Friday Pie-Day {Fried Pies}

Today’s post is not about catching you up on what our family has experienced over the past ten days.

Today’s post is not about processing through my grief or sharing with you all the amazing details from Boom Pa‘s funeral.

Today’s post is about pie.  Fried Pie.  Apricot Fried Pie.

Sometimes you just need pie, and man, today we needed pie.  This post is less of a baking tutorial and more of a glimpse into the heart of our family only days after losing Scott.  This post will show you the basics of how to make fried pies, but I hope you see past the flour and fruit and can see a beautiful family moment shared around these pies.

Without telling you the long version of how we ended up here, our family has been in Watercolor, Florida, with the Walkers all week.  We are all staying together in a big house located close to the beach.  We have been huddled up together loving and supporting one another while we try to figure out how life will go on without Scott.  Being here has been both comforting and relaxing…a respite before we all reenter the real world back home.

I skipped Friday Pie-Day last week, obviously.  I was going to skip it again this week, but yesterday I changed my mind.  I felt like I needed a little dose of something normal.  I went to the store, bought ingredients, and decided to get back to the Summer of Pies, even if I didn’t have the equipment I needed or even an actual printed copy of the recipe.  Minor details, right?

What I didn’t have in equipment {or instructions} I made up for in support.

Rachel consulted my cookbook back home and texted the list of ingredients to me.  Scott’s daughter-in-law, Jenni, is a very talented photographer.  She actually knows how to use her fancy camera.  She took all the photos for this post, so they are especially pretty.  And Nina, Scott’s daughter, jumped in and helped me by making the glaze for the pies.  We got our hands dirty together.  Community pie day.  Here are the ingredients…

I decided to make apricot fried pies because the small grocery store in town didn’t have a lot of options.  The original recipe calls for peach, cherry, or blueberry, but the local Publix {worst grocery store name ever} didn’t have any peaches, cherries, or blueberries.  They did have apricots, so I went with it.

First, I mixed the dry ingredients together.

Then I added two sticks of cold cubed unsalted butter.  Normally you use a food processor to mix the dough.  Today I used my hands, rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients until it was well incorporated.

This is what the dry ingredients and butter looked like once it was mixed.

When I squeezed the dough together, it held its shape.

I added 1 1/2 cups cold water, and used a fork to mix it in.  Then I set the dough aside in the fridge while I prepared the fruit.

I seeded and diced the apricots…

…and mixed them with some apricot jam.  Once the fruit was ready, I started assembling the pies.

The dough is meant to be rolled out, cut into five-inch circles, and then filled.  Not today.  I pinched off some dough and flattened it into something that resembled a circle…

…added some fruit filling…

…and folded the dough over the fruit.

Then I pinched the dough together around the edges to seal it.

Meanwhile, I heated some canola oil in the biggest pan I could find.  I had no way of knowing the temperature of the oil, so I just kept testing it by dropping a little piece of dough into the oil.  When the dough sizzled, I knew the oil was hot enough.

I dropped the pies into the hot oil using a metal spatula.  See all those bubbles?  That’s what you want.

After a few minutes, they were golden brown and ready to be removed to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Enter Nina.

Nina is Scott’s daughter, and is expecting her first baby {a boy} in September.  She made the glaze for me while I was frying the pies in the hot oil.  We didn’t fret over quantities.  She put a good bit of powdered sugar in a glass measuring cup…

…added a wee bit of milk…

…and stirred until it was the right consistency.

About this time, my husband Timm snapped a photo of us in the kitchen.  Jenni was taking photos of Nina making the glaze, and I was frying the pies on the stove.  I think the three of us were all thankful to have a project, and we enjoyed working together on something productive.

Once the all the pies were fried, I stacked them on a platter, and poured on the glaze.

Finished Fried Pies.  Now comes the fun part.

We gathered all six kids around the island, and Nina went to wake Janina up from her nap.  Nina told her there was something special waiting for her in the kitchen.

She loved it.  Can you see her in the background, face full of  joy and surprise?  Everyone came to the kitchen to have a taste.  And the best part?  It was 5:30 in the evening!  Who cares about ruining your appetite before dinner?  Not us, I assure you.  Something we have all noticed is that the grieving process makes you crazy hungry.  No one hesitated for a second.  We all dove into the warm apricot fried pies, and the swooning began.

Jenni said they kind of reminded her of funnel cakes, but better.  Timm couldn’t get enough of the icing and the warm fruit filling.  And even though they were far from perfect, I have to admit, they were tasty.

Janina, who said the pies reminded her a bit of beignets, liked them so much she had to pour herself a glass of milk…in a wine glass, of course.  It was cocktail hour after all.  She said she liked how the pies weren’t overly sweet, but just sweet enough from the fruit and jam.  Sweet enough for her cocktail of choice to be a glass of milk.

I can’t tell you how much we all enjoyed our impromptu pie celebration.  We were up to our elbows in sticky apricot sweetness, and we loved every second of it.  We laughed together.  We smacked our lips in delight.  We even let the kids have seconds.  And then we all had one last bite.  And then one more.

Janina decided that when we all get to heaven and see Boom Pa again, Apricot Fried Pies will definitely have to be a part of the menu…you know, as a part of our eternal feast.  I tend to agree.

In case you can’t wait until then, the recipe is available below.

{Apricot Fried Pies}

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12 Responses to Friday Pie-Day {Fried Pies}

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  3. Ramona Williams says:

    i was at work looking for a nice simple fried pie recipe for the residents at my job. (assisted living facility;i am a cook there).I read your wonderful story and loved the pictures of the apricot fried pies.The step by step pics were AWESOME. But what was even more awesome was the story of Boom Pa on the next page…oh! It reminded me so much of my dad who went to Heaven July 2010.We too have numerous photos of him holding each of his 9 grandchildren. Thank you for the photos,your story and please know Boom Pa,like our Peepaw, is not far away. He is everywhere around us daily!

  4. Pingback: Friday Pie-Day {Frozen Key Lime} | katherine sasser

  5. Nikki Anderson says:

    delight!!! loved seeing all the smiles- all the joy….these look amazing- i look forward to making them, and thinking of scott and heaven!

  6. Sarah says:

    I sniffled my way through this entire post. I loved seeing a smile on Janina’s face and love the way you have ministered to the family. I am so inspired to see how you take your love and put feet and hands on it (not to mention a confectioners’ glaze, because that always helps, too.) So thankful for your example.

  7. Kitty Wooten says:

    Katherine, thank you so much for this post. Seeing Janina’s face makes me feel better. I am so glad for your pie ministry that day. We are praying for all of you.

  8. Susie Sanders says:

    yummy…love it…been thinking about you all VERY often! so glad you all are together

  9. Beth says:

    I loved reading about your impromptu baking excursion–I’m not at all surprised that you were able to whip up something AMAZING with no real recipe or the baking instruments you needed.
    Loved seeing the joy in the simple things–thanks for sharing, K!

  10. TJ Wilson says:

    Now THIS is what I call baking. Perhaps my fav post. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into some of the smiles…

  11. rayshelle says:

    so beautifully written, as always. most of all, i loved seeing all of your smiling faces! love to you all!

  12. Sandra Sasser says:

    LOVED it! Thanks for sharing!

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