Special equipment: ravioli plaque
For the pie crust: Rub the butter, cheese, flour, sugar and salt together with your hands in a work bowl until the butter is pea-size. Mix together the sparkling water and vodka and work into the dough until fully combined. Divide in half and wrap with plastic. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours.
For the filling: Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Cook until brown and nutty, about 1 minute. Add the apples and then the sugar, cinnamon, salt, lemon zest and juice. Add the bourbon and cook on medium-high heat until the apples begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook until thick, about 1 minute. Let the filling cool.
To assemble: Heat 8 cups oil in a heavy pan, cast iron is preferred, to 375 degrees F.
Divide each disk in half and roll to 1/4-inch thick. Place one sheet on a ravioli plaque and fill the indents with a heaping tablespoon of cooled filling. Top with the other sheet and press out mini pies. (Alternatively, cut the dough into 6-inch rounds, place 1/4 cup cooled filling in the center and fold over. Use water to moisten and seal the edges.)
Fry in the oil until dark golden brown, about 2 minutes for minis, 1 1/2 minutes on each side for the large.
Recipe courtesy of Zac Young