Fried apple pies are a beautiful thing: the crisp flakiness of buttery pie dough, just the right amount of caramelly apple filling – basically, all the comfort of apple pie in a perfect handheld pouch. Everyone I make these for, positively flips for them – making them one of the all time universally favorite recipes inside this book. If you want to use store-bought pie dough or puff pastry, you’ll need about 1 ¾ lbs / 790 g of dough total to work with, and you can skip straight to step 5.
- Pie Dough:
- 450 g / 3 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 4 g / 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 340 g / 1 ½ cups cold unsalted butter (3 sticks), cut into ½ inch cubes
- 115 g / ½ cup ice water, plus more as needed
- 28 g / 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 375 g / 3 medium apples, such as Honeycrisp, peeled and diced
- 15 g / 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 5 g / 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 107 g / ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 3 g / 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- < 1 g / ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 g / ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 37 g / 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 15 g / 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- oil for frying
- 99 g / 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 g / 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- pinch fine sea salt
1. Make the pie dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the cubed butter,tossing the cubes through the flour until each individual piece is well coated. ‘Cut’ the butter intothe flour by pressing the pieces between your fingers, flattening the cubes into big shards. As youwork, continue to toss the butter through the flour, recoating the shingled pieces. Continue to work the mixture together until the pieces of butter are about the size of peas.
2. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the amount of ice water listed in the recipe to the well, but have more on hand. Use a tossing motion with your hands to start to mix the two together (this begins to combine them without creating too much gluten). As it begins to become hydrated, you can start to use more of a kneading motion – but don’t overdo it: this will make the dough tough. Add more water about 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is properly hydrated: it should be uniformly combined and hold together easily, but it won’t look totally smooth.
3. Dough that is too dry may have sort of a “dusty” appearance, or pockets of un-hydrated flour. It will not hold together and will appear crumbly. Dough that is too wet will feel sticky or tacky to the touch, and is often smoother and/or lighter in color.
4. Form the dough into two even disks. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30minutes and up to 2 days.
5. Make the filling: in a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples, tossing to coat in the butter. Add the lemon juice, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the apples start to soften, 3-4 minutes.
6. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar and flour to combine. Add to the pot and stir well to combine. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens, 2-3 minutes.
7. Let the filling cool completely (you can speed this process up by spreading it into an even layer on a baking sheet.
8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough to ¼ in / 6 mm thick – exact size doesn’t matter, because you’ll be cutting out circles from the dough. Use a 4 in / 10 cm round cutter (or a plate/stencil of the same size as a guide). You’ll get about 14 pieces (if you get less, that’s ok – you can re-roll the dough).
9. Spoon about 21 g / 2 Tbsp filling into the center of each circle. (Note: If the filling is wet or syrupy, you can sort of drain the apples out of the juicy portion to get more solids than juice – reserve the juice for later). Brush the outside edge with cool water, then fold the circle in half to encase the filling. Press the edges firmly to seal, then crimp with a fork. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, and refrigerate, uncovered.
10. Repeat this process with the remaining dough and filling (you can save the scraps and re-rol them once). You’ll end up with about 4 pieces (maybe a few more if you had more dough left after round one). Refrigerate, uncovered, while you heat the oil.
11. Pour 3-4 in / 8-10 cm oil in a medium pot and begin to warm over medium heat. When the oil reaches 350°F/175°C, you’re ready to fry (you can also test the temperature with a scrap piece of dough – it should immediately rise to the surface and slowly begin to brown). Line a baking sheet with a few layers of absorbent paper towels (or a clean kitchen towel you don’t mind getting oily).
12. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, cinnamon, and salt to combine. Remove the pies from the refrigerator.
13. Fry 1-2 pieces at a time until evenly golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Watch the temperature of the oil – you may need to adjust the heat as you work. When the hand pies are evenly browned, use a spider or slotted spoon to remove the pies from the oil and transfer to the towel lined baking sheet to drain.
14. After the pies have drained for about 1 minute, toss them in the cinnamon sugar to coat while they are still warm, then set onto a serving platter.
15. Repeat the frying and coating process with the remaining pies. Serve immediately, warm.