I hadn't thought about fried pies in a long time, but Saturday when my BFF Chocolate kept knocking on my front door... I caved and went into the kitchen and made myself (I say myself because my better half knows to keep his mitts off my chocolate cravings!) some homemade chocolate pudding. The recipe is from Hershey and it's simple:
CHOCOLATE PUDDING AND PIE FILLING
1/2 Cup Hershey's cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Dark Cocoa)
1 1/8 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
3 Cups milk
3 TBS butter
1 1/2 tsp good vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, mix cocoa, sugar, cornstarch and salt, whisk well. Gradually add milk to dry ingredients in saucepan. Whisk til smooth and well blended. Cook over medium heat. Stir constantly. Mixture will come to a boil. Boil 1 minute, remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Whisk to blend. Pour into serving dishes, or into cooled baked 9" Pie Crust. Cover with plastic wrap. Cool in refrigerator 4-6 hrs. Or till firm.
Now I grew up on this stuff and it's as different from the little square boxes of Jello as day and night. It's Pure Comfort, Mama loves you, The World is Round Food. It will take you away from politics, or the state of the economy or even a failed relationship. I don't think it can cure cancer though, that would be great wouldn't it?
I ate a few spoonfuls when I was pouring it into serving cups, you know from the the pan. I had to do that, it's wasteful to leave any smidgen~ Then I put the plastic wrap on each serving and put them in the fridge. About 9pm I remembered them, oh daddy! The first bite was Heaven, but you know... it was little RICH! I used to be able to eat chocolate buttercream out of a bowl with a big spoon but age has robbed the glutton clean out of me. I get ACID REFLUX, if I abuse my stomach it's just not worth it. So I ate a few bites and put it back in the fridge : (
The next morning after a few cups of coffee, my brain started working again and I knew just what to do with that decadent chocolate pudding/pie filling! Chocolate Fried Pies... just like Mama used to make and Grandma and probably her Grandma.
It's easy as 1-2-3 to stir up the crust, no waiting for it to chill. You just measure out 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup Crisco and 1/2 cup milk. Cut in the Crisco into your flour and salt with a fork or your fingers, just work it into a flaky consistency. Then add the milk and stir gently to moisten. If it's just a little dry and won't pull together, add a teaspoon more milk. Pat into a disk and then divide up into about 10 balls.
Flour your surface and roll out the balls to make little 5 inch circles, not perfect circles unless you want them to look like store bought Hostess Fried Pies and that's not what you are making. You're making Grandma's Fried Pies and she'd be mortified if you cut them out to make them perfect! Add a dollop, a rounded tablespoon or two to each little pie. Then dip your finger in a bowl of water and run it around the edge of the crust. Fold over and press, crimp the edge with a fork and place on a plate in preparation of the frying of the pies! Heat the oil up to medium high, to test you can dip the edge of the crust into the oil a little. If it's just right, it will bubble slightly. Slip them in, one at a time and watch them like a 2 year old! Don't be trying to clean up the kitchen or put away the flour or answer a text cause this is where you can mess up quick! Patience Grasshopper, you are looking for golden brown. Not tan, not brown, GOLDEN! Drain on paper towels and admire each one as they come out of the pan. Talk to them, tell them "I love you!" Last one, and you are finished!
Luckily, we had company this weekend and the fried pies went home with them. There's few things more dangerous than a fried pie on the kitchen counter. Especially if it has chocolate filling!
Fruit fillings are delicious too... just boil down some dried fruit with sugar and water and a little spice.
6-7 ounces dried fruit (peaches, apples, apricots or even a mix of all three)
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1/4 cup butter
1 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp salt
1/2 C Crisco
1/2 C of milk
Place dried fruit in a pot and add water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer until fruit is tender. Add butter, lemon juice and cinnamon, mash together with a potato masher or fork. Set aside to cool while dough is prepared.
In medium bowl, place flour and salt. Stir together. Cut in shortening with a fork or your 10 little fingers! Add in milk and stir until dough sticks together. Divide into ten portions. Roll each portion out on a floured surface into a five inch circle. Place two tablespoons of filling in each. Use your fingertip to wet the edges with water and fold over, crimping with a fork. Cook in oil which has been heated on medium heat, until golden browned on both sides, turning as needed. Remove to paper towel lined plate.