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Fried cherry pie with a bite taken out revealing the glistening cherry pie filling inside.

Best Ever Crispy & Flaky Southern Fried Cherry Pies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Kelly
  • Total Time: 4 hours 24 minutes
  • Yield: 18 to 20 (4-inch) Fried pies 1x


This is the best and only fried pie dough you’re ever gonna need!  Not only is it tender on the inside, but the crust is SO crispy and flaky that you’re gonna need a napkin under it when you take your first bite! The photos do not lie. This is still one of my favorite Southern desserts that I grew up eating and still make to this day. It’s one of those desserts that I get a lot of requests to make it and also for the recipe. It’s a keeper and we think you’ll agree♡!



for the dough

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (225g)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure cane sugar, or granulated sugar (23g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (2g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup lard, pinched off into small pieces (95g)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature (88-121g) *see notes for buttermilk substitution
  • 2 to 3 cups neutral vegetable oil for frying (450g-675g)
  • powdered sugar for dusting fried pies
  • a pinch of cinnamon (optional, but recommended)

for the pie filling

*I use 00 flour when I’m in Italy for this recipe (and King Arthur flour when I’m in the States), and the weight of different flours varies based on the humidity content and absorption potential of the flour you’re working with. Just be sure to use the ‘scoop and level’ method to measure your flour into measuring cups and spoons and the recipe works perfectly every time.


  1. Mix the dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Add the lard. Pinch the lard off into 1/2″ (1cm) pieces and add them to the dry ingredients. Use a fork (or dough cutter) to cut the lard into the flour mixture until you have pea-sized crumbles.
  3. Add the buttermilk. Next, slowly add the buttermilk to the mixture approximately 1/4 cup (40g) at a time, stirring the mixture with a fork to incorporate the buttermilk into the flour until the mixture leaves the sides of the bowl. Form the dough into a disc and turn it out onto a floured surface and sprinkle it with a little more flour. Fold the dough over itself 3-4 times. Wrap with plastic wrap and rest the dough in the fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
  4. Roll out the dough. After the dough has rested, remove it from the fridge and place it onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll the dough into an 8×7 inch (20x17cm) rectangle approximately 1/4″ thick.
  5. Cut the dough and fill. Using a 3-4 inch (7.5-10cm) round cookie cutter, cut circles out of the dough and fill with 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling.
  6. Seal the dough. Fold one half of the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape and press down using your fingers to seal the edges. Use a fork to crimp the edges and ensure the pies are sealed. Set filled pies aside on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan and if they start to get too warm, place the filled pies into the fridge to keep them cool while you fill the remaining pies.
  7. Fry the dough. Preheat oil to 350°F/176°C and fry the pies in batches, add pies one at a time very carefully to the hot oil. Cook the pies for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until light golden brown turning the pies over every 30 seconds or so to ensure even browning. 
  8. Dust pies with powdered sugar. Remove pies from the oil onto a cooling rack or paper towel-lined platter and lightly dust with powdered sugar.  After the pies have cooled for about 10 minutes sprinkle them once more with powdered sugar and serve hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!


  • Can I freeze fried pies?  Yes, you can freeze filled and uncooked fried pies for up to 6 months before frying. After filling the pies and sealing them, lay them out in a single layer (not touching) on a sheet and pop it into the freezer for about 1 to 2 hours, or until the pies have firmed up. At this point, they may be placed inside an airtight container or freezer bag and sealed. When you’re ready to fry the pies, remove them from the freezer for about 15 minutes to allow some of the chill to come off. Alternatively, you may place frozen pies in the refrigerator for 2 hours before freezing which also helps take the chill off. Fry them for about 8 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown. 
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon (13g) of freshly squeezed lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup, then pour in whole milk until it reaches the 1/2 cup mark on the measuring cup. Stir the mixture and allow it to rest at room temperature to thicken for 5 to 10 minutes before adding to the flour mixture.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled. Wrap the extra dough and seal it in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
  • How do I know if my dough is ready to form it into a brick? You’ll know the dough is ready to be formed into a ‘brick” when you can squeeze a handful of dough together and it holds.  If the dough crumbles, add just a bit more buttermilk a teaspoon (6g) at a time until the mixture just holds together. Avoid adding too much buttermilk or the dough will be wet and sticky and never add all of the buttermilk all at once. Instead, add it in increments so you can be sure to use just the right amount.
  • Substitute vegetable shortening for the lard if you prefer.  You may also use a 1:1 mixture of half butter and half lard.  Using butter only will yield a slightly different texture, but a wonderful flavor.
  • Let the pie dough rest.  Do not skip this step. It’s very important to let the dough relax so that it’s more pliable and easier to roll out.
  • Use a scale to weigh the ingredients for more consistent measurements. Use measuring cups and spoons if that’s what you have.
  • I use a 4-inch round cutter for this recipe.  But feel free to make the pies smaller or larger. For a 4-inch round cutter, I fill the dough with no more than 2 tablespoons of filling. Doing so helps ensure the pies will seal and fry properly. If you make larger or smaller pies, be sure to adjust the amount of filling.  Whatever you do, resist the urge to overfill them or they may bust open while frying.
  • Dust the pies with powdered sugar twice.  The first time is right after they finish frying.  This allows the sugar to melt into the hot pies. Then I dust them a second time after about 10 minutes.
  • Add extra flavor to the powdered sugar by adding a pinch or two of cinnamon to it before dusting the pies. This is especially good for peach, cherry, and apricot fried pies.
  • Use this pie dough with other fillings.  Try chocolate, peach, strawberry-rhubarb, lemon cream, apricot, vanilla-bean cream, wild blackberry, sweet potato, pecan, or even coconut.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Rest Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Category: Pies + Cobblers + Crostate
  • Method: Deep Fried or Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: Southern


  • Serving Size: 1 Fried Pie
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