Fall is peak season for good recipes. Many of us are gathering our old favorites and digging for new ones in preparation for the holidays.
My grandmother-in-law, Rosa Herron, wrote a recipe column for the local newspaper in Big Stone Gap, Va. Her fried apple hand pies were my favorite.
The pies weren’t just a dessert, they were an event. On a crisp autumn day, we’d go to her little blue house in the mountains for a day dedicated to frying (and eating) pies. Then we’d find an open bed, couch or recliner and nap. I can’t think of a more perfect day.
This is our first fall without her. So in her memory, I give you the recipe for Granny Rosa’s Fried Apple Hand Pies:
4 eggs, well-beaten
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cream
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups plain flour
4 tsp. baking powder
Sift the flour and baking powder together, add mixture of eggs, oil, cream, salt and sugar. Mix well. Add more flour if needed to make stiff dough.
Pinch off dough about the size of a large walnut (1 1/2 inches). Dust with flour and roll thin.
Place about 2 tbsp. pie filling on one side of the disk. Fold over and seal by crimping edges with a fork dipped in flour. Fry pie in hot oil until brown on both sides.
Dried Apple Pie Filling:
Place dried apples in a bowl and barely cover with water. Place a dinner plate on the apples to keep them under the water. Soak several hours until the apples are soft, stirring occasionally.
Transfer apples to a large kettle and add water just to the top of the mixture. Cook on high until the mixture boils, stirring to avoid sticking. Reduce the heat. When apples are cooked, add sugar or sweetener to taste. Mix the sugar with enough corn starch (approx. 2 tsp.) to make a stiff filling.
Allow the apple mixture to cool completely before making the fried pies.
Tip: The most flavorful pies are made from apples dried in the sun. Cover with cheese cloth to protect from insects. Select a juicy apple, slightly tart, for best flavor.
What recipes bring back memories of someone you love?