1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup brown sugar
dough for one 9″ pie*
8 cups of vegetable oil
1 cup cinnamon sugar (1 cup white sugar mixed with 4 tsp cinnamon)
a deep fry or candy thermometer
*If you are using store-bought make sure you buy refrigerated dough that you unroll yourself (not already pressed into a pan).
1. Make the filling by mixing pumpkin puree, ginger, spices, and brown sugar in a bowl.
2. On a floured surface, roll out half of the pie dough to 1/8″ thickness. If you are using store-bought, it will already be rolled into 2 disks that are 1/8″ thick. Cut the dough into 4″ diameter circles. You can do this with a large cookie cutter or use the top of a bowl, can, or Tupperware lid as a guide or cutter. (We used a metal lid as a makeshift cutter.) Alternatively, cut out a 4″ circle out of paper or cardboard and trace around it with a knife. Place dough circles on a floured plate and refrigerate until you are ready to fill them. Repeat with the remaining dough.
3. Place one circle of dough in the center of your work surface. Roll the dough circle until it is about 4.5″ to 5″ in diameter. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of pumpkin filling in the center. Dip your finger in water and run it around the edge of the dough. Fold dough over and gently press the edges together with the tines of a fork. Make sure you seal the edges well or your filling could leak out and splatter while frying. Gently smooth your finger over the pie to evenly distribute the filling. Carefully place the pie on a cooling rack until ready for frying. (The rack will help keep the pies dry and minimize splattering.) Repeat steps 2 through 4 until you have filled all your pies.
4. Prepare to fry. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels or newspaper and place it underneath your cooling rack. Pour oil into a large pot. Attach thermometer to the side and heat oil to 360 degrees. Fry pies two at a time until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Pies will be delicate, so turn them very gently. If any of the pies fall apart, they will cause the oil to splatter.
5. Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked pies from the pot and place on the rack. Allow oil to drain for a minute, then carefully transfer hot pies to a shallow dish filled with the cinnamon sugar. Spoon sugar over pies then return to rack. Be careful, as pies will be incredibly hot and will crack if handled roughly.
6. If you prefer, you can bake your pies. Place pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. With a knife or scissors, cut a few slits in the top of the pies to vent. Whisk an egg with a spoonful of water. Brush pies with egg wash and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 375 until golden, about 15 minutes.
Makes about 14 pies.