Yield: 12 servings.
½ stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 2-3 apples, depending on size)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg yolk
½ cup ice water
1 package (2 crusts) premade piecrust
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
Powdered sugar or granulated sugar, for dusting (optional)
In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together; add chopped apples, lemon juice, and salt. Simmer covered, over medium heat, for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside to cool.
Mix egg yolk with ice water and set aside.
Place premade piecrust onto a floured surface and sprinkle more flour on top, working it into the dough. Roll out to about 1/8-inch thickness and cut into 6-inch circles. Place 2 teaspoons of the cooled filling in the center of each round. Lightly brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash, fold over, and gently press down on the edges and the filling. Seal the edges with the tines of a fork. Place the pies in a single layer onto a plate that has been lightly sprinkled with flour and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
In a skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil to 375°. Carefully drop 2 to 3 pies at a time into hot oil to avoid a drop in temperature. Fry for about 3 minutes or until pies turn golden brown on both sides. Use tongs to remove pies from the skillet, drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with granulated sugar or dust with powdered sugar, if desired.