Friends, it’s hard to describe how wonderful fresh, sweet fruit wrapped in buttery pie crust is. It’s even better when all of this goodness can be held in one hand. I grew up eating fried pies of almost every flavor, most sweet and a few savory. When my boys were little, they were introduced to them at home and would scream with delight when they saw them at the farmers market on Saturday mornings. This is the kind of food that can spark a beautiful memory filled with special people, good times and a feeling that someone loved you.
So, with a big bag of cherries, my trusty pitter and some pie crust, I started my labor of love. It takes a little planning and since my filling needed to cool, I made it first. I pitted my cherries and made my filling on Saturday, then on Sunday afternoon, it was pie time! Over the years I’ve come up with a couple of steps that have made my pie making easier – I use a small bowl to measure/cut around my 4″ diameter pie, I make all of the pies, place them on parchment and put them in the fridge while I heat the oil. I use a deep, cast iron skillet for frying. I always use a thermometer to test the oil, making sure not to over heat. I’ve also found it’s easier to use a metal spatula to gently turn the pies while they are cooking. I hope these steps help and now, there’s really not too much else to say, except…enjoy and go make some memories.
- 1 box store bought pie crust - contains 2 crusts
For the filling
- Combine cherries, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook, stirring, until cherries are juicy and sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
- Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring 5 more minutes.
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons of cherry juice into a small bowl.
- Stir in cornstarch until dissolved.
- Pour cornstarch mixture back into saucepan with cherries and continue to simmer, stirring, until very thick, 6 to 8 more minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl, stir in the lemon juice and let cool.
To make the pies
- Roll out pie dough on lightly floured board or counter. Use either store bought pie crust or homemade - both are great.
- Cut pie dough into small rounds.
- Place 1 ½ tablespoons cherry filling in the center of each round, then fold in half to enclose and crimp with fork to seal edges.
- Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in a deep skillet until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360 degrees F.
- Fry the pies in batches - about 3 to 4 at a time.
- Turn pies one time cooking until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer to a rack to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar.
- Since the filling needs to cool, you can make this over 2 days. Pit the cherries and make the filling one day, then it's pie time the next day!
- I use a small bowl to measure/cut around my 4″ diameter pie.
- I make all of the pies, place them on parchment and put them in the fridge while I heat the oil.
- I use a deep, cast iron skillet for frying.
- I always use a thermometer to test the oil, making sure not to over heat.
- I’ve also found it’s easier to use a metal spatula to gently turn the pies while they are cooking.