Thursday, December 2, 2010

Southern Skillet Fried Apples

A classic southern side, slices of apples are fried in a mixture of bacon fat or butter and brown sugar then tossed in a dusting of traditional apple pie spices.

Southern Skillet Fried Apples

Skillet fried apples aren't deep fried y'all! As I've mentioned before, in the South we refer to frying things a lot, even though it often has nothing to do with submerging a food item in deep boiling oil.

So many folks outside of the South associate our recipes titled fried cabbage and fried corn the same as they do our fried chicken, which of course, we love, but the truth is, very often, the term "fried" simply refers to the cooking of something in what we call a frying pan. Yep. Simple as that!

For our fried apples, it means apples, pan sauteed in some kind of fat, most commonly butter or bacon fat, even sausage drippings left from breakfast, though many Southerners prepare them in more of a stewed version, similar to an apple pie filling. Either way is delicious, of course. When I stew mine, I like to use apple cider, which is not a traditional Southern preparation, but my own little twist to the classic to add more flavor. Using plain water is more traditional when stewing these apples, so feel free to substitute plain ole water.

You'll find that most Southern recipes call for unpeeled, sliced apples, but the more tart Granny Smith apples retain a bit of the firmness even when cooked, so the times that I use them, I do prefer to peel them. For me, that peeling thing is a texture issue. When I use a more tender skinned apple, like Honeycrisp, Red or Yellow Delicious, Jonathans, or Gala, I leave them unpeeled, because the apple skin will help the cooked apples retain their shape and not fall apart.

By the way, skillet fried apples are less a dessert, than they are a side dish really. Besides classic breakfast dishes, they go great with just about any meat or savory main dish too - just ask the folks at Cracker Barrel! Like sweet potatoes, the sweetness of the apples are a perfect compliment to many main dishes, making them suitable as a great side dish for chicken or pork, served along a mess o' greens and even with fried green tomatoes.

Of course, they're also great all by themselves, as a simple snack with yogurt, or as a partner to ice cream. Perfect for breakfast with French toast, pancakes, biscuits or even spooned over oatmeal too - which is another way that I really enjoy them. Here's how to make them.

For more of my favorite apple recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Recipe: Southern Skillet Fried Apples

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 3 large apples, cored, and cut into eight to ten wedges
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or bacon drippings, or a combination
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, well packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter or bacon drippings with the brown sugar. Add the apples and cook over medium until apples begin to release juices. Reduce to medium low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until apples reach desired tenderness. Sprinkle spices on top and toss until well blended.

Cook's Notes: When I use a more firm apple, like Granny Smiths, I prefer to peel them. When using a more tender skinned apple like Gala, Honeycrisp, Red or Yellow Delicious, or if you don't mind the peel, leave them unpeeled. May also cut apples into chunks. Okay to substitute apple pie or pumpkin pie spice for the individual spices, so if you have those in your pantry by all means use them here.

Stewed Apple Variation: For stewing, apple cider is my own little twist to these skillet apples but is absolutely non-traditional. I just like the extra flavor from the cider but even I admit I don't always have apple cider in the house. You can certainly substitute plain water. Cook the butter and brown sugar until melted. Measure 2 cups of apple cider and make a slurry of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch or flour with a splash of the cider. Add the remaining apple cider and the slurry to the pan with the brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, add the apples, bring back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes longer, or until apples are tender. Add the spices and stir to blend in well.


Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!
©Deep South Dish
Are you on Facebook? If you haven't already, come and join the party! We have a lot of fun & there's always room for one more at the table.
Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Posted by on December 2, 2010

Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, please do not copy and paste post or recipe text to repost or republish elsewhere such as other Facebook pages, blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.

Bookmark and Share


  1. Oh Mary I'm sure these apples are delicious.... unfortunately we don't have all spice ....what can I use to substitute??? Hope to come beck to USA buy a lot of ingredients that here it's impossible to find!!! HAve a great great day...hugs, Flavia

    1. You can also order online or just use apple pie spice

  2. Everytime I eat at Cracker Barrel, I vow to make these. I am, again, vowing to make these!

  3. I know Pam, they are good aren't they? Well, this is my version, not a Cracker Barrel copycat but I still think they are pretty good!

    EliFla, whatever you would use to season an apple pie with will work here.

  4. Here in our family, we consider cooked apples not just a Southern thing--but a hillbilly thing!

    Our Mom told these wonderful stories of her Mother's cooking and how cooked apples were served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, or a little something sweet before bedtime. And we never worried about unexpected company because as long as you had a ham and some cooked apples--you had the perfect meal for company.
    We've made these with firm, tart apples and soft, sweet apples. There's just no way to go wrong!

  5. These look so yummy. They remind me of my baked apple pancakes without the pancakes:)

  6. Mary these look so warm, gooey, and delicious! Every time I visit your blog I end up drooling all over the place. Pretty soon I'll just need to bring the big ol" roll of bounty to the computer with me before I log on (hee hee).

  7. Mmmm, love fried apples. I posted them last week too, but I hadn't thought about adding apple cider. That would make them even saucier, so I'll have to try that next time.

  8. Ya know, I have never eaten at a Cracker Barrel. We have one in Denver and it's on the other side of town. These apples look amazing. Gotta give them a try.

  9. Those look great. They majke me want pork chops, potatoes, and fried apples for supper.

  10. Oh hubby and dad would love these Mary. And oatmeal sounds like a great combo, I love oatmeal :)

  11. I was reading this and thinking if you diced the apples, prepared the same way, and poured over roast pork you'd have a fancy "apple compote". Funny how just an extra cut and semantics would make the difference between Cracker Barrel and haute cuisine!

    Cracker Barrel rocks...screw haute cuisine:)

  12. Omg... I happened upon this site looking for a fried cabbage recipe... I grew up in the south and fried apples were a staple at my granny's in the summer. She'd make fried apples and fatback meat....and wash it down with some ice tea or lemonade.

    1. That's some good eatin' Nicole! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Welcome!! I hope that you come back to visit again.

  13. Hi Mary! Just made these fried apples tonight for supper. They were so good! I used half bacon grease and half butter. I'll make these again using your recipe! Take Care, Dorothy from Warner Robins, GA

    1. Some folks think that bacon fat is odd, but it just adds a bit of savory to the sweet. I'm so glad that you enjoyed the fried apples Dorothy & thank you so much for letting me know!!

  14. Can you "Can" these like you do apple sauce?

    1. I have never made that attempt since I just make them fresh. You "may" be able to do it by following a recipe for canning apple pie filling, since that's a similar recipe, but again, I say may since I haven't ever done it and so can't attest to how successful or safe it would be!

  15. I just tried out this recipe and it is delicious! I used 1/4 cup butter and didn't use the bacon grease. It is soooooo good. Now, I am envisioning a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side! :). Thank you for posting this!
    Lee Ann

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Lee Ann - seriously, try just a bit of bacon drippings with the butter sometime.

  16. Just had the apples for supper .can I say WOW! These are amazing and simple. Husband didn't care for the tart apple (But I did, my favorite). Gonna try with honeycrisp apples next time.
    Great recipe...Thank you!!<3

  17. Question: as a kid my mom would make a version of this dish with red hots! How can I include red hots in your recipe?


Thanks for taking the time to comment - I love hearing from readers and I read every single comment and try to respond to them right here on the site, so stop back by!

From time to time, anonymous restrictions and/or comment moderation may be activated due to comment spam. I also reserve the right to edit, delete or otherwise exercise total editorial discretion over any comments left on this blog. If your comment serves only to be snarky, mean-spirited or argumentative, it will be deleted. Please mind your manners.

Related Posts with Thumbnails