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Fried Apples Recipe

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Made with butter, brown sugar, and warm spices, this fried apples recipe is easy to make, and a delicious addition to any meal – or served as dessert with a scoop of ice cream – yum! 

Image shows two bowls of fried apples, next to two apple halves

This recipe is something between a dessert and a side dish, and if you’re from the southern U.S. you know exactly what I mean. We do love our sweet side dishes down here!

I think more people are aware of what fried apples means thanks to Cracker Barrel fried apples, but what are they really?

I don’t know about you, but when I think of fried anything, I immediately think of crispy edges and dipping sauce. My mind either goes to french-fry style of fried, or maybe doughnuts. 

Image shows an iron skillet filled with apple slices

This – and any other – recipe for fried apples is not that. So if frying intimidates you don’t worry, we’re not talking bout deep frying here. This is much better.

What this is, is apples, pan-fried with butter, and then tossed with cinnamon, allspice, brown sugar, and some thickener – usually cornstarch. 

This is a great dessert to make when you’re short on time and have lots of apples on hand. I love that I can go from zero to completely done in ten minutes. It really makes me feel like super mom – especially with the way my kids go gaga for fried apples. 

They make a fantastic dessert-y side for a fall family meal, or the base for an apple Galette, or can even be substituted for pie filling such as in gluten-free apple pie, or – my favorite – gluten-free dutch apple pie. 

These fried apples make a quick and easy substitute for home-canned apple pie filling when you don’t have any on hand.

My kids really love using them as pancake topping for gluten-free pancakes too, and honestly, I just love to eat them with a spoon, or use them to top greek yogurt for breakfast. 

Image shows a bowl of fried apple slices next to some cinnamon sticks and a spoon

Fried Apples Recipe

  • A few tips for making perfect fried apples: 
  • Use a nice, tart apple variety. You know how good that sweet-tart combo is!
  • If you don’t have a tart apple on hand, substitute a tablespoon or two of your water for lemon juice. Works like a charm! 
  • If you have it, you can easily substitute apple pie spice mix for the cinnamon and allspice. 
  • Maple syrup may also be substituted for brown sugar. You can also use sugar substitutes such as swerve if desired. 
  • To peel or not to peel? That’s up to you! Your apples should be fried crisp-tender, so the peeling doesn’t disrupt the texture. That said, I do personally prefer to peel if my apple aren’t organic. 
  • What if you don’t have cornstarch on hand? Arrowroot powder is a great substitute, and if you’re not gluten-free, regular white flour can also work.

You may have had a busy day, but if a quick and easy dessert is calling your name after all that, you definitely have time for a batch of fried apples – they’re super easy, and worth every second. 

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Fried Apples Recipe

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This Cracker Barrel fried apple copycat recipe is so good! Sweet and delicious, your whole family will love it!

  • Author: Elise

Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 medium sized apples
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water or apple juice

Instructions

  1. Core, slice, and peel (if desired) apples and set aside
  2. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat
  3. Add sugar, cinnamon, and allspice and stir together
  4. Add apples and cook, stirring, until apples are just tender
  5. Combine cornstarch and water/juice
  6. Pour into apples, stirring until thickened
  7. Remove from heat
  8. Serve apples warm
  9. Enjoy!

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