My grandmother, Hannah Ruth, affectionately known as, “Nannie Hannie,” was well known for her fried apple pies. She made hundreds of them every fall. Nannie’s fried apples pies were a treat we looked forward to all year. My cousins and I have fond memories of watching Nannie Hannie cook the fried apple pies. I never recall actually helping her make fried pies. After all, her 450 sq ft kitchen was only big enough for one cook!
Nannie Hannie was a traditional southern cook. Her Sunday dinner was so good it could make the preacher blush. I learned to make several of her “go to” dishes that taste almost as good as hers. I can do great chicken and dumplings from scratch, lasagna, and her Thanksgiving dressing.
I also know how to make Nannie’s fried apples pies and this ain’t it! First of all, she was a teetotaler, and well, the guest gave me this really nice vodka. Then there is Swanson’s Mountain View Orchard Apple Brandy. Either makes a great start to a long day in the kitchen. Peeling, coring, slicing, freezing, and canning a few bushels of apples…..”Appletini”, just sayin’.
When I was a young married woman, Nannie Hannie gave me one of her old cookbooks. She said it would teach me just about anything I needed to cook. This is still by “go to” cookbook for many dishes we serve at the bed and breakfast. One of those dishes is fried apple pies! The same recipe is great for making homemade toaster pastries, too! For a ‘pop tart’ just bake them, instead of deep frying!
I don’t think there is a better combination than fresh Montana apples and southern cooking!
Pie Crust rom the 1968 edition cookbook:
- 2 C sifted all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2/3 C shortening
- 4-5 Tbsp cold water
- a couple of spoons of sugar (that’s my own addition)
Sift flour and salt. Cut in shortening till pieces are size of small peas. (KitchenAid with whisk attachment works great for this.) Sprinkle water over, 1 Tbsp at a time, tossing mixture after each addition (Switch KitchenAid attachment to the dough hook). Form into ball; flatten on lightly floured surface Roll 1/8″ thick from center edge. (Or buy already made pie crust at the grocery store!) I remember watching Nannie Hannie use the lid of a margarine tub (‘tub of butter’) to cut out the shape for her pies. I ain’t Nannie Hannie, so I use a martini glass. For tiny pies, I use an antique biscuit cutter that Grandma-ma gave to me. It makes a smaller ‘hand pie’ sized treat.
- 1 C brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- butter, melted
- 3-4 apples peeled, cored, sliced
Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together, set aside. Brush melted butter over each circle of pie crust. Spread a spoonful of brown sugar mixture over butter. Top with a spoonful of shredded apple or a few slices of apple. A splash of Swanson’s apple brandy tossed over the apples would be yummy! Fold each circle in half and seal edges by pinching. (If baking the pies, use a knife to cut a few slits in each pie, for venting.) Bake in the oven at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Crust should be golden and the apples should be tender. Nannie Hannie always deep fried the pies. I set my fryer at 350 and cook 5-6 minutes, times may vary depending on how thickly your apples are sliced.
For my hand pies, which are smaller, instead of folding the circles in half, I use two circles: one on the top and one on the bottom. If you want pretty vents, use a small cookie cutter to cut slits into the crust before placing on top of pie. Seal edges with a fork.
I also brush the top of my pies with an egg wash before baking (one egg with a little water stirred in). Lightly sprinkle with sugar before baking. Those who know me well, know I have a sweet tooth that can’t be satisfied….I also make a glaze out of powdered sugar, milk and light corn syrup. I brush this over the top of my pies. My pies ain’t quite like my Nannie’s pies, but I think she would be proud!