My Grandmother and her sisters, Sevella, Flora, and Velma were famous 'round the parts for their fried apple pies. If you were ever at Decoration or Homecoming at Graves Gap, then you probably had one. That is, if you were smart enough to get it when you filled your lunch plate. If you waited until you were ready for dessert, they were long gone. They were always stacked on a plate or in a box and wrapped neatly in wax paper. In the family, these things are of sainted memory. And, I do mean sainted memory. These pies not only bring tears to your eyes but are the standard to which every other fried pie is judged.
Many years ago, I had a lesson in making Fried Apple Pies from my Grandmother's sister, my Great Aunt Flora. And for whatever reason, I haven't made 'em since. After a cousin's death last month, I vowed to start making them. Someone needs to keep the tradition alive. Today was the day.
Full disclosure: I used canned biscuits. I know, I know. But my biscuit making abilities are lacking and besides, the day of my lesson with Aunt Flora, we used canned biscuits so I figured it was OK. And I had to use packaged dried apples. Back in the day, they would have dried apples from their apple trees.
Per the directions, I cooked the apples last night. And today, I rolled the biscuits out, filled them with the filling, and fried them. In lard. In an iron skillet. Just like my Grandmother did. Oh, and I figured out really quick that the heat needs to be turned really low.
They looked right. They were the right size. I think they might need a bit more filling. My Dad and I both agreed that the taste was close. Very close. And I'm good with that.
After they cooled, I wrapped them up in waxed paper just like my Grandmother and Great Aunts used to do. I need more practice with that too.
I think I'll try again next weekend and see if I can get any closer to the right taste. If you've ever been one of the happy family members who've eaten these pies, leave a comment with your thoughts. I'd love to hear them. And let me know if you'd like to volunteer as a taste tester.
Here's the recipe. It was given to me by my Great Aunt Flora Graves Pettit.
6 ounces dried apples
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
Combine all ingredients and cook down. Chill overnight.
Make biscuit dough as you normally would. Chill overnight.
1. Roll out biscuit dough and cut into biscuits.
2. Heat oil (lard is the secret ingredient).
3. Roll each biscuit out into a circle about the size of a saucer. Keep only a few ingredients out at a time. Keep remaining biscuits in the refrigerator.
4. Place 1-2 tablespoons of apples on the dough and spread. Fold pastry in half and using a fork dipped in flour, crimp around the edges.
5. Fry pie until done on one side and then carefully turn and fry on the other side until done.
6. Bake leftover biscuits.
I think that a pie and a cup of coffee will be supper tonight.