In John T. Edge's Apple Pie: An American Story, one chapter has the author deep in the heartland of fried pies—the South. Edge visits two Tennessee women who excel at the art—Ivon King (in Union City) and Margo Hayes (in Darden). The pies are little pockets of fruit fried up in a cast-iron skillet.
Edge's version of the fried pie is made with Coca-Cola as the dough liquid—a variant he observed at several fried-pie stands during his research. Using Coke in cooking is common in the South, he says, and here it gives the dough just the "slightest bit of sweet."
Coca-Cola Fried Pies4>
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Coca-Cola, flat
- 1/2 pound dried apples
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Crust: Mix flour, salt, and Coke together, forming a soft dough. Roll out very thin. Using a saucer as a guide, cut rounds. Refrigerate.
Filling: Combine dried apples, sugar, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Add cinnamon and set aside.
Assembly: Put a scoop of filling on the bottom lip of each crust and fold over. With a fork, crimp the edges of each pie. In a heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Fry in batches until browned, 3-4 minutes per side. Lift from the skillet with tongs and blot on paper towels.