make those fried apple pies. Thanks for sharing.

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