Today, you are about to embark on a mouthwatering culinary adventure as we guide you through the step-by-step process of creating the most delectable traditional Southern fried pie. From the tantalizing blend of flaky crust to the burst of sweet or savory fillings, this article will provide you with all the necessary tips and tricks to create a scrumptious masterpiece that will have your taste buds dancing with delight. Get ready to roll up your sleeves, preheat your frying pans, and immerse yourself in the irresistible flavors of this beloved Southern treat.

Step 1: Prepare the Dough

Gather the ingredients

To make a traditional Southern fried pie, you will need a few simple ingredients. Start by gathering 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of shortening, 1/2 cup of cold water, and a pinch of sugar. These ingredients are the foundation of the delicious pastry that will encase your filling.

Combine the dry ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. This will ensure that the dry ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the dough and will help achieve a consistent texture. Use a whisk or fork to gently mix the ingredients together until they are well combined.

Cut in the shortening

Next, it’s time to add the shortening to the dry ingredients. Cut the shortening into small pieces and incorporate it into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or your fingertips. The goal is to create small, pea-sized clumps of shortening throughout the dough. This will help give the fried pies their signature flakiness.

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Add the wet ingredients

Once the shortening is evenly distributed, it’s time to add the wet ingredients. Slowly pour in the cold water while gently stirring the dough. You may not need to use all of the water, so add it gradually until the dough comes together. It should be slightly sticky but not overly wet.

Mix and knead the dough

Using your hands, gently mix and knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough, as this can result in a tougher texture. If the dough feels too sticky, lightly dust it with flour while kneading. Once you have a smooth ball of dough, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This resting period will allow the gluten to relax and make the dough easier to work with.

Step 2: Roll out and Cut the Dough

Prepare a floured surface

While the dough is chilling, prepare a clean, floured surface for rolling out the dough. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour onto your countertop or a large cutting board. This will prevent the dough from sticking and make it easier to roll out to the desired thickness.

Divide the dough

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and divide it into two equal portions. This will make it more manageable to roll out and cut into individual fried pies. Return one portion to the refrigerator while working with the other.

Roll out the dough

Take one portion of the dough and place it on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough into a circle or oval shape, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Rotate the dough and sprinkle more flour as needed to prevent sticking. The size of the circle or oval will depend on how big you want your fried pies to be.

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Cut out circles

Once the dough is rolled out to the desired thickness, use a round biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass to cut out circles from the dough. Place the circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining dough. You can re-roll the dough scraps to get as many circles as possible.

Step 3: Prepare the Filling

Choose your filling

One of the great things about Southern fried pies is the versatility when it comes to fillings. You can choose from a variety of options, such as apple, peach, cherry, or even savory fillings like barbecue or pulled pork. The choice is yours, so pick your favorite or experiment with different flavors to find your perfect filling.

Cook the filling

To prepare the filling for your fried pies, follow a simple recipe based on your chosen flavor. For example, if you’re making apple fried pies, peel and dice some apples, then cook them over medium heat with butter, sugar, cinnamon, and a splash of lemon juice. Stir occasionally until the apples are tender and the mixture has thickened. Allow the filling to cool before using.

Cool the filling

Once the filling has cooked, it’s important to let it cool completely before using it to fill the fried pies. This will prevent the hot filling from melting the dough and making it difficult to seal. Transfer the filling to a bowl and let it sit at room temperature until it reaches a safe temperature for handling.

Step 4: Fill and Seal the Pies

Place the filling on the dough

Now that your dough circles and filling are ready, it’s time to start assembling the fried pies. Take one dough circle and place a spoonful of the cooled filling in the center. Be careful not to overfill the pies, as it can make sealing them more challenging. Leave enough space around the edges to ensure a proper seal.

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Fold and seal the pies

To seal the fried pies, fold the dough circle in half, creating a half-moon shape. Gently press the edges together with your fingers to seal in the filling. To ensure a tight seal and prevent any filling from leaking out during frying, use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges of the dough. Repeat this process with the remaining dough circles and filling.

Step 5: Fry the Pies

Heat the oil

To fry the pies, you will need a deep pot or a deep fryer. Fill the pot with enough vegetable or canola oil to fully submerge the pies. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of approximately 350°F (175°C). Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature and adjust the heat as needed during frying.

Fry the pies

Once the oil is hot and at a consistent temperature, carefully place the filled and sealed pies into the oil, one at a time. Depending on the size of your pot or fryer, you may need to fry the pies in batches to avoid overcrowding. Fry each pie for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until the crust turns golden brown and crisp.

Step 6: Drain and Cool the Pies

Remove the fried pies from the oil

Using a slotted spoon or tongs, carefully remove the fried pies from the hot oil and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. The paper towels will absorb any excess oil and help drain the pies.

Drain on paper towels

Allow the fried pies to drain on the paper towels for a few minutes to remove any excess oil. This will help keep the pies from becoming greasy when served.

Allow to cool

After draining, let the fried pies cool down for a few additional minutes. This will allow the filling to set and prevent any burns while enjoying this delicious treat. Remember, they’ll still be warm and flavorful even when they’ve cooled slightly.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy

Serve the fried pies

Once the fried pies have cooled to a comfortable temperature, they are ready to be served. Transfer them to a serving platter or individual plates, and sprinkle them with a dusting of powdered sugar if desired. These handheld delights are typically served as a snack or dessert, ideal for any occasion or an afternoon treat.

Enjoy the delicious traditional Southern treat

Now it’s time to dig in and enjoy your homemade traditional Southern fried pies. Whether you chose a classic apple filling or got creative with unique flavors, the combination of the flaky crust and sweet or savory filling is sure to delight your taste buds. Share them with family and friends, or savor them for yourself, and experience the true taste of the South in each bite.

Jenny Jones

By Jenny Jones

Jenny Jones is a passionate culinary enthusiast hailing from the heart of the South. Born and raised in a small town known for its rich culinary traditions, she developed an unwavering love for Southern cooking from an early age.