Cinnamon Southern Fried Apples with pecans, a delicious savory and sweet side dish that can also be served for breakfast. Coated in delicious brown sugar and pecans, every bite is perfection!
How to Make Fried Cinnamon Apples
If you are looking for delicious spiced apples that are savory and sweet in every bite, look no further. These skillet fried apples are dripping with cinnamon and brown sugar and the delightful crunch of pecans turns this side dish into a real southern delicacy that will remind you of being in Paula Deen’s kitchen.
Now I know when we use the term fried, that people think omygosh, so unhealthy. But these apples are not fried in the sense that they are drowned in vegetable oil, but rather complemented with butter while they stew or saute up. In fact, they probably should be called sauteed apples!
Southern Fried Apples with Brown Sugar
You won’t believe how easy these southern fried apples are to make and since they are done in under 15 minutes, no excuses not to include a super delicious apple side dish to your holiday menu. Now my particular recipe creates around 2 cups of sliced apples or 4 generous servings.
Honestly, they are so rich and delicious that you could easily serve 6. The only reason I did not increase the recipe for a more Thanksgiving bowl worth, is that you can only easily add so many apples in a skillet and are really hindered by the sizing. If you want to increase this dish, you may need to make more than one batch so the apples are not too over piled in your pan.
- Butter – You can use salted or unsalted butter, but all good Southern dishes start with butter!
- Apples – Use your favorite apple for this recipe
- White Sugar – Granulate white sugar
- Light Brown Sugar – First, lets talk about the difference in white and brown sugar. Brown sugar has molasses in it. So the difference in light brown and dark brown sugars are how MUCH molasses they have. The darker the sugar, the sweeter the sugar.
- Lemon Juice – I buy the lemon juice that I leave in my fridge for cooking, but you could also use the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon
- Salt – Any salt will do, I like Sea Salt
- Cinnamon – I just use ground cinnamon. As much as I like the smell of freshly ground cinnamon (and I do keep some on hand) its really hard to get it measured out grinding it, so just use the pre-ground spices
SERVE APPLES WITH: For a delicious breakfast side dish or serve right on top of vanilla ice cream for an extraordinary treat!
Easy Way to Cut Apples
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For this recipe, you do have to remove the skins of the apples. Personally, I hate peeling apples, but I do have an apple slicer and it makes it SO MUCH EASIER to get make sure all the apples are uniform in size (so even cooking) and it’s super easy to use a pairing knife to do the apple skin at that point.
I bought my apple slicer at Walmart or you can order on here on Amazon and have it around.
It’s a FANTASTIC kitchen item- you really don’t know what you are missing until you have one. They have them with a little bottom that helps push the apples out of the slicer or just the slicer. I kinda like the ones w/ the bottom piece, I have owned them both. Now these are plastic, and they don’t last forever if you use them a lot like we do, but they are not that expensive and are worth having.
- Crisp Tender Apples – Please check out the printable Southern Fried Apples recipe below for all my recipe notes, but I did want to mention that getting these apples perfect for your own taste and texture really depends on how long you cook them. I cook mine around 12 minutes, with the first half a lid off the pan so I can stand there and stir them and make sure they are coated on all sides with the spices and sugar. Then I add a lid and lower the heat slightly so they continue to cook through. I like a fork to be able to slide through them, but also able to retain shape- so not fully stewed down to softness.
- Spices and Nuts – I like the ease and simpleness of cinnamon and sugar; it just compliments apples. But you could easily add a dab of vanilla, a sprinkle of nutmeg or allspice. Additionally, I used pecans to really bring home some Southern flavor and I LOVE the crunch of the pecans and the apples – like a pecan apple pie without the crust, but you could also use walnuts or skip the nuts entirely if you don’t have them.
Fried Apples Recipe
- 5 apples – cored, sliced, and peeled
- 4 tablespoons real butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4th cup pecan pieces
- First, cut your apples (apple slicer works great for even slices) and then peel remaining skin off apple slices.
- Melt down butter in skillet on medium heat, this should only take a few minutes.
- Add peeled apples, sugars, lemon, salt, pecans and cinnamon on top of apples
- Stir apples. As you stir, the sugar will start to break down and become a syrupy liquid.
- Keep coating and stirring apples on Medium-High heat for approximately 6 minutes.
- If the liquid is evaporating too quickly or starting to burn down, you can adjust the temperature down to medium or medium low heat.
- After 6 minutes, add a lid and let the apples finish sautéing down on Medium-low heat for approx. 6 more minutes, or until they are crisp tender. You should be able to use a fork or butter knife to cut through them, but not be mushy. They may need a few additional minutes depending on how many apples you have in your pan.
- Serve hot for breakfast, a Thanksgiving side, or pour on vanilla ice cream.
PRO TIP: Need some salty to balance out the sweet? Serve with crumbled bacon on top!
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