It’s early in these warm weather months and I’ve already jumped from a dock into a lake. And, to be honest, it was more of a reluctant fall into a lake than a confident jump because, well… everyone knows lakes are full of fish, moss, and lake monsters – enter at your own risk – which I did – and I’m here to tell the tale of that and, more importantly, fried pies.
The lake is Lake Martin. The state is Alabama. I have just a hint of a sunburn on my shins and the sway of that boat dock still in my bones.
The days feel just celebratory enough to fry our fresh fruit pies, in true Southern style. Buttery crisp handheld pockets of warm fruit. It’s summer picnic dreams made divine. And if you can work a lake dock into the mix, I really just don’t think it gets better than that. And here’s the thing – now here until September, we’re never not frying our little baby pies.
These sweet baby angel pies might feel like they combine two baking intimidations: making pie crust AND frying things.
You know I’m here to help.
Here are a few things to set you up for success:
MMKAY let’s fry pie!
We’ll start by making pie crust.
Flour, three cups. Sugar, 2 tablespoons. We’re using the sweetness to compliment the fruit.
Salt, because where there is sugar there is also salt. Balance.
My favorite way to get cold bits of butter into a pie crust – grate the butter on an old school box grater. The trick? Make sure the butter is very chilled – right from the refrigerator or a quick stint in the freezer and grate quickly.
(I quickly break up that butter nub into the flour mixture as my fingers approach the grater. I’ve grated my finger tip one too many times.)
Toss the flaked butter into the dry ingredients and quickly work the ingredients through your fingers. Working the butter into flour mixture for about 2 quick minutes.
Buttermilk to bring the pie crust together.
Enough to create a moist and shaggy dough. For me that’s about 1/2 cup but a tablespoon or two more won’t hurt anything.
Onto the counter goes the shaggy dough. Knead it together, working any dry patches into the more moist bits.
In about 10 to 12 kneads turns you’ll have a big disk of dough.
Fridge time is quality time.
The butter will rechill and the buttermilk will hydrate the whole shebang.
Divide the dough disk in half, rolling out half at a time into a roughly 10×14-inch rectangle.
The edges of your rolled ‘rectangle’ will be shaggy. Trim em up and bust out the kitchen ruler (in my case a tape measurer) to cut six even squares out of each half of dough.
My squares were 4 x 4 1/2 – inches.
Brush the top and right side of each square lightly with egg wash. It’s glue!
And dollop a generous 1 teaspoon of jam into the top right corner.
Top each jam dot with a few blueberries. Three or four will do.
Combine all the points, folding the square into a triangle.
Press lightly with fingers. The egg will help seal.
And a light fork crimping just to make sure the pies don’t leak blueberry in the fry oil.
Refrigerate the pie triangles. A little chill in the refrigerator makes handling and frying much easier.
I fried three pies at a time in about 2 1/2 inches of oil heated to 360 degrees F.
It sounds like math, but it’s just a few steps for frying success!
After four minutes or so – fried pie!
Dust the cooled pies with powdered sugar and pack them up for outdoor summer friend vibes… or just have at it. You deserve at least two warm pies, all to yourself.
The insides are juicy, sweet, and mellow. The outsides flakey and crisp and lightly sugared. As good as you think these are – they’re that good, maybe even better. The simplicity is why they shine. That… and the frying, and the summer, and the fresh blueberries.Print
- 3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, grated on a box grater
- 1/2 cup cold buttermilk plus 1 tablespoons more if your dough is dry
- 1 cup good blueberry jam
- a pint of fresh blueberries
- 1 large egg beaten with a splash of water, for egg wash
- canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- To make the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, grated butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes.
- Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in buttermilk. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. Add more buttermilk if necessary.
- On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. If you find the dough needs more moisture, add a bit more. Press and knead the dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to two days.
- When the pie crust is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator, cut in half and return the other half to the fridge to keep chilled.
- Lightly flour a clean counter and rolling pin.
- Roll the pie crush into a 1/3-inch thick shape that resembles a rectangle. You want the pie crust to be thin enough to feel bendy and pliable but thick enough to handle without too much worry. I think juuuust a bit thicker than 1/4-inch is the sweet spot. Your rectangle should be approximately 10×14 inches.
- This is where a kitchen ruler or measuring tape comes in really handy. First cut any ragged edges off the pie crust rectangle, creating a rectangle with even, smooth sides. Measure and cut the pie crust in half along the shorter (approx 10-inch) side. You’ll have two longer strips of dough.
- Measure the longer strips into three sections and slice. You’ll have six squares from each dough half.
- Dollop 1 heaping teaspoon of blueberry jam into the top right corner of each square. Add four blueberries to each dollop of jam.
- Lightly brush the top and right side of each dough square with egg wash. From the bottom left corner, fold each pie square into a triangle.
- Press lightly with your fingers then use a fork to crimp the two edges. Repeat with all the squares. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate. Repeat the process with the second dough half and refrigerate those too for 30 minutes.
- When you’re ready to fry the pies, in a medium saucepan fitted with a deep-fry thermometer and set over medium heat, have about 2 1/2-inches of oil to 360 degrees F.
- Place three pie triangles into the hot oil. Fry until deep golden on all sides, flipping once or twice, about 4 minutes.
- Remove pies with tongs or a spider and place on a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Bring the oil back up to temperature if it dropped and continue to fry all the pies in batches. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy warm or room temperature.
- Pies are best enjoyed the day they’re made! Makes 12 pies