Fried apples are supposedly a Southern thing…which I personally found funny because having been brought up in the backwoods of the backwoods of Mississippi, I’d never even heard of fried apples until we started traipsing all throughout the interstates while my husband was on active duty…and making regular stops at Cracker Barrel.
I would always order fried apples as one of my side dishes so that I could savor each and every bite after finishing my meal.
I remember asking my significant other how they made these…
His reply…”They fry them…duh?!”
So I went home and fried me up some apples…definitely not the same apples that I had enjoyed the day before at Cracker Barrel…just a big giant mushy pile that looked like baby food or cheap applesauce.
The perfect fried apples a classic Southern comfort food…served along with just the perfect makings of a truly awesome breakfast—cheesy grits, homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage, and bacon…on top of your morning oatmeal or french toast…eaten straight out of the skillet… served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert….or used to make a pie.
Golden Delicious…These apples can always be found at your local supermarket and are known for having soft flesh and honey-like flavor. Golden Delicious apples would be better than many other types of apples, including McIntosh and Rome.
Granny Smith…Granny Smith apples have a perfectly firm yet tender texture. They also have a tart flavor that pairs great with the sweetness of the syrup.
As far as what variety of apple Cracker Barrel has used for the last forty-something years, Golden Delicious.. Golden Delicious apples are awesome, but they do tend to bruise very easily so handle with care.
The other ingredients needed to make the perfect pan of Southern fried apples is perfectly simple.
1/2C butter, cubed
1/4C brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Prepare your apples…Whether or not you peel your apples is totally up to you. Some people say that it helps the apple maintain its shape. Others like me find the peel totally disgusting when fried like this. Once you have peeled your apples slice them into 1″ thick wedges. If you are cutting your way before you plan on frying them, toss the apple slices in lemon juice so that the fruit doesn’t turn brown. The citric acid in the lemon prevents the apple from turning brown and keeps them fresh longer.
Prepare your pan…Melt butter in a large cast iron pan or skillet over medium heat. Cash iron skillets are great for frying apples because they give you more control over the temperature of the pan, keep the apples from piling up, and ensure that the apples cook evenly. Stir in brown sugar and spices.
Cook your apples…Add your apples to the heated skillet, until most of the butter is absorbed and apples are tender. Cook for about ten minutes, stirring often…until apples are tender and sugar is dissolved and syrupy. Be careful not to overcook your apples. You want them to turn out firm to the touch, yet tender to the bite…not mushy and gross.