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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fried Peach Pies

There are so many points I want to hit in this post that I literally had to open a Windows Notepad document to start typing them all out as soon as I turned the computer on. I want to touch on the history of fried pies A.K.A. "pasties" or "hand pies." I also want to talk a little about the German music I listened to while making them and the wonders of the "Sounds of the Season" Music Choice channel (and how I'm really sad that the German songs will end Oct. 5th). I want to talk about the memories these fried pies bring of when my dad used to work at the shipyard. I want to mention how awesome the cookbook is that this recipe came from, "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea" by Martha Hall Foose. And I can't forget to thank Stephanie Velez for sending me a copy of this book when her mother bought it for her not knowing she already owned it! Lastly, I want to say something about the banana cream pie I made last week that was supposed to be my next blog post, but these pies are just so awesome they skipped to the front of the line! Oh wait, that wasn't the last thing... I wanna thank my camera for being back in business and hooking me up with some GREAT photos, if I may say so myself! Ok, shall we begin?

I've seen the episode of Good Eats about fried pies/pasties, so if I tried really hard I could tell you some stuff about the history of them. But I made like 50 fondant bras at work today, and my brain is all mushy, so I'm gonna let Google and The NY Sun take over:
Fried pies are little hot-pocket semicircles of dough that are filled with fruit and, as the name implies, deep-fried. They're particularly popular in the South... Tradition claims that the "pasty" was originally made as lunch for Cornish tin miners who were unable to return to the surface to eat. The story goes that, covered in dirt from head to foot, they could hold the pasty by the folded crust and eat the rest without touching it, discarding the dirty pastry. The pastry they threw away was supposed to appease the knockers, capricious spirits in the mines who might otherwise lead miners into danger... The pasty's dense, folded pastry could stay warm for 8 to 10 hours and, when carried close to the body, could help the miners stay warm.

How's that for a history lesson? Well, I thought it was interesting. Anyway, on to my next point. The "Sounds of the Season" channel is playing the most awesome German music from now through Oct. 4. Usually, I have no interest in German music, but for some reason as the outside air becomes brisk and the season for pumpkins and apples falls upon us, German music just seems right! Lol, I'm sure you don't trust me, so if you get the Music Choice channels I encourage you to try it out this week. Don't be surprised when you find yourself wishing you had a German playlist on your iPod next time you leave the house.On to point numero tres. When I think of fried pies, I can't help but remember those Hostess pies my dad used to bring home from the Newport News Shipyard when I was a kid. He always picked my brother and I up from daycare on his way home, and a few times a week his pockets would be full of Hostess pies. His favorite was lemon, so all other flavors were scarce. But when I saw that red wrapper peaking out, I knew he'd brought a cherry pie for me! When I see those pies now at the grocery store I pass them up, but I enjoy the memory. :D Never fear, fried pies aren't out of my life forever. Thanks to Stephanie Velez, who was kind enough to send me her duplicate copy of "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea," I can make my own fried fruit pies (without the nasty Crisco film on the roof of my mouth, sorry Hostess, but you know it's true!). This book is really lovely for anyone who enjoys the history of food in the South. The stories, recipes, and pictures are full of nostalgia. For these pies, I used the filling recipe and instruction from "Screen Doors," but I used my go-to pie crust recipe for the crust. They are so delicious! The allspice makes them perfect to eat during the winter months. The only thing I'd change next time is to reduce the vinegar from 2 tablespoons to 1. The taste of vinegar didn't cook out like I expected it to and it was pretty noticeable. Other than that, these are perfect!I could just *hug* my camera for snapping this mouth-watering shot! ;)

Peach Fried Pies (from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea by Martha Hall Foose)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard
3/4 cups whole milk

2 cups chopped fresh or frozen peaches
(I used 3 large peaches)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
(I'd reduce to 1 tablespoon next time)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
Canola oil, for frying

MAKE THE PASTRY. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking pow­der, and salt. Cut in the shortening until no pieces are larger than a pea. Add the milk and combine, using a fork. Gather the dough and knead lightly for 1 minute. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate while preparing the filling.

MAKE THE FILLING. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the peaches, brown sugar, and allspice. Cook and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved and the peaches are juicy. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and cornstarch. Add to the peaches and cook and stir for 10 min­utes, or until the mixture is thick and glossy. Stir in the lemon juice. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish to cool.

In a small shallow dish, combine the granulated sugar and cin­namon. Set aside.

