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Pie, Oh My: The Most Crave-Worthy Fried Apple Pie Recipe

Fried pies have the perfect level of naughtiness for a dessert food. A fruit filling keeps them from being too heavy, but a crispy fried exterior keeps them crunchy, flavorful and oh-so-craveable. This fried apple pie recipe is everything that a hand-held dessert should be: crispy, crunchy, sweet, rich and just a little bit gooey in the middle. 

Fried Apple Pies Recipe collage

Homemade fried apple pies: almost too good!

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Photos via CakeSpy

Fast-food fried pies have nothing on these homemade babies. 

If you’ve ever made a traditional apple pie, you’ll find that this recipe starts out similarly, but has a few key differences. You’ll pre-cook your filling, and then instead of rolling out a top and bottom crust, you’ll roll out several smaller portions of dough to make individual pies. Then, instead of baking your pies in the oven, you’ll fry them in hot oil until crispy.

While the recipe may seem somewhat involved, if you take it one step at a time, you’ll find that it’s not so difficult after all, and that the rewards are delicious: perfectly crispy, beautifully glazed fried pies that will put a huge smile on your face. 

Pile of fried pies

Fried apple pie recipe

For the crust:

  • 1 batch pie dough (sufficient for a double crusted pie)
  • Flour, for rolling out the dough

For the filling:

  • 4 medium apples (I used Granny Smith), cored, peeled, and cut into approximately 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons flour 
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup bourbon or brandy (can substitute water or apple juice)

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream 
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

Other things you’ll need:

  • About 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying 
  • A large, deep saucepan for frying
  • An instant-read thermometer

Step 1: 

In a large bowl, combine the apple pieces, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, a pinch of salt, and the nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir or toss to combine, making sure the apples are evenly coated. Leave them to sit for a few minutes in the bowl while you prepare the next step.

Apples with coating

Step 2:

In a large, deep skillet, combine the butter, the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and the bourbon or brandy (if you choose to go booze-less, water or apple juice is fine here) over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Allow the butter to melt, and then continue heating and stirring for 2-3 more minutes, to allow the flavors to blend and also to let the mixture thicken a little bit. Turn off the heat, and let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.

Butter and booze melting

Step 3: 

Add the apple mixture to the pan, and put the mixture on medium-low heat. Cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, pausing to stir every few minutes. You want the apples to become soft, but not mushy. The firm Granny Smith apples required about 20-25 minutes, but this may vary depending on the type of apple you use. Basically, since the apples won’t cook for long when the pies are fried, you want to make sure that you cook the apples now to your desired consistency for eating inside of the pies. 

Once the apples are cooked and soft, remove the pan from heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. 

Note: the mixture will have a little, caramel-like goo to it. This is fine. 

Cooking apples

Step 4: 

Remove your pie dough from the refrigerator, and cut each dough portion into 4 equal parts (since you have 2 dough rounds, this will make 8 equal portions of dough). Roll each piece of dough into a circle approximately 6 inches in diameter, and just a touch thicker than 1/8-inch thick. Don’t roll the dough too thin, or the crust may pop a hole while you’re frying. 

Dough rolled

Step 5:

Spoon some of the filing on to the central lower portion of the dough, leaving a rim of dough around it on all sides. Fold the top over so that you have what looks like a little calzone.

Pie fold over

Use the tines of a fork to press the “seams” together, and poke the top of the pie with the tines once or twice. If they don’t seem to be sealing together, moisten the space between the seams with a little bit of water or beaten egg white so that the liquid can act as “glue” to form a seal. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough. Place the pies in the refrigerator; you can leave them there for several hours at this point, if you’re not ready to fry, or you can just leave them long enough to heat the frying oil. 

Tines

Step 6:

In a large, deep saucepan, heat the oil on medium heat until it registers between 350 and 360 F on an instant-read thermometer. Fry the pies, two at a time, until golden on both sides (approximately 2 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon, and transfer to paper towels to briefly blot excess oil, then transfer to a wire rack. Repeat until all of the pies are fried.

Frying pies

Step 7:

Make the toppings. Place the sifted confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl, and add the milk or cream bit by bit until you’ve reached a pourable consistency. In a separate small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. 

Step 8: 

Using a pastry brush or spoon, coat the top of each pie with the glaze, and immediately sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Enjoy the pies while still warm. 

Fried Apple Pie

Recipe notes:

  • Got a fear of frying? If you prefer not to fry, you can alternately bake the pies in a preheated 400 F oven for 20 minutes, or until golden on top. 
  • Depending on how large the apples are that you use for this recipe, you may end up with a little extra filling. This is not a bad thing, since it’s delicious stuff. Since it’s completely cooked, you can enjoy it as-is as a breakfast or brunch side dish, or enjoy it with ice cream (and maybe caramel sauce, too?) for an extra-special sundae. 
  • If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, by all means, you can use it for this recipe. For these pies, I employed Bluprint’s pie crust recipe, but used part whole wheat flour in the mixture. 
Finished fried pie

Have you ever tried a fried pie?

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One Comment

Allison Dey Malacaria

I was lucky enough to inherit a fantastic pie crust and apple pie recipe. When I wasn’t in the mood to make that, I took my biscuit dough recipe and made handheld apple pies by folding flattened biscuit dough circles in half with apple pie filling (apples, sugar, cinnamon), crimping shut and baking a few minutes. They come out great and are especially nice with cream brushed on top before baking, just like the pie.

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