Last year when I was in Beijing to do research for the tofu book, my friend Lillian Chou, food editor at Time Out Beijing, dragged me and stylist Karen Shinto to a McDonald’s. We were there to eat tofu but she insisted that we first try the fried fruit pies. “You can hardly get them anymore in the States so eat up girls!” Lillian said. I hadn’t been in a McDonald’s in years (primarily to use the rest room) yet there we were eating fried pineapple pies at McDonald’s in China.
It was surreal but truth be told, it was good. In fact, the fried pie took me back to my childhood, when my family would buy deep-fried fruit pies at the supermarket. We didn’t know they were bad for us. We got them on super duper sale along with the occasional Twinkies nearby. My favorite was the fried apple pie.
That experience in Beijing, my longing for fried apple pies, and a frozen package of spring roll skins leftover from the Chef’s special crunchy shrimp balls led me to create this spring roll. I should also mention that I have an abundance of apples right now – thanks to generous neighbors and my overbuying at the farmer’s market. I live in an apple farming area. You’ll be seeing another apple recipe or two later.