You’re right – it’s not rocket science, which is making me feel like a complete idiot. [:)]
I figured out the first problem I was having – I wasn’t using enough batter. But I don’t see any websites addressing the issue of refrigerate the batter vs. leave at room temperature, or what’s causing all the little brown bits.
I have a propane flame under the cast-iron, flat-bottomed large oval dutch oven in which I have about 6″ of peanut oil. It’s able to keep up the heat. Perhaps you’re correct, Cheeseburger, that the batter’s too runny. I was using the Gold Medal Funnel Cake mix but I’d like to make my own from now on.
The best results I’ve had while pouring is to put it into an actual funnel with one finger plugging the hole (and thanks to Sirloin and Double Chili Cheeseburgers for the videos -they helped). Filet Mignon – I think you may be right about me being too far away from the oil but I was basing it on the videos and even when I was pouring right next to the surface of the oil it still gave me a ton of little loose strings of batter that floated off.
Sirloin, you may be right that I’m ignorant about this stuff. I watched the videos and honestly didn’t see anyone skimming, at least to the point that I’m having to skim. Seriously, I’m having to spend at least five minutes trying to get the crud out of the oil with a very good, very fine-meshed skimmer.
And Filet Mignon – if you’re ever in the Ozarks please stop by and I’d be happy to fill you up with some fabulous fried pies. I make ’em better than anyone else (according to my customers), which is why I’m feeling frustrated that something as relatively simple as a funnel cake is kicking my behind!
So I’ll try thickening the batter and make sure to hold it close to the surface while pouring. If anyone hears about whether or not to refrigerate the batter or if that’s what’s causing my issues, please let me know. Meanwhile, I really appreciate your advice and links. You’re all that’s keeping me from giving up in disgust.
I’m glad I checked with you first.
Here is a version of the fried pie we are used to getting (not the fresh delightful version like you make)…
The crust is thick and dense with light filling…
What brand of mix are you using. We do funnel cakes. The directions on the mix we use is way off on the water. It’s to runny to hold together. One other thing you might try is waiting to turn the cake only after you start to see a little browning. Not sure on your fryer. If they start out ok and then have a problem later then your fryer may not be able to keep up the demand.
I think that flour really needs to be kept far away from the empanada discs. We made the scratch dough first…and the residual flour hanging around may have caused the snap crackle pops.
Sunday will be a new pi�a colada filling with a new dough…and whatever I decide to make in the crockpot (pot roast or Italian beef) pie with the first scratch dough. It’s been about 100 degrees here.
A few glasses of Sangria and a few hours on the treadmill after the pies!
Apparently Fried Tater chooses not to receive PMs. Any other folks you can think of?
I wouldn’t know about that. We just either e-mail him direct or call him. Today we are talking to him in person. It’s not rocket science. Google “funnel cake” on the internet. The way I have always seen them cooked was hot oil, a ring, funnel with the 1/2″ opening and they always flipped it with a regular pair of tongs and removed with the same tongs when done.. Look up most any funnel cake recipe and it will tell you the temps (at sea level) you need to fry at. Of course you do know that you need to adjust cooking temps for high altitude (a rough guide is to lower the frying temperature about 3 degrees F for every increase of 1,000 feet in elevation over 3,000 ft).
http://www.concessionstands.com/FryingEquipment.htm a how to on frying funnel cakes
More funnel cake info with links to the tools needed BTW, I have never seen anyone use a “skimmer” to lift the funnel cakes out. Always a pair of tongs.
Here’s a link to a video.
A funnel cake ring
These are Drake’s Pies. They are the inspiration for the pie-vi-oli (just the shape and size).
Lighter & Flakier (crumbly) crust and just as light on the filling.
I am going to try to get a few the same size as the Drake’s and make less of little ones. Double-wides.
I will make them for my card game…this weekend. I can get some feedback from a group of ladies who grew up here and never had a fried pie…but for the commercial variety. I just have to find a balance to the sweet since I am taking out almond extract and lemon juice and replacing it with some syrup (I want to be careful about making them too juicy as well.)
I will post pics of the pies…good bad or ugly! Fingers crossed.
Let me know how that turns out! Sounds interesting.
Goya is a local company based a few miles away (so the entire line is carried here) and they make ready to go frozen empanada discs that can be baked or fried. Don’t know if they are available everywhere…
Since 1893! Haven’t made it anywhere close to NJ. For a $25,000 fee someone would do well with a shop like that here.
Those pies look good…
Buttermilk crust. Hmmm…
I know vodka is a crust trick…but I don’t know about frying. I hear sirens in the distance when I think about that.
Well, I always use homemade pie crust, which I roll out then cut into a 7″ circle (I use the lid of a plastic pitcher – it’s easy to hold and sharp enough). I fill mine with homemade pie filling and then fry it in peanut oil. If I were to bake them, I’d likely do the same thing. So let’s see. If I were using store-bought pie shells, I’d still have to roll them out and cut them smaller, so I’d probably use the same top of a pitcher or something similar. Then you could either use an empanada press, like I do (here’s one at Amazon: ) and put the filling in the center then bake it or use tart pans. Honestly, it’s easier to use the press. Put a little egg wash around the edges before you crimp it in order to seal it.
I wanted to work on my recipes (particularly my dough recipe) so when I first started out I was a lunch wagon at a local plant and I put a bunch of things in the pies – bbq beef, chicken-bacon-ranch, meatballs in marinara, taco meat and cheese and, in the mornings, scrambled eggs and cheese. They went over very well and I think they’d be good for you too. I now only use fruit filling because that’s what sold best. You could keep them warm in a small oven.
To be honest, the hardest part for you would likely be the dough. After all, you’d be buying something that’s already made into a 9″ circle and you’re having to re-roll it and re-cut it into something smaller. My dough is special because I fry them and you can’t use just pre-made dough or it falls apart in the oil. You have to have some kind of protein (like evap. milk or buttermilk or egg-and-vinegar) to bind with the flour. But if you’re baking them you should be able to just use regular pie crust.
What are you using to flip?
Two chopsticks or long knitting needles makes flipping quick and easy.
It’s the narrow “mouth” that I was thinking would present difficulties, but mostly it was the fact that it wasn’t a sealed unit but an open design that gave me pause.
From what I have read it says that if the batter is scattering…you may be working too far away from the surface of the oil.
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