I decided to make my husband a special dessert today for Valentines Day. Well to be honest, I would have made it for him any day, just because I love him and he loves desserts. I was inspired by the Foxfire Book http://www.foxfire.org/thefoxfirebooks.aspx that I was reading last night. When I read about fried pies, I got to thinking that they would probably be similar to Hostess Fruit Pies. My husband likes those little pies a lot, so I was pretty excited thinking that I could make him some.
Since the directions in the book were very vague, I did a internet search this morning and found this recipe http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/fried-fruit-pies/ I don’t really know why I bothered, because I already knew what I was going to do.
I took a bag of frozen mixed berries out of the freezer along with half a bag of frozen blueberries. I like to say these were all homegrown, but our berry crops did not do quite that well last year. I also took two store bought pie crusts out of the freezer. I put the berries in a pan, added about 2/3 cup of sugar and a couple tablespoons of cornstarch, and put them over low heat to cook.
I cooked the berries until they thickened up.
While the berries were cooking I took the pie crusts out of their pans and rolled them out.
I decide that I was going to fry these in lard, so I started heating the lard in to pan.
Once I got the pie crust rolled out so it was pretty flat and somewhat rectangle shaped, I cut it into wide strips and spooned some pie filling on it. I folded it over and pressed the edges to seal them.
Once the lard got to 350 degrees I dropping my pastry in with great anticipation. Instead of watching my pie turn a lovely shade of brown, this is what I saw.
The pastry just disintegrated, and I was left with small particles of pastry and pieces of fruit frying in hot grease. While I wanted to cry, I am not that easily defeated. I got out a baking stone and preheated the oven. I filled the rest of the pastries and put them on the stone.
I baked them for about a half hour at 350.
I then put on a light glaze made out of powdered sugar and water. The end product was more like toaster pastry. My husband, who also like toaster pastries, said these were really good. When I saw him eating a second one I was convinced.
While the pastries were baking I did a little detective to find out why frying these was such a failure. I knew it must be something with the ingredients, so I read the ingredients on the package for the pie crust. It was basically made of flour, water and lard. I realized that there was nothing to hold the combination together. No egg. Sure enough when I went back to the recipe that I had viewed this morning, on The Pioneer Woman website, it included egg.
Well one would hope that I would learn a lesson from this, and that I would start following actual recipes instead of just doing what I think will work. I wish I could say that is true. Maybe I will, sometimes, but I do so enjoy experimenting.
I think the real lessons for me is to have a back-up plan. It also shows me how much my husband loves me (not that I had any doubt about that), he not only tolerates my weird, quirky ways of doing things, he encourages them. He is my biggest fan.
Oh, and if case you are wondering, I’m sure the chickens will enjoy the fried pastry crumbles and fruit, so they will not go to waste.