From Brandon Carter, FARM, Bluffton, South Carolina
For the dough:
225 grams unsalted butter
96 grams shortening
632 grams flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
11 grams ice water
For the filling:
85 grams unsalted butter
70 grams light brown sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup cane syrup
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
¾ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
Canola oil for frying
Make the dough: Place butter in freezer for about an hour. In a bowl, combine shortening, flour, and salt. Using your hands, distribute shortening through flour until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Using the largest side of box grater, grate frozen butter into flour mixture. Gently “fluff” the grated butter into flour, then make a well in the center of mixture. Strain ice out of water and pour water into well. Gently mix dough by hand until a ball forms, adding more ice water as needed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Make the filling: In a medium pot, combine butter, sugar, salt, cane syrup, bourbon, and vanilla and bring to a boil. In a medium bowl, whisk the three eggs together. Remove syrup mixture from the heat and whisk 1 cup at a time into eggs. Once thoroughly combined, return contents of the bowl to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the mix bubbles and thickens. Stir in pecans and cool the filling.
To assemble: Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Divide dough into six pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time (keep remaining dough in the refrigerator until ready to form), place dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a circle, about 6 inches in diameter. Spoon ⅓ to ½ cup of pecan filling in center. Brush edges of circle with egg wash. Fold dough over filling to make a half moon shape and crimp edges with a fork to seal. Continue with remaining dough balls. Store uncooked pies in the refrigerator until ready to cook. If you are not planning on frying pies that day, freeze them in freezer storage bags for up to one month. (Frozen hand pies can be fried directly from the freezer.)
To fry: In deep skillet fitted with a deep-fry thermometer, heat 3 inches of oil to 300 degrees. Fry pies until golden, then flip and fry until other side is golden. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream.