Pie fries!

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“It’s not nice to play with your food.”

Sure it is!

You know how you take leftover bits of pie crust dough, sprinkle them with cinnamon-sugar, and bake up a crisp, buttery/sugary treat?

Baker John Homrighausen at the Ranch Bakery in Houston, TX does these scraps one better.

Riffing on an idea from a blog he read, Homrighausen cuts pie crust dough in even strips, brushes with butter, sprinkles with cinnamon-sugar, bakes, and serves the “fries” in little french fry bags, just like you’d get at your local fast food joint.

I tried it; I liked it. It was silly fun, a welcome break from the serious business of the world.

Want to try it?

Roll pie dough 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. Here I’ve rolled out half of my favorite pie crust recipe; I’d used the other half for raspberry tarts, and had this piece in the freezer.

Sprinkle the dough heavily with cinnamon-sugar, pressing it in lightly with a rolling pin. You can spread the pastry with butter first, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

Cut into 1/2″ to 3/4″ strips.

Lay the strips onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Watch these carefully; they go from golden to burned quite easily.

Serve in a french fry box.

Or more formally, on a plate (hold the ketchup).

Yes, it’s just fine to play with your food!

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. jenb377997

    Fun! I’m going to try cutting them with a fluted pastry wheel to make “crinkle-cut” pie fries!

    Hmmm, now I’m thinking press lightly all over with a meat tenderizing tool, and cut in squares – waffle fries! PJH

    Reply
  2. bubbysoo

    I often do the same thing with leftover pie crust dough or puff pastry except I make it savory, i.e., sprinkle it with garlic salt or other seasonings. It’s great served with soup or dips.

    Oooooh, yes! I’m trying this next time. PJH

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  3. waikikirie

    Oh-boy, oh-boy…On “stay”-cation this week. Will be “playing” in the kitchen. This are now on my to-do list…….

    Don’t you love stay-cations in the kitchen? Have fun! PJH

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  4. "Paul from Ohio"

    ps – it occurred to me that there is a really good PRACTICAL use for this recipe. For all those folks that say they can’t make a pie, and/or are hesitant to try it – why start with this Pie Fries idea so you see how really easy making pie dough truly is. Who knows, next step – a full blown pie!

    Great idea, Paul – and as someone else noted on FB, neat way to try different pie crust recipes before making a full-blown pie. :) PJH

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  5. Lauri @ MyPinnedLife

    I so love this idea! My mom always made pieces of cinnamon sugar pie crust for us when she had extras from making pie. It was almost better than the actual pie. I think it is great that I know have an excuse to skip the filling and just make the delicious crust!

    http://pinnedlife.blogspot.com

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  6. Anne

    Playing with my food is what I do in my kitchen. We need to eat daily, as it turns out, so why not make the most of it?

    These ‘pie fries’ remind me of a snack we used to make when I was a kid in Hong Kong: The dough is prepared pretty much the same way (but with lard?) and rolled out and cut into strips as in your photos. Then a slit is cut in the center along the length. Pick up the strip and slip one end of strip through the hole. Drop the twisted strips into hot oil, fry until they float up to the surface. Drain, cool, and serve.

    But the variations seem to be many. The dough could contain eggs or not. Could be salty with sesame seeds or could be on the sweeter side. Could be drizzled with melted malt sugar or honey before serving, or sprinkled with sugar, or could be as is. Could be as big as a saucer or could be small thumb-size, or something in-between. Sometimes two thinner layers of strips are stacked together to make a ‘double-bow’. And so on. Our kitchen did not have an oven – the closest thing was a toaster – so they were always fried and not baked.

    At our home we did not make these very often, but we always had these for the Lunar New Year. They kept quite well in the chilly month that time of the year.

    But, really, a piece of good pie dough unadorned is a treat by itself. Thanks, PJ, for reminding me to make some very soon!

    Anne, this sounds very much like Norwegian fattigmand, which my grandma would make every now and then. So good, deep fried and sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, which is how she’d do it. Some baking traditions appear all over the world, don’t they? Thanks for sharing – PJH

    Reply
  7. Carlanda

    My mom always made extra pie dough just for the cinnamon and sugar tasties. We always knew when they were baking, just from the smell! Warm from the oven they were the best! Love the “fries” idea! Strawberry or cherry jelly is a great dipper for the “ketchup”!

    Reply
  8. Carlanda

    My mom always made extra pie dough just for the cinnamon and sugar tasties. Warm from the oven they were the best! Love the “fries” idea! Strawberry or cherry jelly is a great dipper for the “ketchup”!
    I LOVE this “batch” (pun intended) of comments, everyone is so happy sharing their memories. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  9. Marcia

    This takes me back to my childhood when Mom would always do cinnamon and sugar on the leftover crust bits from pie baking. She learned it kept our fingers out of the finished pie. lol

    One other thing she did with leftover crust was to rework it into another pie that didn’t have to go very high up onto the edges of the pan. She poured enough condensed milk in to just cover the bottom of the crust, sprinkled it with a little sugar, and then a light dusting of nutmeg. Baked until the milk mixture thickens. We loved that, too!

    Oh boy, Marcia – something else to try, and doesn’t it sound good! Thanks for sharing – PJH

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  10. "Teresa F."

    Clever, clever name! I’m not a fan of cinnamon sugar. I know, I’m way in the minority. But I am a big fan of pie crust. Many years ago in a weak moment, I baked a frozen pie crust just to have around to nibble on. Kinda like cookies. So even totally unadorned, it can be good. I do like the idea of savory toppings turning them into a bit like a cheese cracker. I’d imagine plain baked strips can be good drizzled with melted chocolate and sprinkled with sparkling sugar and some chili powder or cayenne.

