For the filling:
6 to 7 oz dried fruit, such as peaches, apples, or apricots
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp (½ stick) butter or margarine
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ cup shortening
½ cup milk, plus more if needed
1.Place the dried fruit in a large saucepan and add the water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the fruit is tender and the sugar is dissolved, about 20 minutes.
2.Add all the other ingredients and mash together with a potato masher or fork. Set aside while you prepare the dough.
3.To make the dough, in a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening with a long-tined fork. Add the milk and stir until the dough sticks together. Divide into 10 portions. Roll each portion out on a floured surface into a 5- or 6-inch circle. Place 2 tablespoons of filling in each. Wet the edges and fold over, crimping with a fork.
4.In a large skillet, pour the oil to a depth of ¼ inch and heat over medium heat. Add the fruit pies to the hot oil and fry until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes, turning as needed. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
Makes 10 pies