Mix together the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender, fork, your hands, or whatever method works best for you, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir together the beaten egg with the water and sprinkle over flour mixture. Sprinkle in the vinegar, mixing lightly, until ingredients are well combined.
Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
In a nonreactive pan on very low heat, simmer the dried fruit in the water for 30 to 45 minutes, or until very tender. Add water if necessary to prevent scorching. Allow to cool; mash fruit slightly.
Stir in the sugar and spices. This step of the preparation may be done in advance and refrigerated; however, warm up the fruit (microwave is fine) enough to take the chill off and make it workable before filling your pies.
Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and cut it into four equal pieces. You can then cut each of the four pieces into three equal pieces, leaving you with 12 golf-ball-size dough balls.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 5- to 6-inch circle. Your circles don't have to be perfect, and ragged edges are okay.
Put about 2 generous tablespoons of filling onto one side of the circle of dough. Seal the pie by wetting the inside edge of the dough with water (use your finger) and then fold over the dough, making the familiar half-moon shaped pie. Make sure the edges of the dough are even, and press and crimp to insure a good seal. You can use a fork to give you a bit of a decorative edge if you like. You can also correct the more ragged edges during this step because the dough is pliable. Just make sure the filling is sealed in and that any holes in the dough are crimped.
Using a deep fryer set at 350, carefully lower the pies into the oil, one at a time. Cook until they turn a nice even golden brown in 3 or 4 minutes. You don't have to worry about cooking the filling -- it's already cooked. The frying process is merely cooking the dough.
Drain on paper towels.