Have you ever had a real fried pie? No, not one of those posers from McDs, and it’s definitely not a turnover. Hand pies are little fruit pies that fit in your hand – perfectly portable and totally delectable, with a real pie crust. But they’re totally deep fried and laden with calories and fat. Ugh.
My grandma and I used to drive to the coast from Dallas all the time, and on the way, there was one little barbecue joint in Huntsville (that was really just a trailer with flat tires) that sold home made fried pies made by someone’s grandma, no less. If you didn’t get there early enough on Friday evening, the good ones were gone and sometimes there weren’t any left. They were light and crisp with delicious real fruit filling wrapped in a little piece of wax paper – the perfect ending to a barbecue sandwich with extra onions and pickles.
So not good for you or your hips.
When I was flipping through my latest edition of Cooking Light, I dog-eared this recipe. I was intrigued by the fact that vodka was used to lighten up these pies, because wordtoyourmutha, I have plenty of vodka in my house! Yes, they were a little bit time intensive, but it was mostly waiting for the dough to chill (and if you have a few sips of vodka, you won’t really care!). They turned out fantastic, and although they were not super-sweet, my kids loved them. They’re great for breakfast, snacks, or even dessert.
p.s. I used vanilla flavored vodka because it was all I had. And don’t worry, all the vodka evaporated during baking leaving no flavor or residue. You can confidently send one in your kindergartener’s lunchbox without worrying about their post lunch blood alcohol content. (The evaporating vodka is actually the trick to the flaky crust.)
p.p.s. My grandma would be proud.