Fried pies have long been associated with the American South and are considered dessert pastries that are similar to a pie or turnover, except that they are smaller and fried. The fruit filling is actually wrapped in the dough, similar to the dough of a pie crust.
The most famous versions of a fried pie found in the fast food industry that gained popularity were the McDonald’s Fried Apple Pies, which were introduced on the menu in 1968. However, by 1992 the fried pies on the menu were phased out in favor of a baked pie that was claimed to be healthier, in the midst of obesity campaigns, in the United States. Fortunately for some us, there are few McDonald’s restaurants throughout the United States and world that still offer the fried pies, including all McDonald’s restaurants in the United Kingdom, Japan, and Russia. Flavors include cherry and apple (U.S. mainland), taro (Hawaii), and red bean (China).
There are several copycat versions of the McDonald’s Fried Apple Pie out there in cyberspace. I am sure that you can make your own pie crust and shape the pies into the rectangles or half moon’s to suit your aesthetics. I opted for a quick and easy version of fried pies with the ingredients I had on hand in the pantry, using wonton wrappers, cherries, and powdered sugar.
In fact, using the wonton wrappers gave the fried pies a wonderful flaky and crispy texture, just like the fried apple pies of McDonald’s of my childhood!
Makes 12 Mini Pies
3 cups cherries, pitted
4 Tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
12 egg roll wrappers
Vegetable oil, for Frying
Combine all filling ingredients and mix well. Place 2 heaping tablespoons of filling in the center of each wrapper. Fold in the sides and roll the wrapper tightly. Use a dab of water to secure the tip of the wrapper. It is important to make sure the sides of the wrapper are tucked in holding the ingredients in, to prevent splattering.
Preheat oil to 350 degrees. Fry each egg roll for about 4-5 minutes or until browned and crispy.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.
The cherry filling can be replaced with 3 cups of apples that have been peeled cored and diced. Add ¾ teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
You can also use for the filling, 3 cups of peaches that have been peeled, pitted and diced; adding ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon nutmeg, a dash of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.