MAKE THE PIES. Roll the dough 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. With a sharp knife or cutter, cut ten 6-inch circles (I used an inverted cereal bowl). Place 2 tablespoons of peach filling in the center of each circle. Beat the egg with I teaspoon water. Brush a thin line of egg wash around the edges of the circles. Fold to form a half-moon shape. Lightly press out any air pockets. Press the edges with the tines of a fork to seal. Pierce one time on top of each pie with a fork to let steam escape while frying. Heat 1 inch of canola oil in a large skillet to 375°F. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with newspaper or paper towels. Gently place the pies, two at a time, pierced side up, in the skillet. Fry to golden brown, turning once, 2 minutes per side. Remove from the oil and let drain briefly on the wire rack. Toss in the cinnamon sugar and allow to cool for 5 minutes.


sodarnhappy said...

OH.MY.GOD. I'm going to the store for peaches now.

VelezDelights said...

I'm so glad you liked the book!!! It was my pleasure to send you it!! On another note, these look great :) I wonder what they would be like with apples???? Hehehe

thereddeer said...

That last photo...drool! These look amazing - but somehow I don't think they would fit in with my healthy eating regime :P

Karen said...

Hi Cassie, I love your blog! It's all I can do not to keep step with you and make everything you write about! I've been meaning to try these for a while after reading about them on another blog (http://dorcasannettewalker.blogspot.com/2007/10/grannys-fried-apple-pies.html), but yours look so good rolled in cinnamon sugar that I think I'm going to have to try that recipe instead!

By the way, what kind of camera do you use? Your photos always look incredible!

Mini Baker said...

i was watching the food network channel crisco national pie competition... and one of the ladies made these! they look so delicious! :)
-Mini Baker

Adam said...

Great job, Southern girl :) I also have heard about the history behind the pies, and that's quite a remarkable little thing there. I'm just glad I don't have your peach ones for lunch... because honestly they wouldn't wait that long :)

ABowlOfMush said...

Oooh yummy, its almost like stuffed doughnuts!

Christina said...

The crust looks so crispy and delectable!

Steph said...

Those look delicious. I love how flaky the pastry is... and only 6 tbsps of butter too!!

Iqphantom said...

Quite a walk to remember...Mom used to make these kind of pies when we were kids...but with apples ...peaches sound lovely.

Brilliant as always girl...Tears in my eyes here...
Thanks for the memory.

Paris Pastry said...

That does look mouthwatering! I love pasties! (who doesn't ?)

Dajana said...

May I thank your camera, too?
The pictures are so good that I feel an impulse to run over to my kitchen and make these immediately.
I also loved reading the story about miners and your Dad bringing the pastries.

Heather said...

We actually have a resturant here attached to a gas station called "Fried Pies" they will fill them with anything. They even have lunch pies like a south western chicken one! They are super duper good! I have always wanted to try these so I am glad you tried it out first!! They look amazing and great camera shots!

Sweet Sins to Share

Jelli Bean said...

These look really tasty. I also saw that episode of "Good Eats" and was inspired. Needless to say, I've tried my luck with handpies a few times, and always have at least half the batch oozing out the edges because I superstuff them. Thanks for sharing!

Ingrid said...

Darn that IS a mouthwatering photo! I want one! (Love all the cinnamon sugar on top!)

Btw, my Mom loves those Hostess cherry pies.

A Slice of Concentrated Love said...

yum yum yum... I love history lessons with my food. It makes it that much more interesting when you make it... or eat it

kay said...

i don't think you could have possibly made this look any tastier. i'm reposting about it on my own blog tomorrow - amazing... *eats screen* i agree with other people, the photos make it seem so mouthwatering!

Amanda said...

Mmm... friiiied. :)

And holla at the yard!

spidersfrommars said...

I am so happy to have come across your blog.
Baking is one of my greatest passions so to find this recipe made my day!

Anonymous said...

just to point out that here in the UK a pasty is savoury and never contains fruit or is covered with sugar. they are meat or vegatable based and according to my friend from cornwall they don't even consider any pasty made outside the borders of cornwall a real pasty! these look great though!

Eliana said...

These pockets of love look fantastic!!!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Ooh, these look much better than Hostess fried pies. Great post, but I have to ask - fondant bras???

Anonymous said...


Baking Monster said...

These look soo good!

Noreen said...

I loved the apple hostess pies when I was growing up. I have to try these! They look so good! The story about your dad bringing home pies for you and your brother is so sweet... that's what it's all about, the memories we make for our kids and grand kids!:)

susan said...

I loved reading the history and you got some great shots! Sounds scrumptious!

Miss Dot said...

Ooooo! These fried pies are to real pies as cupcakes are to cakes: Mini portable versions of the real thing. I love peach, too, and haven't tried to make anything with it, yet but this recipe looks really promising :)

Sweet Sins said...

So I finally made a post... Are you proud!!! MMMMM I could eat like 5 of these pies right now! haha

Stef said...

Great shots! I don't think I've ever really had a good fried pie, guess I may have to make one myself. Thanks for the recipe.

Hendria said...

Great photo... This looks like a great recipe... :)

Cupcake Forum said...

Looks like a lot of work, but delicious... wonder if the peaches in the store are still any good this time of year...