Fried Fruit Hand Pies – Bursting with fresh fruit filling, encased in a tender and flaky crust that has been fried until golden brown and then finished with a light powder sugar glaze. Eating a warm hand pie is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
What fruit should I used? You can use any fruit that is in season or is on sale at your local grocery store or farmers market. Today I’m using fresh peaches from Georgia to make my filling. I prefer to always leave the peeling on stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots) when using them to make a pie filling. The peel of the stone fruit brings added pectin that will help to thicken the filling as it cools and adding extra flavor and a beautiful rich color to the cooked filling. The amount of fruit called for in the recipe by weight remains the same no matter what fruit you decide on using. For fruit like apples, peaches, pears, and rhubarb I suggest dicing into 1/4-inch pieces. For blueberries, raspberries, or cherries lightly crush to release the juices before cooking the filling.
Why Lard and Butter? Leaf Lard (non-hydrogenated) produces a flakier more tender crust once it has been fried. Butter brings a rich dairy flavor to the fried pastry dough. The combination of these two fats provide the best flavor and texture to the finished Fried Fruit Hand Pies.
Where do I find Leaf Lard (non-hydrogenated)? Known as Leaf Lard: Check your local butcher shop or Bakery to see if they sell Leaf Lard you can purchase. The other option is to mail order Leaf Lard from Rockwell Ridge Farm in Dodgeville, Wisconson. Fats like lard and butter can be stored frozen for extended periods of time as long as it has been wrapped well and placed into an airtight container. Making sure to place the frozen fats in the refrigerator the night before making the Hand Pie Dough.
As with all baking recipe I recommend you weigh the ingredients for the Hand Pie Dough. Weighing ensures you have a consist dough each and every time.
The Fried Fruit Hand Pies complete instructional video on my YouTube Channel “Just One Bite, Please?” is at the bottom of this post.
- Mixing Bowls
- Measure Cups and Spoons/Digital Baking Scale
- Plastic Scrap
- Metal Bench Knife
- Plastic Wrap
- French Tapered Rolling Pin
- 4-inch Parchment Paper Squares
Fried Hand Pie Dough
- Measured Grams Ingredients
- 3 cups 422 g. All Purpose Flour (King Arthur, Unbleached, Unbromated)
- 1 tsp. 8 g. Sea Salt (fine ground)
- 1 tsp. 8 g. Granulated Sugar
- 3 Tbsp. 43 g. Butter (unsalted, diced into small pieces)
- 3 Tbsp. 43 g. Leaf Lard (non-hydrogenated)
- 3/4 cup 170 g. Water (cold)
Mixing the Fried Hand Pie Dough:
- In a mixing bowl combine the all purpose flour, sea salt, and sugar. Stir with a fork to combine.
- Add the butter and lard to the dry ingredients in the bowl. Use a fork to cut the fats into the dry ingredients until pea size pieces form.
- With your hands rub the fats and dry ingredients together until the butter is completely incorporated. The mixture should hold it shape when squeezed.
- Make a well in the center of the mixture.
- Add the water to the center of the well and toss with a fork to combine.
- Scrape the dough onto the work surface (no flour) and form a mound with the dough. With the palm of you hand press and schmear the dough all over. Folding the dough onto its self using a plastic scrape.
- Form the dough into a ball and and then shape the dough into a log.
- Divide the dough into 8 pieces each weighing about 3 oz (87 g.) and form into a 3-inch round disk on parchment paper squares.
- Wrap the disk of dough with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling into the final shape and filling.
- Mixing Bowls
- 12-inch Saute Pan
- Heat Resistant Rubber Spatula
Cooked Fruit Filling:
- Measured Grams Ingredients
- 1 lb. 4 oz. 567 g. Fresh Fruit (Apples, Pears, Peaches, Diced into 1/4″ pieces) Berries and Cherries need to be slightly crushed to release juices.
- 1/3 cup 70g. Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 tsp. 2 g. Sea Salt (fine ground)
- 1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- 3 Tbsp. 25 g. Cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp. 28 g. Butter (unsalted)
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
Cooking the Fruit Filling:
- Peel and core fruit like apples and pears. Peaches do not need to be peeled.
- Dice the fruit into 1/4-inch pieces
- In a saute pan add the diced fruit, granulated sugar, sea salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss together to dissolve sugar.
- Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes to pull the water from the fruit. This firms the diced fruit and provides the liquid to thicken.
- Once the fruit has rested and liquid has formed. Add the cornstarch and butter and stir to dissolve the cornstarch into the liquid.
- Place the saute pan over medium heat.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Stirring constanly and cook for 1 more minute.
- Remove the saute pan from the heat and add the vanilla to the thickened fruit mixture and stir to combine. Pour fruit filling into a clean bowl and let cool before filling the Hand Pie Dough.
Rolling the Hand Pie Dough:
- Remove the chilled Hand Pie Dough disk from the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough and place a disk onto a floured work surface. Flour the top the disk.
- Using the rolling pin, roll the dough into a 8-inch disk. Turning the dough after every roll. Flour the work surface or dough as necessary.
- Continue to roll all the disk of dough.
- Place the rolled disk of Hand Pie Dough onto a parchment lined sheet tray and cover with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate the rolled dough for 30 minutes.
Filling the Fried Fruit Hand Pies:
- Small Pastry Brush
- Small Bowl filled with water
- Pastry Wheel Cutter
- Remove the Hand Pie Dough from the refrigerator
- Lightly flour the work surface.
- Place a rolled piece of Hand Pie Dough onto the flour surface.
- Brush the edge of the dough with a light coating of water.
- Place 1/8 of the cooled Fruit Filling onto one half of the Hand Pie dough.
- Fold the dough over to meet the other edge and press the two sides together using the edge of your hands to adhere the dough together.
- Use a fork to crimp the edge of the filled Hand Pie.
- Trim the excess dough to clean up the edge of the Hand Pie.
- Place the filled Hand Pie onto a parchment lined sheet tray.
- Continue to fill, shape, and crimp all the remaining Fruit Hand Pies.
Preheat the frying oil to 350°F (176°C) for 15 minutes before frying.
- In a 3-1/2 quart Straight Sided Sauce Pan add 6 cups of Vegetable Oil.
- Heat over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the temperature of the oil reaches 350°F (176°C).
Frying Fruit Hand Pies:
- Half Sheet Tray lined with Half Sheet Tray Cooling Rack
- Heat Proof Tongs and Frying Spider
- In to the preheated oil add 2 Fruit Hand Pies. Gently lowering them into the oil away from you.
- Fry the first side for 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Turn the Hand Pies over and fry the second side for another 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove the Fried Hand Pies from the oil and place onto the cooling rack over the half sheet tray to drain any excess oil.
- Continue to fry and turn all the remaining Fruit Hand Pies.
Glazing the Fried Fruit Hand Pies:
- 1 cup Powder Sugar
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. Water
- Pastry Brush
- In a small bowl add the powder sugar and 2 Tablespoons water and stir with a fork to combine. The mixture should flow off the fork if it is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water.
- Stir until smooth.
- While the Fried Fruit Hand Pies are still hot.
- Brush the tops with a thin coating of the powder sugar glaze.
- Let dry for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: The Fried Fruit Pies are best eaten within 3 days from the day they are made. You can freeze any extra in an airtight freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature and reheat them in the oven for the best texture and flavor.