You’ve done pies and crumbles – now it’s time to give apples a brand-new life with these southern fried apples. Deliciously spiced, they’re the perfect fall treat – courtesy of the American south.
As the weather gets colder, I’m always looking for recipes that will bring the perfect cozy fall vibes. For me, it’s this recipe for fried apples, packed with fall spices and an almost festive flavor.
Homemade fried apples can be eaten on their own or added to desserts, puddings, and even breakfasts. Great to add a punch of cinnamon apple flavor any time of the day. Plus, after you fry apples, your house will smell amazing for the rest of the day (it might even be better than a scented candle).
Southern fried apples are a popular dessert in the south of the United States and are often served with homemade American biscuits (which more closely resemble a British scone). The syrup and caramel flavor is the perfect accompaniment to the buttery goodness of a biscuit. And the biscuit is ideal for mopping up all the juices from the apples afterward.
Though this fried apple recipe is plenty sweet, it brings with it all the goodness of the fruit at its heart. Apples are naturally high in vitamins C and K and low in calories. Plus they are potentially helping to lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, and can support healthy bones.
Southern Fried Apples Recipe Ingredients
- Apples: I use green fresh apples like Granny Smiths, as I find they’re more tart and blend well with the sweetness of the fried cinnamon apples.
- Butter: Use unsalted over salted as we’re making something sweet.
- Sugar: To give the fried apple its classic caramel flavor, use granulated white sugar (this dissolves faster), though you can use brown sugar for a more intense taste.
- Spices: I love using cinnamon and nutmeg. You can also use apple pie spice.
Chef’s Tip: For the spices, you want to use ground rather than sticks and nuts. You can grind the spices yourself or use store-bought. Other festive spices that blend well with cinnamon include allspice, cloves, and even ginger to bring out the flavor of the fried apples.
For an extra crunch, you can add some nuts like pecans and walnuts. And for extra tang, you can add a bit of lemon juice to the pan.
What are The Best Apples To Fry
I find Granny Smith apples give the best flavor for the best fried apples. Though you can use any other firm baking apple that will keep its texture when fried. Other great options include Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, and Braeburn, which are all firm enough for Southern fried apples.
Apples naturally get a bit mushy when cooked. So you want an apple that’s going to have the best chance at retaining its shape once it’s in the skillet.
How To Make Fried Apples
To start this easy fried apple recipe, peel the apples. Then core and cut your apples into even slices. A top tip is to use an apple slicer rather than a knife so your slices will all be identical. This will make frying apple slices much easier.
That’s all the prep time that’s required.
Bring a large cast iron skillet to medium heat, then add the butter. As you melt the butter, add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir.
Add the apples, stir and cook over medium-low heat until softened. It will take about 5-10 minutes of cook time, depending on the thickness of the apple and how soft you like them. For more tender apples, cook the apples for a couple of extra minutes.
Stir occasionally to coat the apples with the syrup – the apple juices and sugar mixture will make a golden delicious syrup for these fried apples.
How To Store Fried Apples
How to fry apples and keep them delicious day after day? Well, it’s a bit of a science. This fried apple recipe is best enjoyed fresh and hot, but you can store them if you need to.
Store any leftover apples in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the skillet until warm or in the microwave. If you want, you can melt a little more butter and sugar over the fried apples to give it even more syrup.
You can freeze your Southern apples if you like, but the texture will change in the freezer and be a little mushy after you thaw them. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to three months.
What To Serve With Fried Apples
How do you make my cinnamon apple recipe even better? You add in other delicious things!
If you’re enjoying these fried apples on their own, it’s a great dessert option with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
- Drizzle it with caramel sauce. I love using this Homemade Caramel Sauce recipe – I’ve even got a vegan and sugar-free alternative.
- Add a scoop of my Instant Vanilla Ice Cream or, for an extra burst of caramel, my No-Churn Caramel Ice Cream recipe.
Another way to serve this fried apple recipe is as part of your breakfast. They are amazing, especially around the holidays and the festive season.
- Pour the syrup and the apples over homemade pancakes or waffles. I also love them on Fluffy Japanese-style Pancakes.
- Or pour them into oatmeal or overnight oats for a delicious, fall-inspired breakfast that’s quick and easy to make.
- Serve alongside French toast, too.
Use them as a filling for an apple pie or apple crumble. Or even use them as a side dish during your Thanksgiving celebrations, alongside my Rosemary Garlic Crispy Roasted Potatoes and Roasted Chicken and Veggies. Everyone also loves them with pork chops.
More Apple Recipes
- Stuffed Baked Apples
- Apple Cider (Wassail)
- The Best Apple Crisp Recipe
- Apple Chips
- Homemade Applesauce
- Apple Pie Overnight Oats
If you try this southern apple recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Fried Apples Recipe (Southern Style)
- 33 oz apples 5 large; Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp or Braeburn
- 4 oz butter 1 stick
- 3.5 oz sugar 1/2 cup
- 0.2 oz ground cinnamon powder 1 Tbsp
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg powder or a pinch of ground cloves or apple pie spice
- Apple slicer optional
- Peel, core, and cut your apples into even slices. Using an apple slicer rather than a knife is best so your slices will all be identical.
- Bring a large skillet to medium heat, then add the butter. As it melts, add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir.
- Add the apples, stir and cook over medium-low heat until softened. It will take about 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the apple and how soft you like them.Stir occasionally to coat the apples with the syrup – the apple juices and sugar mixture will make a delicious syrup for these fried apples.
- This fried apple recipe is best enjoyed fresh and hot, but you can store them if you need to.Store: any leftover fried apples can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the skillet until warm or in the microwave.Freeze: keep in the freezer for up to three months. But keep in mind that the texture will change and be a little mushy after thawing.
- Nuts: add some pecans or walnuts to the skillet for extra crunch.
- A pinch of salt: will help enhance the flavors and make the cinnamon more fragrant.
- Vanilla extract: for a subtle vanilla flavor.
- A splash of lemon juice: to bring some tang.
- More spices: Other festive spices that blend well with cinnamon include allspice, cloves, and even ginger to bring out the flavor of the fried apples.