First, thank you to everyone who voted for me to make it to Round 4 of Project Food Blog! I am so excited to be participating in this round because we are going to have one of my favorite evil treats!! The challenge:
Sure, you can take a pretty picture. But your task here is to go above and beyond and use photography to create a step-by-step, instructional photo tutorial. It could be anything from how to bone a chicken to how to make your favorite recipe, but your photos need to guide the reader through the steps.
Voting for this round is from October 11th to the 14th.
In Texas we tend to like our food deep fried.
A staple of most Texas childhoods is a good, old fashioned fried pie. Golden brown crust, crisp and warm from the oil, filled with spicy fruit, or creamy custard, filling. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. Due to their immense popularity there are plenty of places to get fried pies, and most of the time they disappoint. Greasy, soggy, and filled with mushy fruit or even worse, canned pudding, these pies are a disgrace.
My fried pies are a bit of a process, and a little over the top, since I make fresh, hand rolled puff pastry, but they are so worth the effort! The layers of buttery pastry, crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, are filled with crisp apples favored simply with a little cinnamon and sugar. Simple flavors make the best pies, so feel free to fill these with any other fruit or custard filling you like, just don’t over do it. With nothing more than a little powdered sugar, and maybe a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, you have a dessert that is perfect year round.
Puff Pastry Yield about 2 1/2 pounds of dough
Adapted from A Baker’s Tour by Nick Malgieri
For the butter block:
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
For the pastry dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cake flour
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened and cubed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup ice cold water
Begin by preparing the butter block.
On a sheet of parchment paper dusted with half the flour, lay down four sticks of butter. Dust the top with the remaining flour and cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin press and pound the butter until it forms a rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Place this in the refrigerator until ready to use.
While the butter chills prepare the dough. In a stand mixer combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, salt, and the cubed butter. Using the paddle on low speed, mix until the mixture looks like sand. Switch to the dough hook, add the cold water, and mix until a ball of dough just forms. Do not over-mix. Add more water, one tablespoon at a time if needed. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest thirty minutes.
Once rested roll the dough out on a well floured surface until it is roughly 12″ by 24″. Take the butter block, still wrapped in parchment, and see if it covers 2/3 of the rolled out dough. If it is too small roll it out until it fits, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edges. You can use your fingers to spread the butter if needed, just make sure that the butter does not develop any holes.
Fold the dough with out butter over the center of the dough. Fold the buttered side in. At this point check to see of the butter is getting soft. You want the butter cool and firm, but if it is starting to get too soft wrap the dough and chill for thirty minutes before you make the first turn.
Turn the dough 90 degrees, or with the long seam facing horizontal to you. Dust the board and the dough well with flour and roll out the dough into a rectangle that is about 12″ by 20″. Dust all the flour from the dough and fold one quarter of the dough in, then the other side so the dough looks like a book. Dust the top of the dough to remove any flour and then fold the dough in half. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
Repeat this process three more times. Once the last turn is complete you are ready to use the dough as desired. Wrapped well it keeps for one day in the refrigerator, or up to two months in the freezer.
Fried Pies with Puff Pastry Yield 12 pies
1/3 recipe puff pastry
1 firm apple, granny smith preferred
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
Oil for frying
Vanilla ice cream
Peel, core, and dice one apple into 1/4″ or smaller pieces. Put the apple in a bowl and add the sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch. Toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least one hour.
If using fridge cold pastry allow to sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out the puff pastry until it is 12″ by 20″ (about 1/8″ thick). Cut the dough into 12 squares. Working with three squares at a time, keeping the rest in the refrigerator, fill the center of each square with about 2 teaspoons of the apple mixture. Brush the beaten egg along two sides of the pastry, fold the pastry over so the edges meet, then crimp the edges with a fork. Return the pies to the refrigerator to chill for thirty minutes before frying.
Fill a deep dutch oven at least three inches deep with oil, making sure the oil is at least three inches from the top of the pot. Heat the oil to 375 F. Working in batches, fry the pies until golden brown on both sides, about three minutes for the first side and about two for the second side. Drain on a rack over a paper towel lined sheet pan.
Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and a scoop of vanilla ice cream!