Thursday, March 10, 2022

Crispy Fried Apple Pies

These fried apple pies taste just like the ones at McDonald’s from your childhood! Enjoy delicious bites filled with nostalgia when you make this copycat recipe.

While we didn’t actually eat out much when I was growing up, I did develop a love for McDonald's™ fried apple pie on vacations or special occasions.

Crisp, flaky crust oozing with a thick spiced filling and tender chunks of tart fruit — my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Fried Apple Pies

Now you can devour this heavenly dessert whenever you want, without ever having to leave your kitchen. Simply cook up the filling, add it to puff pastry sheets, seal, and fry.

Even better, this fried apple pie recipe uses mostly pantry staples. As long as you have a package of puff pastry in the freezer and a couple of apples, you’re ready to go!

Looking for more dupes of your drive-thru favorites? Try a homemade Wendys™ Frosty or brew up an Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte just like the one from Starbucks™.

fried apple pies copycat

Recipe Tips and Tricks 

  • Thaw the puff pastry. Before you start anything else, remove the package from the freezer and roll out the sheets on a floured surface. It will soften while you make the filling.

  • Which apples to use? This homemade fried apple pie recipe is very forgiving, so feel free to use your favorite varieties. I like the sweet and tart combination of Gala and Granny Smith.

  • Chop small. Cut the apples into chunks about ½-inch in length. Smaller pieces will soften faster and more consistently.

  • Tip for sealing the edges: Have a small bowl of water nearby, then dip your finger and run it along the edge of the dough. The moisture will hold the edges together until you seal them with a fork. You could also use a small pastry brush instead of your finger if desired.

fried apple pie recipe ingredients

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Large Saucepan for the filling, plus a Deep Pan for frying the pies

  • Tongs allow you to carefully flip the fried apple pies without splashing the oil.

  • Citrus Juicer - This gets every last drop out, which makes juicing lemons so much easier.

  • Quality Knives and a big solid Cutting Board make prepping a breeze and are well worth the investment.

McDonald's fried apple pie apple filling

Fried Apple Pies FAQ

Which apples are in a McDonald’s fried apple pie?

According to their site, they now use a blend of American grown apples including Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Rome, Gala, Idared, and Fuji.

fried apple pie recipe on puff pastry

What is the best oil for frying desserts?

Neutral oils with a high smoke point such as vegetable or canola are great for any type of deep frying.

For dessert recipes, you could also use coconut oil since the natural sweetness will blend into the food. 

Be sure to use the refined version (not virgin or expeller-pressed) since it can withstand high temperatures.

McDonald's fried apple pie coming out of the skillet

Do you cook apples before putting them in pie?

For the traditional baked version, slices are often left raw since they will soften during the extended time in the oven.

When making handheld fried apple pies, there isn’t enough time for the fruit to become tender so it should be cooked first.

fried apple pie recipe on a plate


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Crispy Fried Apple Pies wide photo

Yield: 6 Pies
Author: Donna Elick
Crispy Fried Apple Pies

Crispy Fried Apple Pies

These fried apple pies taste just like the ones at McDonald’s! Enjoy delicious bites filled with nostalgia when you make this copycat recipe.
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 50 Min


  • 2 cups 1/2” diced apples, (peeled, cored and diced) approx 2-3 medium apples (I used 1 gala and 1 granny smith apple)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • neutral oil (vegetable, canola or coconut oil)
  • 2 sheets Puff Pastry (1 package)


