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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. I couldn’t find dried apples anywhere locally, I went googling. I found the best BBC value at nuts.com. Took less than a week to receive my order. Can’t wait to make the pies with my cousin. We had an uncle who was a chef in some very nice restaurants (including the Country Club). She has his crust cutter and is trying to find his recipe.

    1. @Nancy Warren, I believe she just wants you to cook your normal sliced apples down until all the water is nearly evaporated. Cook to consistently of thick apple sauce

  2. How about peach ones? Here in the south, we are in the midst of peach season and I would like to dehydrosome and make pies.

  3. I searched high and low and could not find them anywhere! I was just about to order from Amazon and found them online at Target – of all places! They are “Good and Gather” brand and they are unsweetened and unsulphured, which my family women folk always insisted on! I helped them make them when small, but never actually cooked the apples myself. I don’t remember them cooking apples very dry, but they weren’t wet either. Going to do a test run and check it out.

    1. Very good luck Dianne! Finding dried apples is super hard these days. Around here we try to dry our own when we can. I’m glad you found some and I hope you enjoy this recipe! –Rachel

  4. Hey y’all! Have an apple peeling party and dry you some apples! You can use a dehydrator or let the apples dry in the sun. I just did this and now I’m ready to make some pies! Have fun!

    1. For sure Emily! I have an apple peeler corer slicer that does a great job as well for that task. I won’t be drying any apples in the sun here right now though–too cold. A dehydrator would certainly do the trick. –Rachel

  5. I don’t know when this was first published, but I’m with Sharon. Our stores just don’t carry dried apples. I’ve looked everywhere (6 stores) and finally found them on Amazon. All that said, here’s a pie crust recipe for those who think their regular crust might not work.
    2 cups self rising flour (to make your own, combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt)
    1/3 c shortening
    2/3 cup of water
    Mix and rest for 30 minutes.

    Divide dough into eight rolls. Roll out and put 1/4 cup of fruit. Wet edges with water and fold over.

    1. Hey Mary, yeah my dried apples have disappeared from my stores as well. I can dry my own or order them online like you have, or the other option is to cook applesauce until it’s thick enough. That would be a long cook, but would work as well. Thanks for dropping in your pie crust recipe–did you think mine wouldn’t work? 😉 –Rachel

    2. I think great-grandma, a true southern Kentucky cook, used to roll out canned biscuits for her crust…?!!

    3. Yes lots of people moved to canned biscuits–they hit the market in 1931 after all–but I tried to go beyond those to something that could be reproduced with just the basics. –Rachel

    4. @Rachel Ballard,

      Can u use fresh apple slices. How would the recipe differ? Can they even be used?

    5. If you mean just frying them with fresh apples in them then no–that’s more of a fried turnover–fried apple pies are always made with some sort of thickened soft, cooked apple paste. –Rachel

  6. 5 stars
    Well, the fried pie queen around our house was named Edna Earle, and she passed away at 84 BEFORE she could pass the secret to her fried apple pies. That did make my heart skip a beat. Thank you for that sweet memory. She was y mother in law, and my best friend. When she brought hot fried pies t our house, everything stopped but the eating. 🙂 WELL, my first attempt at a fried pie was fresh pear. My hubs had 3 pears on his little tree. We cooked them down in margarine, sugar, pinch of salt and nutmeg. OMG. So fine. I probably should have cooked them down a little more. ANYWAY. The crust, ah, the crust. I did my scratch crust from allrecipes.com. ahnnh, looked a bit dry…wrapped and chilled. Rolled it out. OOOO. dry. I did 4 pies, the cracked. ‘Put them in the hot oil. Can we say disappearing pies? Poof! I scooped what flakes of crust and , by now, candied pcs of pear. Bahaha. Told hubs to smear some pears on it and eat it. Broke the remaining crust ball apart, added water, and the tart made a tart. Itjust went off. Looks good. Smells good. Oh well, at least the pears didn’t go to waste. Sorry for the long story, but the edna earl comment and this pie was a hoot. I can just see her shaking her head. I love you OneNanny. Hey, someone send me a good pie crust recipe! 🙂

    1. Haha Debbie! Fried pies are certainly an art. No doubt about that. I’m sure Ms. Edna passed you many wonderful things in addition to your love of fried pies. So nice to hear she was your best friend. –Rachel

  7. These look sooo good! I have these down on my menu for next month, and seriously can not wait! I have a question is there a reason for using prepared pie crust? I try to make 90% of everything from scratch. (living off grid with a tight budget and little precious fridge space helps. lol)

    1. Hey Rose, No girl–make your own crust. I recommend that because about 90% of my readers don’t know how to make a pie crust from scratch. I also find that the store bought ones are a little more durable and less likely to spring a hole when they fry, but just make your crust a bit thicker and it should be fine. Some people also like to use a very thinly rolled biscuit dough. Either one would work but I like the texture of the pie crust. Please let me know when you make them and how you like them. They are a really special treat around here and truly one of my favorites. –Rachel

    2. How can I substitute apples for the dried apples. I’m unable to find them in my area.

    3. Hey Sharon, I found mine in the dried fruit area of my grocery store. By the raisins and prunes and such–make sure you aren’t overlooking them. If you can get them, they are really essential because the water content of fresh ones will always be too high to use here. Even if you used applesauce and cooked the living daylights out of it, it won’t get to the almost paste-like texture you need for your pies I’m afraid. Dried is really best. 🙁 Any Kroger or Walmart should carry them. Are you near one of those? –Rachel

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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.