Where do fried pies come from?
Fried pies are single-portion handheld pies, made with a sweet, usually fruity filling encased in crispy fried pastry. They are particularly associated with the American South, where they are a common sight on diner menus and in home kitchens. They are sometimes known as ‘crab lanterns', which is thought to be a reference to ventilation slits cut into the pastry, making them resemble lanterns, and possibly to a popular crab apple filling.
These tasty portable treats are likely a sweet-toothed descendant of the Cornish pasty, a savoury hand pie brought over by British settlers. Like the pasty, fried pies were a cheap and convenient food that could easily be carried to work or school without spilling its contents. But while the Cornish pasty contained a full meal, the fried pie was a little something extra, a sweet treat made with affordable ingredients that could still be enjoyed when money was tight.
These days the little pie that helped to raise a smile when times were hard still holds a special place in America’s heart. Fried pies have become a much-loved symbol of home baking, and many people have fond childhood memories of fried pies the way Mom used to make.
Five fried pie recipes
Start your own family tradition with one of these simple but delicious fried pie recipes.
Fried apple pies: apple pie is a classic for a reason, and this recipe from Jernej Kitchen shows them at their sweet, juicy best, with a generous dusting of cinnamon, allspice and ginger, and a golden puff pastry casing.
Fried chocolate pies: for the ultimate in fried pie decadence, you have to try these fried chocolate pies from Southern Plate. Simply made, using easy to find pantry staples, these yummy treats are made with deliciously flaky pastry and a gooey chocolate centre.
Fried blueberry pies: another fruity favourite, this time-saving recipe from Pillsbury uses ready made pastry, so all you need to do is make the filling and you’re ready to fry.
Fried pie hearts with raspberry and lemon: these adorable heart-shaped pies from My Recipes are perfect for Valentines Day, or for a romantic treat any day of the year.
Fried pies with apricot and peach: these luscious apricot and peach pies from All Recipes are made according to an old family recipe, with a dried fruit filling for extra flavour, and the perfect crust.
Sometimes nothing beats a good old fashioned apple pie, but how you make it can depend on where you’re from. Don’t miss these 3 apple pie recipes from 3 pie-loving countries.
Tips and tricks
We answer some common pie-based dilemmas to help your fried pies be the best they can be.
How do you reheat fried pies?
Don’t try frying your pies again, as they will become too greasy. Instead, place them directly onto the oven rack and heat for 5 to 6 minutes at 350°F.
How do you store fried pies?
For maximum shelf life, fried pies should be stored in the fridge. Wrap them loosely in plastic wrap or baking foil to stop them from drying out.
How long do fried pies last?
Properly stored in the refrigerator, fried pies should last for up to 4 days.
How do you keep fried pies from getting soggy?
When frying, make sure your oil is at the correct temperature before adding the pies. If it isn’t hot enough, the pastry will soak up too much oil while you’re waiting for it to cook, and the end result will be greasy, soggy pies. The perfect oil temperature is 350°F to 375°F - much lower and you risk greasy pies, and much higher can mean the outside of the pastry will burn before it cooks all the way through.