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Traditional fried apple pies

 Traditional fried apple pies usually come wrapped in foil and heaped in a basket, you’ll have a hard time  finding one southerner who doesn’t know what these little jewels are. Traditional fried apple pies are crispy, sweet and a true indulgence.

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two fried apple pies on a blue napkin

Go to a cookout in the south and if these are on the table, you’ll soon see people stuffing them in their pockets and purses. It may be a long time before the dessert table is open but that never matters around here. People lose all their composure over a fried pie.

But I won’t lie. There’s a reason. Good ones are made by 80 year old women named Ethel or Edna and they can be quite frustrating to make.

But I’ve got all the tips so don’t you worry about that.

How to keep a fried pie from getting soggy?

To avoid a soggy pie:

  • Make a dry filling. My recipe calls for you to cook the dried apples (freeze dried or dehydrated will work just fine) in water until they soften. It is important to make sure that all of the water evaporates before filling the pie dough. The apples should reach a pasty consistency much thicker than applesauce.
  • Fry the pies hot enough. Adding too many pies to the skillet at once or letting your oil temperature drop too much means the dough will soak up excess oil and your pies will be soggy and heavy.
  • Stacking the pies when they are cooling. Pies need time to cool with some space between them. If they touch they will steam and get soft.

Can I use fresh apples in this recipe?

I highly recommend using freeze dried apples or dehydrated here. If you are set on using fresh fruit, make sure to cook the apples down first, allowing them to release as much liquid as possible.

That process could take many hours because fresh apples have such an immense amount of liquid in them. You almost can’t get them to the texture compared to using dried apples.

a pot with dried apples, sugar, cinnamon and butter being mixed in
a spoon holding a scoop of cooked thick apples

How to seal a fried pie

No one wants their pie filling leaking all over the place. To prevent this, it is important to fill and seal the pie dough properly. How? Do NOT overfill the dough.

Overfilling will cause the apples to burst out of the dough in the frying process. So use a moderate amount of filling then use your fingers to rub a bit of water on the edge of the crust before sealing it shut.

A fork will crimp the edges together and you’ll be all set.

a circle of dough with filling and a hand adding water to the edge
a fork sealing the edges of an unfried pie

The best apples for fried pies

Again, aim for a dry or dehydrated apple (see my note above if you are set on using fresh apples). I have really been enjoying using Thrive Life’s freeze dried Granny Smiths or Fujis.  

Can applesauce be used as a filling?

Yes and no. Applesauce right out of the jar is far too wet and will produce a soggy pie. If you would like to use applesauce, simmer it down until it is very, very thick before filling the pie dough. 

Sweetening apples for fried pies

Apples are sweet on their own, but you will want to add a little extra sweetness to your filling. You can use sugar, but I suggest doing your body a favor and opting for a less inflammatory option such as honey, coconut sugar, or maple sugar. 

What oil is best for fried pies?

If you have been following my blog, you know that I am adamantly against using vegetable oil as a frying oil. It is inflammatory and bad for your health for a number of other reasons.

I suggest using high quality lard or refined coconut oil. Don’t worry, refined coconut oil will not impart a coconut flavor (unrefined products will, so shop carefully). 

a skillet with two pies frying in oil

Can I use store bought pie crust?

You can. It’s certainly the easier way to go, but I highly encourage you to make your own pie dough if you have the time. You will achieve a flakier, tastier pie and it’s more satisfying. Puff pastry could also be used for a more “turnover style”.

Fun fact…if you add a splash of vodka to the water used to make the pie dough, you will achieve a flakier finished product. Give it a try!

What about canned biscuits?

These are the classic shortcut for fried pies, but I advise against using canned biscuits. It’s been done before and it works, but the flavor just isn’t quite right.

Not to mention they are packed with preservatives and additives that won’t do your health any favors. 

Should fried pies be glazed?

Here in the south, we tend not to glaze fried apple pies You can experiment with glazes if you’d like to though. Here are some recipes that will complement these pies nicely. 

a stack of glazed fried apple pies

How to store fried pies

I don’t think you will have trouble finding eager taste buds for these pies. They are best enjoyed fresh and are likely to fly off the counter fresh out of the fryer.

That being said, if you would like to store them to be enjoyed at a later date, allow the pies to cool to room temperature before wrapping each pie in a layer of parchment paper or aluminum foil.

No need to refrigerate here. Just make sure to enjoy them within the next couple of days. Do note that the longer they sit, the soggier they will get. So have your friends over and eat up!

a fried pie open with the filling showing

Other apple pie recipes to try:  

These little pies are truly delightful, but if you are looking for something different, I’ve got you covered. Here are a few of my favorite apple pie recipes. Enjoy!

two fried apple pies on a blue napkin

Traditional fried apple pies

Slow cooked, thick apples make a hearty filling for these delicate fried apple pies. I don't use canned biscuit dough like a lot of people--learn how to do it from scratch and enjoy this special southern treat!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes
Servings 6
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 1 4.5 ounce package dried apples
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, maple sugar works
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • lard, refined coconut oil for frying
  • 1 package pre-made pie crust warmed to room temperature about 20 minutes or so; see note 1


  • In a medium saucepan heat the water and apples and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer until the apples are very soft (like applesauce) and no water remains--about an hour. If the apples aren't soft enough, go ahead and add a 1/2 cup more water and continue to cook until you can mash the apples with a fork.
  • Once the apples are very thick, remove from the heat and add the sugar,  butter and cinnamon and allow to cool.
  • When you are ready to fry the pies, heat about 3 inches of oil in a pot to 375 degrees.
  • While it's heating, cut rounds of pie dough about 4 inches across.
  • Add 1 to two tablespoons of apples to one half of the circle leaving a 1/2 inch border. Do not overfill.
  • Wet your fingers in some water around the border of your circle. Fold in half to created a semi-circle shape.
  • Use a fork to crimp the edges of the dough.
  • Fry one or two at a time until golden brown and heated through, about 5 minutes or so.


Note 1: Instead of using a premade crust or canned biscuits, make your own crust homemade. Any butter pie crust recipe is great. Just add an egg to the dough and reduce the water by two tablespoons. Try my favorite all butter pie crust recipe. 


Serving: 1pieCalories: 291kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 2gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 173mgPotassium: 147mgFiber: 3gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 118IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
a view of a pan of apple pies and one broken open on a blue napkin with an apple

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  1. 5 stars
    I’m going to cook my apples in a rice pan with about a tablespoon or two of water after they became soft I’m going to use the the potato masher to mash my apples and slowly put in sugar and cinnamon after it because thick I’m going to make my biscuit dough. I hope this works became my mom never told me how she made her pies I only know how good they were. I do know she only used fresh apples; she made her dough like she did her biscuits that she did say; they all turned out perfect every time; they were made from love. She was magical in the kitchen.

  2. My mom always used peeled apples and made her biscuits dough from scratch her self. She had a special talent for cooking. Her fried apple pie’s was always perfect every time she cooked them just like her biscuits.She is gone now ; I miss her cooking so very much.

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.