In a large saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Mix until blended. Stir in the water and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Remove from the heat and pour over the blueberries. Add the butter and mix well. Cool completely.
Sift the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening and with your hands or a fork, mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk together.
Gradually add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a smooth ball forms. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each dough piece into a thin round about 5 inches in diameter. Put about 1/4 cup of the blueberry mixture in the center of each round, fold the dough over, and crimp the edges together with a fork.
Preheat the oil to 360ºF.
Fry the pies in batches, 2 to 3 at a time, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.
Serve each pie on a serving plate with a scoop of ice cream.
Yield: 12 pies
CREOLE CREAM CHEESE AND CHERRY ICE CREAM:
Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the inside, reserve the bean. In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the half-and-half, sugar, vanilla seeds, scraped vanilla bean, and salt, over medium heat. Bring the cream to the boiling point and scald it. Remove from the heat. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl. Add the cream mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, to the beaten eggs, whisking in between each addition, until all is used.
Pour the mixture into a saucepan, and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the cream cheese and blend thoroughly. Pour the filling into the ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for churning time. Swirl the cherry filling into the ice cream, cover and freeze for at least 1 hour.
Yield: about 1/2 gallon