When you first hear the words Fried Pie, you think to yourself why would anyone fry a pie? But then as the words begin to settle in your head you realize there are lots of fried pies in the world – we just don’t draw attention to them. I suppose, that’s why they deserve a National Day. Meat pies, which seem to be fairly common in England although haven’t really caught on here, are a version of a fried pie. All that savory goodness locked inside some tasty pastry and then fried so it’s nice and crispy on the outside. It’s not unlike a chimichanga although a tortilla is no substitute for a pie crust. Here, the most famous fried pie is at McDonald’s where their dessert menu was once dominated by these apple or cherry pies which were fried right alongside the French Fries. They are served in a little sleeve-holder that make it easy to eat on the go. Rumor has it that the current resident of the White House has a fancy for these pastries, which isn’t really a big selling point for me. But, any time I have been inside a McDonald’s (which is a very rare occasion to be inside a McDonald’s), you can see the pastries lined up in a specially designed McRack just for holding these pies. But, if I’m going for dessert at McDonald’s, I prefer the McFlurries.
My choice for pie today was going to be found at the land of convenience – Cumberland Farms. It’s right up the street so an easy enough place to get to, and they are usually well-stocked with all kinds of tasty treats. I was going to look for the pies in the snack cake section where all the Twinkies and Yodels are kept. I was looking for the pies that they used to sell in the school lunch line – the individually wrapped fruit pies. I found one right away – from the folks at Drake’s. It was apple pie although I would have preferred some kind of berry. But it was a pie that had definitely been fried at some point in it’s life like a doughnut and this too was frosted like a doughnut. The packaging was familiar – the crinkly, wax-paper – with two pieces of the pie kept safely inside. I bought it home to eat before dinner.
This is really like a doughnut – an apple filled doughnut. The pastry that surrounds it has that same texture as a nice, hardy doughnut and the glaze that covers it all gives it the sweet taste of those round pastries. It’s very filling. Even after eating one pie I was done. I could see it being better as a breakfast snack or on your coffee break, the coffee being a natural companion to the dense, sweet fried dough. There were plenty of apples in the filling. I knew it wasn’t going to have the fresh bounty taste of the local fall apple harvest – it was a processed apple filling – but it was fine. Drake’s puts out a good product. I was a fan of their coffee cake long before Seinfeld and I can support their efforts here too. I feel like Drake’s is the little guy tackling the Hostess conglomerate (although Drake’s is part of a big conglomerate). Still, they have local roots in Harlem, NY and have been around since the turn of the 20th century. They know what they are doing.
Again, when I heard the words Fried Pie, I thought I would be feasting on something that came fresh from the fryer – some kind of odd carnival creation. But in the end, I just had to go to the Farm. I guess we’ve been frying pies for years now and we’ve been enjoying the all along. I just never gave it much thought. But now I will, and I can say I have celebrated their deliciousness.
Next up: National Fritters Day