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Experience the delight of warm, buttery apple slices caramelized with a hint of cinnamon in our Small Batch Fried Apples recipe. So delicious and they can be ready in just 15 minutes!

If you’re looking for more easy apple recipes, you’ll love our Mini Dutch Apple Pie, Apple Cake, Apple Cobbler, and Apple Fritters!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Quick & Easy: Ready in just 15 minutes, this recipe is perfect for those spontaneous cravings.
  • Versatile: Serve it as a side, a topping, or enjoy it on its own as a dessert.
  • Customizable: This recipe for fried apples offers a balance of traditional and alternative ingredients to suit various dietary needs.
  • Doubles Well: Need more? This recipe can easily be doubled without compromising on flavor.

What Are Fried Apples?

Pan fried apples are slices of apples sautéed in a skillet with butter, brown sugar, and spices until they reach a tender and caramelized state. Originating from Southern cuisine, this versatile dish has gained nationwide popularity in the U.S., notably through its inclusion on Cracker Barrel restaurant menus. Whether enjoyed as a side, a topping, or a dessert, fried apples stand as a testament to the simplicity and richness of traditional cooking.

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Ingredients

two apples, butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon in bowls on a brown cutting board.
  • Apples: Opt for firmer varieties like Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, or Granny Smith for best results. These types maintain their shape and don’t get mushy during cooking. However, feel free to experiment with different apple varieties to discover unique flavors.
  • Lemon Juice (Optional): Use either fresh or bottled lemon juice. The citric acid helps to prevent apple discoloration and extends freshness.
  • Butter: Salted butter is recommended for added flavor depth. If you’re on a sodium-restricted diet, unsalted butter works too. Use vegan butter for a dairy-free option.
  • Brown sugar: If you’re looking for an alternative, maple syrup is a great substitute that offers a different kind of sweetness. If you don’t have brown sugar, consider making a small batch of brown sugar.
  • Spices: Cinnamon and nutmeg are the go-to spices for enhancing the dish’s flavor profile. If you don’t have them, the recipe will still work, but the spices do add an extra layer of deliciousness.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Variations

If you’re looking to switch things up, these variations will keep your fried apples recipe exciting. Each tweak adds a unique spin while maintaining the dish’s comforting essence.

  • Spice It Up: For those who enjoy a little heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the skillet. The subtle spiciness beautifully complements the sweetness of the apples.
  • Go Nutty: Introduce a crunchy texture by tossing in some chopped pecans or walnuts during the last few minutes of cooking. The nuts add both flavor and crunch.
  • Citrus Twist: Add a splash of orange or lemon juice along with the zest for a citrusy tang that brightens the dish.
  • Apple and Berry Medley: Mix in a handful of fresh berries like blueberries or raspberries for added color and a burst of tartness.

Feel free to try one or combine multiple variations to create your own signature fried apple dish.

How To Make Fried Apples

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a small batch of fried apples. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Peel, core, and slice the apples and place them into a medium-sized bowl. Pour lemon juice over the apple slices to prevent browning.
  2. Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.
butter melting in a skillet.
  1. Stir in the brown sugar and spices. Cook, stirring for 30 seconds.
brown sugar and melted butter in a skillet.
  1. Add the sliced apples and stir to coat.
apple slices tossed with melted butter and brown sugar in a frying pan.
  1. Cook and stir for 12-15 minutes, until apples have softened. The exact timing will depend on the size of your apple slices.
  2. Remove from heat and serve warm.

This recipe will yield approximately 1 cup of fried apples.

softened apples in a clear bowl on a silver tray next to a yellow bowl filled with fresh apple slices.

Expert Tips

  • Peeling Apples: It’s your choice to peel the apples or keep the skin on. Both options work, but peeling offers a smoother texture.
  • Prevent Browning: Slice the apples just before cooking to avoid discoloration. For extra protection against browning, toss the slices in a dash of lemon juice prior to sautéing.
  • Scaling the Recipe: Want more servings? Simply double the ingredient quantities to make a larger batch of fried apples without sacrificing flavor.

