I’ve never been so jealous of anyone else’s tongue in my life.
She suggested finding a “companion” for my gelato, and that got me thinking about the Bourbon Apple Fried Pies I bookmarked in “The Blackberry Farm Cookbook” a few months ago, when I was daydreaming about how nice it’d be when it was cool enough to stand over a big skillet full of chopped apples, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and just breathe it all in. Without dehydrating or passing out.
Turns out, it’s very nice.
This is the kind of recipe you can get lost in, in the very best way. Chopping, stirring, rolling and crimping. Baby steps followed by baby steps, all requiring your undivided attention.
My best advice? Don’t fight it.
Pick a quiet morning or afternoon, and give yourself over to the pie-making. Clear off every surface in your kitchen (you’ll need them), locate a 4-inch round cutter (I wound up using a big drinking glass), and play some songs you couldn’t keep yourself from singing if your life depended on it.
I sang along to Ray Charles’ “(Night Time Is) The Right Time” at least three times in a row. It’s a wonder Jeff is still here.
Anyway, every single step (including those five hours of freezer time) is worth the moment when you finally get to bite into one of these crispy, deep-fried pastries and all of that bourbon-apple filling comes tumbling out.
If you’re feeling fancy, dust them with powdered sugar. Or cinnamon-sugar. Or, serve them with a little maple gelato to get that hot-and-cold thing going.
Lauren, you genius.
P.S. To find the maple gelato recipe, just click this link.
Bourbon Apple Fried Pies
You will probably end up with extra apple filling, but that’s a good problem to have, because it’s delicious on its own or spooned on top of ice cream or waffles.
Slightly adapted from Sam Beall’s “The Blackberry Farm Cookbook”
Makes about 12 pies
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out with the tip of a knife
- 1/2 cup bourbon or Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
- 6 tart apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 large egg
- 1 recipe Sweet Pastry (see below)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Ice cream, for serving
- To Prep the Bourbon-Apple Mixture: In a skillet over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Boil for about 5 minutes, until very thick and caramelized.
- Remove from the heat, and carefully stir in the bourbon. Place the pan back over medium heat, and cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes. (If the apple mixture got gravelly when you added the bourbon, keep stirring it over the heat with a wooden spoon until it loosens and combines.)
- Add the apples, and stir gently to coat the apples with the liquid. Cook for 6 minutes more. Remove from the heat, and let cool to room temperature. (Refrigerate after cooling if not using within an hour or two.)
- To Assemble the Pies: Beat the egg and 1/2 cup cold water together. Set aside. Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the apple mixture, dividing the liquid and solids into two separate bowls.
- On a floured surface, roll out half the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch. With a 4-inch round cutter, cut out circles, and transfer them to a clean surface. (Gather the scraps and roll them out for more circles.)
- Brush the circles with the egg wash.
- Spoon 2 apple chunks and a little sauce onto the bottom half of the circles.
- Fold the top of each circle down to cover the filling, making half-moon shapes. Seal the edges with your fingers, and then press down on the edges with a fork.
- Transfer the pies to a rimmed baking sheet lined with Silpat®, parchment or wax paper. Place the sheet in the freezer for 4 to 5 hours, until the pies are frozen. (Once frozen, you can cook the pies or store them frozen in a resealable plastic bag for up to a month.)
- To Fry the Pies: Fill a cast-iron skillet about halfway with oil, and place it over medium heat (or until a deep-fry thermometer measures 350 degrees F).
- Take the pies out of the freezer, and fry a few at a time, turning them once, for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. (Return the remaining frozen pies to the freezer during frying.)
- Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on a rack or paper towels. Repeat until all pies are cooked. Serve them warm with scoops of ice cream on the side, or just sprinkle them with cinnamon-sugar or confectioners’ sugar while they’re cooling.
From Sam Beall’s “The Blackberry Farm Cookbook”
Makes pastry for one 9-inch pie or one 10-inch tart
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cake or pastry flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- Place the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine.
- Add the butter, and pulse until the pieces of butter are the size of small peas.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and yolk.
- Pour the eggs over the flour mixture, and pulse until the mixture forms large clumps.
- Scoop the dough out of the processor onto a floured surface. Knead a few times, just until the dough is smooth.
- Form the dough into a disk, and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.