How to Make Fried Pies

In his American Classics series, cooking guru Scott Peacock offers the inside scoop on making classic fried pies.

Written by Nancy Wall Hopkins and Scott Peacock


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Classic Fried Pies
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American Classics: Fried Pies

    Crisp, flaky, and generously filled, chef Scott Peacock's sugar-dusted pies are warm reminders of days gone by. See the following slides for Scott's treasured recipe and step-by-step instructions for getting it right.

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Choose the Right Fats

    "Select good quality butter for its delicious flavor, and use a bit of lard for flakiness and a wonderful melting quality," says Scott.

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Add Water Gradually

    "Mound the flour mixture," says Scott. "With your fingers, draw a trench down the center to sprinkle ice water a tablespoon at a time."

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Fluff in the Water

    "Quickly and confidently fluff the flour to incorporate the water," says Scott. "Redraw the trench and repeat until the mixture begins to clump."

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Smear for Flakiness

    "With the heel of your hand, press egg-size portions of rough dough away from you, flattening and pressing the chunks of fat into the flour paste," says Scott. "This technique creates a layered, flaky crust."

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Gather Twice-Smeared Dough

    "This dough, as unpromising as it may look, is exactly as it should be at this step," says Scott. "It is now ready to wrap and chill."

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Wrap & Chill

    "Wrap the dough in a double thickness of plastic wrap," says Scott. "Then firmly press with both hands to flatten into a disk, forming a cohesive dough. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours."

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Embrace Uneven Marbling

    "The experience of making this pastry by hand is satisfying and rewarding, resulting in dough that is beautifully marbled with obvious streaks of butter and lard," says Scott. "After the first rolling, be sure to brush off any excess flour before folding in thirds."

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Fold Dough in Thirds

    "Folding stacks the layers of fat and flour, which makes the pastry extra flaky," says Scott. "Chill again."

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Roll Thinly and Evenly

    "Flour the rolling pin -- not the dough," says Scott. "Using assertive pressure, quickly roll the cold dough from the center outward."

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Spoon on the Filling

    "Resist the temptation to overfill," says Scott. "It's important to leave 1/3 inch around the edge."

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Moisten the Edges

    "Use a finger dipped in cold water to barely moisten around the edge of the dough, helping to ensure a good seal," says Scott.

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Make a Tight Seal

    "Carefully press the edges together, then gently pinch along the seam," says Scott. "Flip the pie over and pinch again to make sure both sides are well sealed."

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Fry Until Golden

    "Fry a few at a time, without crowding the pan, and remove the pies as they brown," says Scott.

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Cool, Roll in Sugar

    "A wire rack prevents the hot pies from steaming as they cool and keeps the pastry crisp," says Scott.

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