Thursday, October 18, 2007

Old Fashioned Dried Apple Pies

Since we don’t have any apples this fall, I may have to break out the tub of apples that we dried a few years ago and use them in place of fresh apples.

All right, Max, I know those dried apples have been around for a couple of years, but dried fruit does not spoil!! That’s why people dried food. It lasted forever.

Fried apple pies are an Eastern Kentucky mountain tradition that dates back to at least the days of the early settlers. Medieval housewives dried apples, and probably so did the Greek and Roman housewives. Although I don’t think the Greeks had apples. The porbably would not grow well in their climate.

In some places, a dried apple pie was a traditional dish to take to a funeral. Probably because most pioneer housewives would have some dried apples at any time of the year, and pies transported well in buggies and wagons, unlike fancy cakes.

Small Fried Pies were also a staple in kid’s lunches back in the days of metal lunch boxes or earlier with lunch pails. Sweet, and not too messy.

You can make dried apples into a regular style pie, or the way I liked them, in small, handsized half moon fried pies. In the old days the pastry was made with lard, and then the pies were deep fried in lard. No wonder life expectancy was low!!

Today, most women bake their Fried Pies, but we still call them Fried. Makes perfect sense, yes?

This recipe is based on commercial dried apples that come in the cellophane bags. For homemade, really dry apples, you start with an overnight soak in the water. And you must make sure that you cook the apple mixture until it is VERY thick. Otherwise, you will have the liquid seeping out of the pies and running all over the cookie sheet. Which, of course, then proceeds to burn on to the pan and smoke up the oven. So, Max, remember, “cook until VERY thick.”

Apple Fried Pies:

8 ounces dried apples
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 double pie crust pastry making

Cook dried apples in water in saucepan over low heat for about 30 minutes. Add sugar and spices. Cook 10 minutes longer. Remove from heat and add almond extract.

Roll half of the pie crust into a 12 inch circle. Spoon half of the apple mixture on to half of the circle. Fold the pastry over to enclose filling and seal the edge with a fork or a pastry crimper. Repeat with the remaining pie crust. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet that has been lined with foil to catch drips.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes until golden.

Yields 8 servings


jkld said...

These are NOT the old fashioned dried apple pies I grew up with in SW Virginia. They were NOT fried. They were a double crust, apple pie where the filling had the consistency of like a thick apple butter.

Sherri said...

My grandmother made dried apple fried pies using lard, similar to these, and lived to be 92. Hers had a little less spice and later in life she rolled out canned biscuits instead of making pie crust. I don't fry very much, but this was so much fun making these with my granddaughter. Dried apples can be re-hydrated in the microwave with water.