Preheat the fryer. In a sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the apples and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, 1/4 cup sugar, and brown sugar. Continue sautéing for 1 minute, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Add the water and lemon juice. Bring the liquid up to a boil. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water. Whisk the vanilla and slurry into the liquid. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat and cool completely. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder, together. Cut in the lard until it resembles coarse meal. In small bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Gradually add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, working it to make a thick dough. Break the dough into 12 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough pieces into thin rounds, about 5 inches in diameter. Put 1/4 cup of the mixture in the center of each round, fold over and crimp the edges with a fork. Fry the pies, two to three at a time, in the hot oil, until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper-lined plate. Powder the pies with powdered sugar. Lay the pies on a platter and serve with vanilla bean ice cream. Garnish with drizzle of caramel sauce, powdered sugar, and fresh mint.
Yields: 12 pies