I used to dry apples in the fall for fried pies in the Winter. My husband and I built an apple drying cage with me telling him how..LOL 2 pieces of tin nailed together on a sheet of plywood. A 12 inch high frame around it made from screen wire, re enforced at the corners and around edges. The top would lift back then fasten back down air tight over the apples. The tin I covered with a white, clean sheet, placed the cage over 2 saw horses in the driveway where it could get a lot of sun. For several days the thin, peeled apple slices would dry away from flies. In at night, back out in A.M
1TO PREPARE DRY APPLES: Place water in a medium size sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Add dried apples, cover and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until apples are soft - 15 - 20 minutes (make sure they are soft)Add a little more water if you need to but cook it out.
2When apples are cooked soft and water is cooked out, Add: unsalted butter, lemon juice, and sugar to apples. Cook on medium/ high heat, stirring, until butter melts.
3Have spices and brown sugar mixed and ready to add to apples. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar to apples, stir gently and remove from heat.
4TO PREPARE THE PIE DOUGH:
Place flour in medium bowl, add the 1/2 cup of lard to flour (or vegetable Shortening). Old Fashioned Pies called for good old Lard !!
5Mix the flour and lard with your dry fingers to break the lard into small pea size pieces; do this quickly so the heat from your fingers does not melt the lard.(Shortening). Pour Very Cool water, 1 tsp at a time to the flour mixture as you continue mixing it with your hands until you have added enough liquid to form a ball of dough. Chill the bowl of dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
6TO ROLL OUT PIE CRUST: Sprinkle some flour over a dry surface. Place the ball of dough in center of floured area, lightly dust your rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough into a 1/4 inch thickness.
7Use a 7 inch wide at the rim cerial bowl to cut out circles from the dough. (SPRINKLE SOME ADDITIONAL FLOUR ON A SHEET OF WAX OR PARCHMENT PAPER TO RUB 7 INCH BOWL IN BEFORE USING IT TO CUT CIRCLES.) You should be able to make about 12 circles. Gently lift them and slide to the side. Roll remaining scraps of dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out more circles of dough.
8FRY THE PIES: Add lard or vegetable Shortening to a Large, cast iron, skillet. You will need enough to make it 2 inches deep in skillet. As you fry the pies and use up some of the lard you will have to add more as needed. HEAT the grease on medium-high until it is melted. You will need to begin frying the pies quickly so that the grease does not overheat.
9TO PLACE APPLES IN DOUGH CIRCLES: Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of cooked apples into the center of the seven inch circle of dough. Fold the circle over to form a semi circle so that the edges are lined up. Press a fork 1/4 of an inch from the edges to seal the two sides of the dough together. THIS IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP THE FILLING FROM SPILLING OUT WHILE THE PIES ARE FRYING.
10LINE A PLATE WITH PAPER TOWELS AND SET ASIDE TO PLACE COOKED PIES ON.
11Gently place a sealed pie into the hot grease. Fry each side about 5 minutes on each side or until the crust turns golden brown. YOU CAN COOK ABOUT 3 PIES AT A TIME, NOT ALL AT ONCE But, Don't crowd them !!
12Drain on paper towel lined plate and continue cooking until all are cooked. ALLOW PIES TO COOL BEFORE SERVING !!
TOP WITH A SCOOP OF VANILLA ICE CREAM. Your Family Will Love You for These pies.