Mention a fried pie to someone outside the South and you’re likely to get a puzzled look. Shaped like half-moons, crimped along the edges with fork tines and filled with a mixture of mostly dried fruit (although apple and peach are common in the Southwest) and sometimes chocolate, these portable pockets of goodness have long been an integral part of Texas’ culinary landscape. Found in restaurants, fairs, chuck wagon suppers, blue-collar lunch boxes and Grandma’s kitchens, they are the ultimate warm weather dessert.
Unlike their oven-bound cousins, these portable pocket pies don’t melt, and they can be enjoyed hot or cold. But they’re best eaten a few minutes after frying to ensure that the crust and filling are piping hot.
These pies are easy to make and, even better, can be made ahead of time. Once assembled, they will keep in the refrigerator for several days and may be frozen. When ready to serve, they can be reheated in a skillet or in a microwave.
Mix flour, sugar and salt until combined. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add milk, stirring well. Stir in 1 beaten egg until blended. Roll dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle, 12 inches by 24-plus inches. Cut into 8 smaller rectangles. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each. Moisten edges of each with water and fold over, pressing to seal. Crimp the edges with fork tines and chill. Heat oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F. Carefully lower pies into the oil and cook until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. فطاير محمرة