I like fried pies. They remind me of, well, eating fried pies and enjoying it.
Like Snakes on a Plane, “fried pie” kind of says what it needs to say — even without the very loud help of Samuel L. Jackson — which is perfect because I don’t have much else to say about them, other than aah-(indecipherable)-hom-nom-nom, which is the self-congratulatory sound of bulldozing one into my face. Sadly, it loses something in print.
Plums are at the tail end of their harvest, hence the plums. Also, the weekend forecast is calling for highs around 80, basically winter, perfect pie frying weather. Now, I realize I’ve done a lot of frying here lately (exhibits A and B), and I won’t apologize for that. I will, however, offer an excuse — Nancy tortures me if I miss a deadline* — and a promise that I won’t do anything fried for awhile. Sigh. I guess.
Plum Fried Pies
2 cups flour
1/2 cup chilled butter or shortening, cut up
1/4 cup ice cold water, more or less
1/2 tsp salt
water for sealing dough
oil for frying
In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt until mixed. Add the chilled butter and pulse until you have a pebbly texture. Add the ice cold water, a tbsp at a time, and pulse until you have a dough that’s just coming together and riding the top of the blade. Form the dough into a ball, press it down flat, put it on a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer for half an hour. Note: make sure to use cold water and chilled butter; the dough will be more cooperative that way. Also, you can use less water for a flakier texture, but the dough will be tougher to work with.
3-4 ripe red plums cut into 1/2″ chunks
Tbsp warmed plum preserves**
Tbsp corn starch
tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Mix ginger, zest, nutmeg and cinnamon with warmed preserves. Toss with plums. Let it hang out at room temperature for half an hour or so, then sprinkle on the corn starch and mix. Add more corn starch for a thicker syrup.
1. Heat a quart of oil to 350 (med-hi for 10 minutes on my easy-bake range). Roll dough, pressing from the center out, into a circle about the thickness of a tortilla.
2. Cut 7″ circles in the dough and spoon 2 tbsp of filling on each.
3. Brush a little water along the perimeter of dough circle. Fold over and seal the seam by pressing along it with a wet fork or pinching it with your fingers. Roll the scraps into a ball, chill and repeat.
4. Fry 2 pies at a time for about 7 minutes, gently flipping a couple of times until golden and bubbly on the outside. Drain and cool. Top with powdered sugar.
*It’s twisted. She’s like Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man.
**You could use white sugar instead of preserves. I wanted less sweet, more plum-like.