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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.

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. They are old-school southern to the core–and they are frustrating.

Most people run from making pie. I don’t, and even an experienced pie pro like myself gets a little flustered with these. The key is to cook those apples dry, not overfill them, and make sure your oil is the right temperature so you don’t get them soggy.

Here’s my best shot of my apples cooked down very thick. Do your best to get yours to this point:

a spoon of cooked dried apples on a pot

As long as you do that, you’ll be fine. I hope.

Good thing I’m feeling positive today!

a view of a pan of apple pies and one broken open on a blue napkin with an apple
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
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • canola oil for frying
  • 1 package pre-made pie crust warmed to room temperature about 20 minutes or so


  • 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 tablespoon 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.


Calories: 256kcal
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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  1. I use my air fryer on dehydrate mode. Perfect for the apples for fried pies. Also I yse the pre made refrigerator dough. They came out perfect. The air fryer a fairly new gadget for my kitchen did the trick.

  2. I have only bought and used frozen pre made pie crust. Is there a refrigerated pie crust? I want to buy the correct ingredients.

    1. Not in this case Stephanie. Some people use rolled out canned biscuits for fried pies. I personally don’t like those but it’s an option if you don’t want to tackle the homemade crust. –Rachel

    2. I made these last night with refrigerated pie crusts in the dairy section. Worked perfectly and they were delicious

    3. Oh good to know Monica. Store bought crust isn’t a traditional option and most of these used to fall apart with them but if you got it to work then that’s great. I’m glad you enjoyed them! –Rachel

  3. If I use fresh apples what’s the best way to cook them down so they don’t have so much liquid? Should I drain the juices as it separates from the apples in the pan or leave it and let it reduce and evaporate by itself? Also is canola oil the only kind of oil you can use?

    1. Hey Sandy, Mercy no let’s ditch that canola oil. I have been trying to update old recipes and that one needs a tweak to the ingredients. I fry in refined coconut oil (no coconut flavor) and have removed all vegetable, canola, safflower, sunflower oils and their derivatives from our diets. As for the apples, I’d chop them finely to give them a head start and then cook the ever lovin’ crud out of them. It’s actually easier to start with applesauce than whole apples and simmer it low and slow so you don’t burn it until it’s thick enough to hold shape on a spoon. The trouble with fresh apples is that they are almost always going to be too wet no matter what you do and when you fry they will leak and your oil will splatter all over you and your kitchen and you could get burned. Traditional fried pies were made with the dried apple paste to keep the crust dry. Good luck–Rachel

  4. i was going to attempt this recipe with a can of apple pie filling and a can of peach pie filling.. but my neighbors gave me a bag of green apples, so I’m now attempting this with fresh apples to share with my neighbors!
    Thank you for this old- fashioned recipe!! Yum!!!

    1. You’ll want to cook those apples down to a dry sauce if you use them Katrina–otherwise their moisture will make these fall apart when fried. Canned fillings are typically too wet for fried pies too. Good luck! –Rachel

  5. 5 stars
    What are some good brands of dried apples? My 91 year old mother is trying to find some. Thank you.

  6. Hi Ms. Rachel,
    Thank you for reminding me of the Fried Apple Pies. The last piece of mail I received from my grandmother was a copy of her Fried Apple Pies Recipe. She wrote in it that I could use canned biscuits instead of making the pie crust, but she didn’t write what kind of biscuits she used. As you know now we have all kinds of canned biscuits to buy, LOL. The one time that I made them after receiving the recipe, I had called and asked her, but I didn’t think to write it down (that was 25 years ago). I never made them again, because like many have said trying to find dried apples in the store is very hard; therefore, that recipe unfortunately found itself at the bottom of my shoe box of recipes. Since the time I made them, my Grandmother has passed away and I can’t ask her. So with all that being said, after reading your recipe and comments, I know you are the person I need to ask. If using canned biscuits and I know you said you don’t but after reading your comments I think you would know which ones would be best to use? Just trying to make them as close to the same as she did, nothing against the premade pie shell. Thank you for your help and bringing back great memories!

    1. Hi Edna, you know I’d probably go with a cheap basic canned one. Back then there weren’t flaky, buttery or Grands. 😉 Just the simplest you can come up with. –Rachel

    2. @Edna Howard, a recipe i came across used canned biscuits. I was thinking the honey butter flaky biscuits by pillsbury.. i think those would be yummy with the sweetness from the apples..

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