    Teresa, I totally understand – to each his own, right? I think the “hot chocolate” direction you’re heading in (or savory, of course) wounds just wonderful Go for it! PJH

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  11. obimomj15896

    I grew up on fattigmand bakkels…and my grandma also made an apple pie with one crust, and peeled apple halves face down as could fit in the pan, poured the canned milk over it and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar then baked until the apples were done and the milk was thick. Two memories in these comments!
    That apple pie sounds wonderful, I’ve never heard of it before. Thanks for sharing! ~ MaryJane

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  12. sfuqua

    Down memory lane this blog is, makes me feel 6 years old ago and I am watching my Mother make pies. She always had extra pie crust to spread sugar or cinnamon sugar on and baked.

    Now often I just make pie crust, cut into 3-4 inch circles and use as a shortbread for peaches, strawberries etc. Have pie crust sitting around quite often, big kids come in and grab a piece, grandkids come in “what no more pie crust Mammo? better make more.”

    Love that pie crust…..will be trying pie fries soon, have frozen crust in freezer. Thanks for all the good ideas here at King Arthur Shirl36

    Shirl, that’s a great idea, cutting i circles and using as a base for fruit “shortbread” – kind of an open-faced mini pie. I’m trying that for sure – thanks! PJH

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  13. Tonia

    Really, the whole reason I’m a baker is because I can play with food all I want. When I had my bakery, the entire town was my “guinea pig” for my food play!!! ;-) I didn’t hear much complaining!

    Reply
  14. hickeyja

    Anne & PJ, my grandmother made lard pie crust leftovers into that same shape, but she sprinkled them with cinnamon (right out of the Durkee can) and a tiny bit of sugar right from the sugar bowl. Then she baked them. We kids were always more interested in these snacks than we were in the pies. That cinnamon toasted to a point just before burnt. YUM!! Jan

    Jan, just before burnt is exactly right – it’s hard to nail it but when you do, mmm-MMM! PJH

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  15. AJ

    My mom always let us kids help her with her pies- she used these little biscuit cutters she had on the leftover crust- one full circle for a bottom crust, then ring for the top piece. She’d press them together to form a pretty little well, and we’d fill the well with jam, and bake them to make little fruit tarts for us, so we weren’t so anxious to get at the real pie. And so we could “help” without making too big of a mess. :)

    Happy memories, eh, AJ? And what a nice idea, tiny little pies you guys filled yourselves… Thanks for sharing – PJH

    Reply
  16. ebenezer94

    I love Paul’s suggestion. I’m one of those pie crust challenged people. I can make any fancy cake, cookie, bread, etc. that you name, but my pie crust is always crappy. This is a great way to practice crusts without ruining a proper pie.

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  17. deidremefford

    I spread my favorite pie dough recipe with Bakers Cinnamon Filling, sprinkle lightly with cinnamon chips, roll up into a tiny jellyroll, cut into 1″ pieces, sprinkle w/sparkling sugar & bake. Divine! They are grabbed up before even cooling off!

    “Snails” – love ‘em! Thanks for the reminder, Deidre – PJH

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  18. narfing

    America’s Test Kitchen says the key to a good pie crust is vodka. I guess I’ll have to do some research ;-) These look really good!

    I tried the vodka thing – couldn’t see any difference at all, in texture or flavor. But then again – it probably couldn’t hurt! :) PJH

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  19. substitutionqueen

    oh, my mom always did this with leftover pie crust for us kids…she called it “plotze”. Great memory, great treat.

    Indeed – my mom made this for us, too, when she was making one of her wonderful apple pies… PJH

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  20. aprildhanson

    Oh my fiance loves when I have leftovers like this! I call them “Crusties” :) We usually eat them as soon as they are cool enough to eat… but sometimes we are too impatient and burn our mouths. But the sacrifice is well worth it, so delicious!

    Reply
  21. JJ

    My Mom has always made “pet de soeur” aka nun farts. Canadian background. roll the extra pie dough flat – spread with butter, cinnamon and sugar – roll up like a log and cut in 1/2 ” increments lie them flat on baking sheet and bake till brown – yummy
    I’ve heard of these from my friend here with a Canadian hubby. I have a recipe for “nun’s revenge” hot chocolate. Sounds like a perfect pairing! ~ MaryJane

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  22. Debbie G

    Mom’s “flakies” made from leftover pie crust were the best. I looked forward to those even more so than the pie itself!

    mmm, these pie fries sound perfectly wonderful…love the idea of using cherry or raspberry filling as a “ketchup” dip….or I can see serving them alongside a slow cooker of warm apple pie filling ~ maybe use a maple leaf-shaped cookie cutter (more surface area!).

    But, perfect on their own, sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar, just like Mom made!

    Reply
  23. mrscindy

    PJ, when you said Ranch, in Houston, Texas (where I happen to live) it suddenly occurred to me you could do these pie fries with Ranch Dressing Mix. You might have to cut it with something or be very careful not to get it too thick, but they would be a great savory fry. What are your thoughts? Would it work?
    I think if you had a thin dressing, and didn’t make the fries too sweet, it would work just fine. Let us know if you give it a go. ~ MaryJane

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  24. Ravenwolfe

    Made these today and they turned out awesome!

    Excellent – thanks for sharing your success here! PJH

    Reply

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