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How to fry apples

Classic fried apples are a basic southern staple. Don’t get yours from a can–make ’em yourself with this easy version. Use a tangy or tart cooking apple for the best results. 


It’s a great time of year to be a southerner. Tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby and it always reminds me of–I dunno–classy stuff. Classy women in big hats and fancy dresses (never mind that by race time most of them are sauced on Mint Juleps), men in suits with perfectly knotted ties. It’s horse racing at its best and it’s part of Kentucky’s culture.

And yes, it’s true that I haven’t watched the race in years. (I have a farm to tend to people–my Saturdays are busy!) But I still love the feeling it brings. It reminds me that I love being from this part of the country.

And speaking of where I’m from–I want to teach you how to fry apples. Have you ever had a fried apple? In our house we eat them with pork chops and fried rice. In my husband’s family you have them for breakfast with biscuits.  

I use a Lodi apple. It’s a tart June apple that I get from a local orchard. They are hard to find in most places, so go for any slightly firm, tart apple. I’d suggest either a Macintosh or a Granny Smith. Macs would be my favorite though. Peel, core and slice them into about 1/2 inch thick wedges. Here’s what mine look like:


My apples are frozen and have a bit more water in them when they cook. You may need to add a 1/2 cup of water or so just to get them going properly. That’s okay. Just don’t drown them–you’ll want to cook off most of that water and not turn them into applesauce.  Cook them low and slow for about 30 minutes total. If you bubble them too hard you’ll break them down. Don’t sweat it if you do though–it all goes down the same. 🙂


When it comes to sugar, the amount you use will depend entirely on how sour your apples are. I’d say plan to use about 1/3 cup of sugar. Maybe up it to 1/2 cup if your apples make you pucker. Just taste them as you go along. All the cool cooks do that anyway.

How to fry apples

Fried apples are a southern classic. Pair them with biscuits for breakfast or with dinner.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola or another unflavored oil
  • 3 cups peeled and cored Macintosh or Granny Smith apples cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar you may need a bit more if your apples are very sour


  • Heat the oil and butter in a medium skillet until the butter starts to melt and bubble.
  • Add the apples and toss them gently to coat. Cook on medium-high about 5 minutes.
  • Add the water and stir. Cook the apples 5 minutes more, stirring once.
  • Add the sugar and stir gently. Reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer the apples gently until they are soft. This may take 15 minutes or so stirring gently every 5 minutes. If they look like they are drying out in the bottom, add another tablespoon or two of water.
  • Serve warm with biscuits for breakfast, or with dinner. They're also good cold.


Calories: 163kcal
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Course Side Dish
Cuisine American



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