Individual servings of fried apple pie made with a mixture of Granny Smith and Gala apples.
What’s better than baked apple pie? FRIED apple pie.
Even worse, sometimes baked pies can have soggy or partially cooked bottoms. No one wants that.
This handheld apple pie fries up in about 5 minutes. It’s evenly cooked and oh so crisp and flakey.
The markings of a great pie dough:
Can you see those little pockets of fat marbled throughout the pie dough?
Fat! Fat is the key to flaky pie crust. Your choice of butter, shortening, or lard will determine the level of pie crust flakiness.
When making pie dough, it is VERY important to work with chilled ingredients. Cold flour, cold butter, ice cold water.
Butter vs shortening in pie dough:
While I’m a fan of the flavors of all-butter crusts, shortening does a wonders for pie dough.
Commercially sold unsalted butter is about 80% milk fat, 18% water, and 2% milk solids. Shortening is 100% fat.
There are a ton of shortening options. I stick to Spectrum Shortening. The 100% vegetable shortening is my favorite. It’s not hydrogenated and it is made from organic palm oil.
Shortening adds fat without additional moisture, making for a much flakier crust.
I use a combination of butter and shortening. This way, you still get the flavors of butter with the added flakiness from the shortening.
How to assemble fried apple hand pies:
Roll out chilled pie dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. To ensure the pie dough is evenly rolled out, I suggest using these dough strips.
Cut the dough into 10 cm by 6.5 cm rectangles. Gather any dough scrapes and re-roll ONCE. I don’t suggest re-rolling more than once. Overworked dough will be tough and harder to work with.
In the end, you should have at least 20 rectangles (10 tops and 10 bottoms).
Brush egg wash along the perimeter of the rectangles. This will serve as border so the apple filling won’t ooze out (as much) during assembly. The egg wash also ensures that the top and bottom pieces stick together.
Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges together. Pop the assembled apple pies in the freezer while you heat the frying oil.
Deep Fried Food Safety:
Maintain proper oil temperature.
- Keep the fryer oil between 350-365 degrees F. Oil may reach well over 400 degrees. DON’T let it get that hot!
Oil is highly flammable.
- Do not let the oil get in direct contact with burner flames. In this case, you might want to use an induction burner.
- Home kitchen should be equipped with a fire extinguisher.
- If a fire does flare up, DO NOT USE WATER to put out the fire. WATER will cause the oil to splatter and spread. Cover the pot with a lid or a large metal baking sheet.
Carefully add foods to hot oil.
- DO NOT DROP food into hot oil. This will cause the hot oil to splatter and you may get burned. Instead, use a slotted spoon or stainless steel spider to gently submerge the food into the oil.
The resulting fried apple pies are crispy, flaky, and oh so delicious.
Eat them as is or toss them in cinnamon sugar. If you’re feeling super decadent, eat them with a scoop of ice cream!
While I’ve never had the McDonald’s fried apple pie or the baked version that they replaced it with… I’m betting these homemade fried apple pies are BETTER.
Fried Apple Pies
Yield: 10 hand pies
- 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoon (30 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup (92 g) all vegetable shortening*
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 6 Tablespoon ice water
Cinnamon Apple Filling:
- 1 1/4 cup Gala apple, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cup Granny Smith apple, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 large egg
- pinch fine sea salt
- 1 tsp water
- 1/3 cup (68 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch ground nutmeg
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add cubed butter and shortening. Cover and let chill in the freezer for 5-8 minutes until ingredients are cold.
Using a pastry blender (or two forks), cut cold butter and shortening into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse, pebbled sand. Add vinegar and ice water. Fold to combine until dough is a shaggy mess.
Dump dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently knead until mixture comes together. Pat dough into a thickness of about 1/2-inch. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).
Cinnamon Apple Filling:
In a small sauce pot, combine chopped apples, sugar, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Set over medium heat and stir often until sugar has dissolved and apples have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cornstarch and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat.
At this point, the Gala apples will have significantly softened while the Granny Smith apples should be soft but still retain their shape. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer to an airtight container and keep chilled in the fridge until ready to assemble.
Allow chilled dough to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes. Cut dough into 4 portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out as many 10cm x 6.5 cm rectangles. Save any scrapes for later use.
Repeat rolling out dough with remaining 3 portions. Gather scrapes and knead together. Re-roll out to 1/4-inch and cut out additional rounds.* You should have at least 20 rectangles (10 tops and 10 bottoms).
Egg Wash: whisk together egg, salt, and water until well combined.
Use a pastry brush to apply egg wash to the perimeter of pie dough rectangles (tops and bottoms). Spoon one tablespoon of cinnamon apple filling into the center of 10 rectangles.
Invert remaining egg washed rectangles over filling. Ensure the egg washed portions are facing each other. Line up the edges of top and bottom pieces. Use the tines of a fork to seal edges together.
Place assembled pies on a parchment (or wax paper) lined baking sheet. Cover and keep in the freezer while frying oil heats up, about 12-15 minutes.
Fill a large pot (dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot works best at retaining heat) with 3-inches of vegetable oil or vegetable oil. Use a candy thermometer to measure and maintain temperature. Heat oil to 365 degrees F.
Carefully place 2-3 chilled hand pies into hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden in color. Keep an eye on candy thermometer and adjust heat accordingly to maintain constant cooking temperature.
Drain fried hand pies on wire rack or paper towel lined baking sheet. Allow to cool for 2 minutes before tossing in cinnamon sugar mixture.
Cinnamon Sugar: Whisk together sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Apple hand pies can be served warm or at room temperature. These pies are best enjoyed the day they are cooked.
- The combination of Gala and Granny Smith apples creates a slightly sweet, slightly tart flavor profile. The gala apples will soften and break down faster, while the Granny Smith will retain it's shape.
- Apples can be peeled or unpeeled.
- I use this organic all vegetable shortening made from palm oil.
- These fried pies are best served the same day as frying.
- Frying in shortening results in an crispier exterior. Those fried in shortening will feel less greasy than oil-fried version.
- Use a candy thermometer to maintain proper cooking temperature.
- There will be leftover cinnamon apple filling. Use as dipping sauce or spoon over ice cream, pancakes, biscuits. Keeps covered in the fridge for up to three days.
- I do not suggest re-rolling the dough more than once. Fry up any remaining dough scrapes to make "pie chips" that you can dip in leftover apple filling!