  1. Remove puff pastry from freezer, unwrap pastry and place on a floured work surface to thaw.
  2. Meanwhile; in a large saucepan over medium heat combine apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well. Stir occasionally until mixture begins to bubble.
  3. Meanwhile combine water and flour in a mason jar or container. Shake to combine. Add to pot. Continue boiling, stirring constantly until apples are softened, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in vanilla. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed pan with deep sides, heat about 1-2” oil to 350 degrees.
  5. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife cut each pasty sheet into 3 equal long pieces. Lay pasty sheet strips out horizontally on a floured work surface. Place 1/4 cup apple pie filling on the left half of each dough strip. Moisten your clean fingers and wet the edge of the pastry. Gently pick up the right side of the dough and fold the dough on top of the left side, encasing the filling (if any filling seeps out push it back in).
  6. Gently press along the edge with the tines of a fork. Once all pies are assembled fry them 1-2 at a time. Cook for 3-4 minutes total, carefully flipping them over halfway through. Remove pies from oil when they are a nice golden brown. Place pies on a stack of paper towels. Sprinkle them with sugar and cinnamon. Repeat until all pies are cooked.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
  1. Pies are best fresh out of the fry oil, however the puff pastry maintains its soft flakey texture and the hand pies are still quite delicious stored on the countertop for up to a day. These maintain their flavor and texture more than traditional fried food.
  2. When deep frying, work with a heavy-bottomed saucepan - cast iron pots or deep skillets work well because they hold the heat more evenly. Nevertheless, maintaining the oil’s temperature between 350°F and 375°F is important. The temperature will drop when a cold pie is added to the oil and will heat quickly when the pie has finished cooking or there is nothing in the oil. Check the temperature of the oil between every batch of pies and adjust accordingly. If the oil is to hot, the pies will turn too dark quickly and won’t have a chance to heat through to the middle. If the oil is too cool, the pies will soak up excess oil and it will take longer to brown them.
  3. Be very careful flipping the pies, especially if you are working in a shallow skillet, Turn then so that if the oil splashes, it splashes away from you. A large slotted spatula works well to lift the pies from the oil.

Crispy Fried Apple Pies

Originally published November 2011, updated and republished March 2022

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  1. you can also use Grands flakey biscuits rolled out thin

  2. G'day! I must admit I used to love these apple pies by McDonald's true!
    Based on your photo, I might have to put these back on my list to do! :)
    Cheers! Joanne

    1. I have made them a number of times now. Everyone who has had them says that they taste almost identical to McDonalds Apple Pie. Have cheated and used canned (Tinned) apples, just added more Cinnamon. Made the dough and it still tastes like McDonalds.

  3. instead of telling me other recipes that i should try, i would appreciate more step-by-step pictures. this is a recipe i will definitely try!

    1. Jelena, I appreciate the feedback. Our readers love our recipe suggestions on each post.

      Our recipe is written step by step. If you need help with a recipe I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

    2. I agree with Jelena. It's helpful to have a visual along with the steps.

    3. I agree, pictures to go along with the instructions would be very helpful

    4. Your recipes are always amazing. Thank you for sharing them. I have to agree with others about the instructions. A video would be helpful for those of us who are visual.

    5. Your recipes are always amazing. Thank you for sharing them. I have to agree with others about the instructions. A video would be helpful for those of us who are visual.

  4. Love this and your other recipes! Yours are the best of all the rest--always! Would it be possible to add the nutritional content for each recipe, or at least calories and some of the other info found on purchased products? That info is the only thing I can think of that would make me love your work and your recipes better! Thanks for being there for us!

  5. Wow, I may have to make these sometime.

    Your experience of eating out being a rare treat sounds a lot like my childhood too.

    I remember being so disappointed when they changed their recipe to a non-fried version.

  6. don't understand how to wrap them in the dough

  7. If you need pictures, find a cookbook, online or in hand, with directions for danish pastry. I learned this in home ec classes in school. It sounds way harder than it is. It is worth the effort.

  8. Thank you for this recipe! Even the McDonald's apple pies of today (only half-filled) are not nearly as good. One question: do you prick the top of the pastry after folding or should they be completely sealed when frying?

  9. Can canned/jar apple pie filling be substituted?! If so, should be filling be cooked prior to filling the dough?

    1. Jonetta, yes, canned pie filling can be used & no, it doesn't need to be cooked before hand :)

  10. I used to love those pies, but these look so much better!

  11. Thank you for the recipe! Can these puff pastry apple pies be made ahead of time, frozen and then fried? Or, will freezing change the texture or taste of the finished product? I'm new to using puff pastry in recipes. Thanks!

  12. I really like this recipe! (I’m from the Netherlands)


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