Hot milk dissolves the shortening in the pastry, resulting in a soft, easy-to-work dough.
To prepare dough, lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder, stirring with a whisk. Combine the milk and shortening in a large bowl, stirring until shortening dissolves. Gradually add flour mixture to milk mixture, tossing with a fork just until blended. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Knead into a ball (dough will feel sticky). Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
To prepare filling, combine dried apples, dried cranberries, 1/2 cup water, and apple cider in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until fruit is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in brown sugar, and cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Working with 1 dough portion at a time (cover remaining portions to prevent drying), roll each portion into a 6-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling onto half of each circle; moisten edges of dough with water. Fold dough over filling; press edges together with a fork to seal. Place pies onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Combine egg white and 1 tablespoon water, stirring with a whisk; brush over the pies. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until golden. Place on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.