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.
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!

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Posted by Mary on December 2, 2010

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