Olivia Dish

Fate and Fried Pies

In Barbecue, Dallas, Local Flavor, Restaurant on June 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm
Fried Pie Window

Pity the poor soul who's never had a fried pie...then buy him one.

You miss out on so much when you don’t spend time in the South. Case in point–fried pies.

I was traveling across Texas with two globe-trotting military experts. Every morning as we drove to a secure location just down the road from Fate, Texas, we saw it: a giant billboard beside the interstate proclaiming “fried pies.”

One of these worldly fellows pondered aloud, “I wonder how they fry the pies. Can you fry a key lime pie?”

Gracious. The man thought you submerged a whole, circular pie into the deep fryer.

Fried pies, y’all, are turnovers, I told them.  Empanadas. “You mean like hot pockets?” the other one asked, eyes wide.  Yessir, I do.  Where’ve you been?

The poor fellows had never had fried pies. They’d never even heard of them.  Might I add, neither of them were that young.  It seemed a shame. And I’d been craving fried pies since the first time I laid eyes on that billboard.

Seemed like fate was directing us to take that exit and dig in.

making fried pies

Two friendly young women were happy to tell me all about the pies.

We were in for a treat, and more treats than we’d anticipated. The Original Fried Pie Shop was inside a Baker’s Ribs off I-30 at Caddo Mills, Texas.

So first, we had a fine lunch of smoked pork and chicken, homemade green beans, and scalloped potatoes. The food was grand.

pie shaper

That's a pie shaper on the bottom right.

And then there were the fried pies.

Two friendly young women were making pies on site, so I got to look in and see what they do–mixing dough on a large scale but hand-making each pie, using a custom-fabricated pie shaper, then lowering a rack of half-moon shaped pies into the deep fryer.

chocolate fried pie

A taste of chocolate fried pie

The range of flavors was impressive, not just meat and fruit pies as you might expect, but also fried versions of traditional cream pies such as chocolate and coconut.  One of the pie-makers told me she was making a chocolate test pie and that I had to try it. She didn’t forget and when it was ready, she brought me a piece to sample. It was fantastic.

Fried apple pie

Warm fried pie of the apple persuasion

But for my full-sized fried pie dessert, I went with the traditional apple.

When I was growing up, we frequented a barbecue restaurant in Deep Run, North Carolina, where they made fried apple pies. Those fried pies have always been the standard for me. They were odd-shaped, a little greasy, and outrageously good.

The Original Fried Pie Shop pie was different–a little fancier in its execution, lighter, not greasy–and possibly even better.

Fried Pie poster

A bit of a chain but tasty nonetheless...

The Original Fried Pie Shop is a a franchise, as you can read on their website. I can’t hold it against them. Not when the pies are good and the people making them are friendly and committed to quality pie-frying. But if you know of another fried pie in the South you’d recommend I try, one you think is even better, I’m happy to break out the GPS and make the drive.

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