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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 made my fried apples from scratch, peeled the apples and cooked them until they were thick (about 1 1/2 hours) I used store bought pie crust, they came out perfect just like my moms. They were gone in 1 day

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 5 stars
    What are some good brands of dried apples? My 91 year old mother is trying to find some. Thank you.

  7. 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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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.