FRIED HAND PIES
- For the pie dough: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the shortening and butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add in the ice water and vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the mixture just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and press into a large disc. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- For the filling: Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and then saute the apples, stirring, until just starting to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar and stir. Add the cinnamon, salt, ginger and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until some of the apples start to break apart (but most are still whole), about 4 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- Fill a deep pot halfway with oil and heat to 365 degrees F. Roll the dough out 1/8-inch thick on a lightly-floured surface. Cut out eighteen 4 1/2-inch-diameter circles, gathering and re-rolling the dough if necessary. Beat the egg in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of the apple filling into the center of each dough round. Brush the edge with some egg mixture and fold the dough over to make a half-moon shape. Press out the air and seal the edges with a fork. Repeat with the remaining filling and dough.
- Place 4 to 6 pies at a time into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, flipping as needed, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Cook's Note: The pies can be frozen for up to 6 months before frying. Frozen pies will take about 8 minutes to fry. You can also refrigerate the pies for up to 2 hours before frying.
- Corn, grapeseed, canola or other neutral oil for frying
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup or 1 stick butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- Add enough oil to a large saucepan or deep skillet to come to a depth of at least 2 inches; heat to about 350 degrees. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon together on a large plate.
- Combine remaining sugar, butter, salt and 1 cup water in a saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, and add flour, all at once. Stir constantly until mixture forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and beat eggs one at a time into mixture, stirring until smooth after each addition.
- Spoon dough into a pastry bag with a large star tip (or simply drop spoons full of batter into oil). Press strips of dough about 4 inches long into hot oil. Cook as many as will fit comfortably at once, turning as they brown, 5 to 10 minutes each.
- Remove churros from oil, and drain on paper towels, then immediately roll them in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve hot or warm.
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
- 2 quarts neutral oil, for frying, plus more for the bowl.
- Heat the milk until it is warm but not hot, about 90 degrees. In a large bowl, combine it with the yeast. Stir lightly, and let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, beat the eggs, butter, sugar and salt into the yeast mixture. Add half of the flour (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons), and mix until combined, then mix in the rest of the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour, about 2 tablespoons at a time, if the dough is too wet. If you’re using an electric mixer, the dough will probably become too thick to beat; when it does, transfer it to a floured surface, and gently knead it until smooth. Grease a large bowl with a little oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, and cover. Let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and roll it to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out the doughnuts with a doughnut cutter, concentric cookie cutters or a drinking glass and a shot glass (the larger one should be about 3 inches in diameter), flouring the cutters as you go. Reserve the doughnut holes. If you’re making filled doughnuts, don’t cut out the middle. Knead any scraps together, being careful not to overwork, and let rest for a few minutes before repeating the process.
- Put the doughnuts on two floured baking sheets so that there is plenty of room between each one. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until they are slightly puffed up and delicate, about 45 minutes. If your kitchen isn’t warm, heat the oven to 200 at the beginning of this step, then turn off the heat, put the baking sheets in the oven and leave the door ajar.
- About 15 minutes before the doughnuts are done rising, put the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and heat it to 375. Meanwhile, line cooling racks, baking sheets or plates with paper towels.
- Carefully add the doughnuts to the oil, a few at a time. If they’re too delicate to pick up with your fingers (they may be this way only if you rose them in the oven), use a metal spatula to pick them up and slide them into the oil. It’s O.K. if they deflate a bit; they’ll puff back up as they fry. When the bottoms are deep golden, after 45 seconds to a minute, use a slotted spoon to flip; cook until they’re deep golden all over. Doughnut holes cook faster. Transfer the doughnuts to the prepared plates or racks, and repeat with the rest of the dough, adjusting the heat as needed to keep the oil at 375. Glaze or fill as follows, and serve as soon as possible.
* Tastic Spice is available HERE
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