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to enjoying your fried apples, the possibilities are nearly endless. From breakfast options to dessert delights, here are some versatile ways to savor this dish:

  • Breakfast Oats: Serve over oatmeal, in baked oatmeal, or incorporate into overnight oats for a fruity start to your day.
  • Pancake Topping: Elevate your pancakes, French toast, or waffles by using this recipe as a scrumptious topping.
  • Yogurt Mix-In: Stir the fried apples into your yogurt for a tasty and nutritious snack.
  • Ice Cream Companion: For a dessert that’s hard to resist, spoon the fried apples over a scoop vanilla ice cream.
  • Mini Desserts: Use the fried apples to make a mini apple pie or an apple galette with a small pie crust.
  • Savory Pairing: For a unique twist, serve the fried apples alongside a delicious ham steak.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store fried apples?

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing fried apples.

Can fried apples be used as a pie filling?

Absolutely, it makes a delicious pie filling.

Can you freeze fresh apples?

Absolutely, freezing is a great option if you have an excess of fresh apples. Here’s how to freeze apple slices for later use:
Preparation: Peel, core, and slice the apples to your desired size.
Prevent Browning: Drizzle lemon juice over the slices to keep them from discoloring.
Initial Freezing: Lay the apple slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place it in the freezer.
Storage: After the slices are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag for long-term storage.

soft, fried cinnamon apples on a fork next to a white and orange plaid napkin.

More Small Batch Apple Recipes To Try

If you’re smitten with the flavors of apple and looking for more ways to enjoy this versatile fruit, you’re in the right place. From breakfast treats to decadent desserts, here are some other small batch apple recipes that are perfect for satisfying those cozy cravings.

  • Baked Apples: A simple yet luxurious treat that fills your home with the aroma of cinnamon and baked fruit.
  • Apple Butter: A spreadable delight that’s perfect on toast or as a filling for pastries.
  • Apple Cinnamon Scones: A breakfast classic with a fruity twist, ideal for pairing with your morning coffee.
  • Apple Muffin: Moist, fluffy, and packed with apple chunks, this muffin makes a quick and tasty snack.
  • Apple Galette: A rustic, free-form tart that showcases the natural sweetness of apples.
  • Mini Dutch Apple Pie: A small version of the classic, complete with a crumbly topping.
  • Apple Dutch Baby: A puffy, oven-baked pancake filled with apple slices and a dash of cinnamon.

Explore these recipes to make the most of apple season, or to simply enjoy the comforting flavors of apple all year round.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this easy fried apple recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

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Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Small Batch Fried Apples

5 from 16 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Make a delicious small batch of fried apples with this easy recipe in just 15 minutes! Gently soften fresh apples in butter, sugar and cinnamon for a delightful sweet treat!

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 cups sliced or chopped apples , approximately 2 medium-sized apples
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions 

  • Peel, core, and slice the apples and place them into a medium-sized bowl. Pour lemon juice over the apple slices to prevent browning
  • Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.
  • Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring for 30 seconds.
  • Add the sliced apples and stir to coat.
  • Cook and stir for 12-15 minutes, until apples have softened. The exact timing will depend on the size of your apple slices.
  • Remove from heat and serve warm.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Peeling Apples: It’s your choice to peel the apples or keep the skin on. Both options work, but peeling offers a smoother texture.
  • Prevent Browning: Slice the apples just before cooking to avoid discoloration. For extra protection against browning, toss the slices in a dash of lemon juice prior to sautéing.
  • Scaling the Recipe: Want more servings? Simply double the ingredient quantities to make a larger batch of fried apples without sacrificing flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 251kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 155mg, Potassium: 158mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 593IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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22 Comments

  1. Very good I had 4 apples about to go bad an wanted a simple recipe to use them before they went bad I was really surprised how good they turned out thank you