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Ozark Folk Center Fried Pies

Preparation Time:
Total Time:
Servings: 12 pies

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup block shortening (Crisco stick) melted
  • 1 oz. white vinegar
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup plain flour

Preparation:

To make the crust, mix together evaporated milk, water, shortening, and white vinegar.

Mix flour into liquid.

Using an electric mixer, mix until texture of dough is silky, not sticky or dry. Adjust with small amounts of liquid if too dry to roll or small amount of flour if sticky.

Pull an amount the size of a big walnut and roll into ball. Roll this to a 6" circle on floured board or parchment paper.

Place four ounces of any type of filling towards one side of the circle. Brush the edges of the circle with evaporated milk. Fold in half and seal edges with fork or fingers. Punch holes in the top using a fork two times. This prevents explosion.

Use vegetable oil to deep fry at temperature of 350 degrees for five minutes or until golden brown. If you pan fry, turn pies when first side browns.

Recipe Description & History

Fried pies are a Southern tradition and came about as a way for frugal cooks to use every bit of food. According to How to Eat Fried Pies by writer Paul Lukas (April 1, 2006, The New York Sun), "Fried pie history is sketchy. Before cold storage and imports made apples available year-round, lots of folks sliced up their fresh apples and then dried them, which was an effective means of long-term preservation. According to the book Apple Pie: An American Story by Southern food historian John Edge, "Many of those dried apples ended up in fried pies. From dried to fried—nice."

The fried pies at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View are one of the most popular food offerings at the park.

(Recipe courtesy Shirley Blackwell, Ozark Folk Center State Park)