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1. For filling, in a small saucepan, combine dried fruit and apple cider. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until fruit is tender and cider is nearly absorbed. Mash slightly; cool.
2. Meanwhile, for pastry, in a medium bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the 1/4 cup shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, over flour mixture, gently tossing with a fork between additions and pushing mixture to side of bowl. (Add only enough buttermilk to moisten all of the mixture.) Form dough into a ball.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 15-inch circle. Using a 4-inch round cutter, cut the dough into six circles, rerolling dough as needed. Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling on half of each circle. Moisten edges of pastry circles with a little water. Fold circles over filling, creating half-moon shapes; seal edges with a fork.
4. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons shortening over medium-low heat. Fry the pies for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Makes 6 servings.