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Saturday, 15 June 2013

Gluten-Free Cherry Fried Fruit Pies!

These are a wonderful alternative to individual baked turnovers.  They fry up quickly and have a nice crunch to the crust.  I fell in love with fried fruit pies (or fry pies) when I lived in Ohio. They were sold at the Farmer's Market on Saturdays.  They used a glaze over the top, but I like them sprinkled with a bit of powdered sugar before serving, since I'm not trying to walk around an outdoor market while eating mine.  It took some tweaking to figure out the best method to make a crust that had that pie pastry taste, but didn't soak up the oil while frying.  The end-result is gloriously delicious. Enjoy!

I also have posted a recipe for Blueberry Fried Fruit Pies - which are filled a bit differently than here, so check them out!
Gluten Free Cherry Fried Fruit Pie
Gluten Free Cherry Fried Fruit Pie - Fresh and ready to eat! 

Gluten-Free Cherry Fried Fruit Pies!
Makes 8 individual fry pies
Make buttermilk in a small measuring cup (or just buy/use buttermilk):
2-3 tsp lemon juice OR white vinegar
Add milk up to ½ cup (lactose-free works well)
Mix together in a large bowl:
3 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
Chop in with a pastry cutter:
1/3 cup butter
When flour/butter mixture looks nice and crumbly, add and mix in:
½ cup buttermilk (from above)
1 egg
You can use your hands to get it thoroughly mixed.  Once well mixed (doesn’t need to be perfectly mixed), cover with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
Line the counter with two sheets of plastic wrap that overlap in the middle.  Put dough onto plastic wrap, cover with another piece of plastic wrap and roll out the dough between the two sheets, until you have a rectangle that is approximately 12” x 24”.   Pull off the top layer of plastic wrap.
I like to turn on my oil to heat up right about now.  Fill a large, low-sided saucepan ½ - 1” deep with oil (whatever kind you prefer for frying – I tend to use Canola). 
Set the oil over med-high heat.  (Reminder: Make sure your pan has high enough sides that oil won’t splatter out easily, but low enough you could get your spatula in to help flip over your fried pies)
Cut your dough in half, long-wise, using a pizza cutter.  Cut in half the short way, and then in half again, so you have 8 even pieces of dough.

Spoon into the middle of each square:
1 heaping Tbsp Cherry Pie Filling (Luckily, most canned pie fillings are gluten-free! You can also make your own fruit filling like you would for a pie.  Mix together and cook in a saucepan until fruit is cooked/thickened. Let cool before using in this recipe)
Make sure you don’t overfill your pies!  You’ll end up with fruit filling oozing out everywhere, which can be messy.

Use your plastic wrap to help you fold over the dough.  Press the edges of the dough through the plastic wrap (aka, just press through the plastic wrap to help seal the edges – remember, gluten-free dough tends to be stickier than normal dough, so this way you don’t end up pulling off any dough!) 

When oil is nice and hot (I tend to throw in a piece of dough to see if it’s bubbling nicely when it enters the oil), carefully lower your fruit pies into the hot oil.  Cook a few at a time, so the pan isn’t overcrowded, and it’s easy for you to flip them over.   It’s easiest to use a slotted spatula to help flip them over and remove them from the oil when they’re done.
Don't over-crowd the pan, so you can easily flip them when they're browned on one side.

Before and after frying, to give you the idea of color.
Let each fry pie cook until nicely browned on each side.  (a few minutes per side seems to do it)
Remove from oil and place on a paper-towel lined plate to cool.  These don’t absorb much oil, which is terrific!   

These can be eaten hot, warm or cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving. 
Store any that aren't eaten in a tupperware. Re-heat in a toaster oven or regular oven before sprinkling with powdered sugar and eating!

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