Deep Fried Apple Pies with Cheddar Crust

Recipe courtesy Zac Young
TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 55 min
Prep: 35 min
Inactive Prep: 2 hr
Cook: 20 min
YIELD: About 28 mini pies or 8 large hand pies
LEVEL: Intermediate


  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup finely grated sharp Cheddar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cups cold sparkling water
  • 1/4 cup cold vodka
    • Scant teaspoon salt
    • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 tablespoons bourbon
    • 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      • Special equipment: ravioli plaque
        recipe tools


        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.

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