This Fried Apples recipe is my version of classic southern fried apples! This recipe takes 15 minutes to make, requires just 5 ingredients, and results in tender apples smothered in a sweet brown sugar glaze.
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I’m sure we can all agree that apples are just so good. They’re also so versatile! I mean, we’ve got applesauce, caramel apples, apple muffins, apple crumble pie, apple cobbler, apple upside down cake…okay, you get it. 😉
This Fried Apples recipe is another delicious way to use apples. It’s my version of the popular Cracker Barrel fried apples except it’s better because it’s homemade and because we’re using Cosmic Crisp® Washington State Apples.
Cosmic Crisps are classically bred at Washington State University. They’re a non-GMO cross breed between Enterprise and Honeycrisp. They’re sweet, juicy, and have a remarkably firm and crisp texture which makes them perfect for snacking, cooking, and baking!
While I love to just snack on Cosmic Crisp apples, they are also delicious in this fried apples recipe! Their sweet flavor profile pairs deliciously with the brown sugar and cinnamon and their crisp texture holds up so nicely in the sauce.
This recipe is so easy to whip up, is made up of just 5 ingredients, and can be served in so many different ways!
Ingredients for fried apples:
Fried apples could not be any simpler!
- Butter: I use salted butter. You can use unsalted butter but you may want to add a sprinkle of salt to cut the sweetness.
- Apples: Cosmic Crisp apples are a must for the best results! Once you taste them, you won’t go back.
- Granulated Sugar and Dark Brown Sugar: both add layers of sweetness while the brown sugar dissolves into a delicious caramel-y sauce.
- Cinnamon: adds a touch of spicy sweetness.
How to make fried apples
This recipe comes together in a total of 15 minutes!
- Cook the apples: Melt butter on the stove then add in the prepped apples and granulated sugar.
- Finish and serve: Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon and cook until incorporated, then serve warm or refrigerate!
Fried apple FAQs
Cosmic Crisp apples are sweet and juicy but also crisp and firm enough to hold up during cooking! Although I do recommend Cosmic Crisps for this recipe, other varieties of apple will work as well. Try Pink Lady, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, or even Granny Smith.
I recommend using a heavy-bottomed saucepan or a cast-iron skillet for this recipe. Both of these types of pans distribute heat more evenly which helps prevent the sugar from burning as it cooks.
You can, but I definitely recommend peeling the apples. Apple peel takes on a somewhat chewy texture when its cooked. If you do decide to keep the skin on, make sure you scrub the apples well before you slice them.
Absolutely! Cosmic Crisp apples are naturally slow to brown so they can be peeled and sliced ahead of time and will still maintain their texture and flavor in the fridge. Just keep them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
You can also prep and freeze the apples in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use them, simply thaw in the fridge! Keep in mind that they will have a softer texture after freezing.
Leftover fried apples will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. To enjoy again, either serve cold or warm on low heat on the stove until heated through.
Tips, tricks, and notes for this recipe
- Slice evenly. Make sure you cut the apples relatively evenly in size so they cook at the same rate.
- Don’t slice too thin. You want the apples to be thin enough that they cook relatively quickly, but not so thin that they become mushy.
- Make extra! This recipe usually serves 4 people, but if you’re serving a crowd it’s very easy to double or triple the recipe.
- Add seasonings. I like to keep it simple with just cinnamon but feel free to spice the fried apples up more with apple pie spice or nutmeg.
Fried apples can be served on their own as a sweet snack or dessert. They’re also versatile enough to be served with both sweet and savory dishes! Here are a few ideas:
- Sweet: Serve them over Sheet Pan Pancakes, Overnight Caramel French Toast or this French Toast Casserole. You can also mix them into yogurt, oatmeal, or vanilla ice cream!
- Savory: Serve them as a side dish next to instant pot pork chops with bacon apple glaze, roast turkey breast with cranberry marinade, honey baked ham, or grilled chicken thighs.
More apple recipes to try
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Southern Fried Apples recipe
- ½ cup salted butter
- 4 Cosmic Crisp apples (peeled and sliced — not too thin)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- In a heavy bottom pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add the peeled, sliced apples and granulated sugar.
- Cook until apples are softened, about 6-10 minutes (depending on how thick they are sliced).
- Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon and cook until the sauce comes together.
- Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to enjoy.
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