Apple Pies – Baked not Fried

by Lana Stuart on April 26, 2011 · 40 comments

Apple Pies - Baked not Fried

One of the classics of southern cooking is fried fruit pies. Usually either apple or peach, these little individual pies are a treat that once tasted are never forgotten. I think the most famous fried pie maker in our family was probably my Aunt Bernice (pronounced BUR-niss in true southern fashion). Aunt Bernice was a fantastic cook who could make the most out of the most humble ingredients of anyone I ever knew. Tall, light red-haired and gentle is what I remember about her. An unassuming woman with extraordinary talents in the kitchen. She was as much a mother to my father as was my grandmother. And Aunt Bernice was taken from us far too soon by breast cancer.

I can just imagine her working in her kitchen in the little house on the farm she and my Uncle Clayton owned. And if I close my eyes and imagine, I can almost smell her fried pies. I remember her making mostly peach fried pies but sometimes she’d use apples. Just for a change, you know. Of course, hers were always fried. Probably in peanut oil. It was plentiful and inexpensive back then. I can see her cutting out the little circles of dough with a tea glass, spooning in the filling, folding each one over and crimping the edges with a dinner fork. Then she’d slip each little pie into hot oil in a black cast iron frying pan. After exactly the right amount of time, she’d flip each little pie over revealing a perfect golden brown crust. After another few minutes in the hot oil, out the pies would come and onto some brown paper, probably a saved grocery bag, to drain and cool. If you could wait long enough for them to cool, that is.

I was thinking about Aunt Bernice the other day and her famous fried pies. I really wanted to make some for me and BeeBop but I wanted to try to see if I couldn’t do a baked pie instead. Not that I have anything against fried food. I surely don’t. But we do try to only have it in moderation these days. So I followed the usual recipe up to the frying point where I just brushed them with an egg wash and popped them in the oven instead. They don’t taste exactly like a fried pie, but they sure are a passable substitute.

Start by making the filling from either dried apples or peaches. I chose apples this time because…well, because that’s what I had in the pantry. Cook the fruit with sugar, water, a little butter and cinnamon until it becomes soft and the syrup is thick. Remove the filling from the heat and crush the fruit with either a potato masher or a fork. Set the filling aside to cool.

Baked Apple Pies

When the apple filling has cooled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the pie crust and cut small circles using a cup or glass as a guide.

Baked Apple Pies 

Place a generous tablespoon of filling on each circle. Wet the edges of the dough and fold over to complete enclose the filling. Crimp around the cut sides of the dough with a fork.

Baked Apple Pies

Now if we were making the old-fashioned fried pies, at this point we’d begin slipping each of these into a pan of hot oil. However, since we’re baking, we’re going to place the completed pies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Beat the egg together with the water and brush each prepared pie with the egg wash. You can also sprinkle with sugar if you like.

Baked Apple Pies 

 Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. When the pies are completely cooled, mix together the powdered sugar and water or milk. Drizzle the tops of the pies with the sugar glaze.

Serve with a scoop of ice cream. Why not. You’ve given up the frying :-)


Apple Pies – Baked not Fried

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 9 individual pies

Apple Pies – Baked not Fried

Old-fashioned apple hand pies that are baked rather than fried.


  • 5 oz. package dried apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tblsp. butter
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 purchased pie crust
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tblsp. water
  • 4 tblsp. powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. water or milk


  1. Place the dried apples, sugar, water, butter and cinnamon in a small pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until fruit is tender.
  3. When the apples are tender, gently crush with a potato masher or fork. Set aside to cool.
  4. When the apple filling has cooled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Roll out the pie crust and cut small circles using a cup or glass as a guide.
  6. Place a generous tablespoon of filling on each circle.
  7. Wet the edges of the dough and fold over to completely enclose the filling.
  8. Crimp around the cut sides of the dough with a fork.
  9. Place the completed pies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  10. Beat the egg together with the water or milk.
  11. Brush each prepared pie with the egg wash. You can also sprinkle with sugar if you like.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  14. When the pies are completely cooled, mix together the powdered sugar and water or milk.
  15. Drizzle the tops of the pies with the sugar glaze.


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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christine April 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I love apple pie.



2 Rocquie April 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Mmmm. Fried pies. The aunties in my family always made the apple and peach and also sweet potato fried pies using a biscuit dough, rather than pie crust, and fried them in lard. Heavenly!


3 Lana April 27, 2011 at 9:04 am

You know, on second thought, my Aunt Bernice probably fried hers in lard, too. That was what was typically used for frying back then. And it does give a very nice taste to those fried pies :-)


4 Mary at Deep South Dish April 26, 2011 at 10:49 pm

These are a definite favorite around my house & yours look gorgeous!!


5 Lana April 27, 2011 at 9:05 am

Thanks, Mary! They’re definitely a classic of southern cooking.


6 Happier Than A Pig in Mud April 27, 2011 at 5:11 am

Apple pie to go-gotta love it:@)


7 Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels April 27, 2011 at 5:22 am

Oh how I love fried apple pies but what a great idea to bake them! I’ll have to try these out. :) They look sooo good.


8 Lana April 27, 2011 at 9:06 am

Hi Lindsey – of course these don’t have that wonderful fried flavor, but they’re pretty darned good! Hope you like them.


9 Karen April 27, 2011 at 6:17 am

Oh yum, these little pies look scrumptious!


10 Drick April 27, 2011 at 7:48 am

yum, like these little pies though they seem like a tease… we seem to have made them about twice the size – peach and strawberry are my two favorites and then there is the yam…. hey, are the onions coming on yet?


11 Lana April 27, 2011 at 9:08 am

I’ve never had a fried strawberry pie, Drick, but I like the idea of that! You can use most any fruit that you can cook down into a filling, so why not. The Vidalias? We have the baby ones fresh in the stores right now but the regular ones won’t be ready for a while yet. I think they expect a good crop this year.


12 Michelle April 27, 2011 at 11:02 am

My husband loves taking Pocket Pies in his lunch and they work out so well as an after school snack too.


13 Lana April 28, 2011 at 10:23 am

Yes, they’re great for after school snacks!


14 Alison @ ingredients, Inc. April 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm

yum this looks amazing!


15 Lana April 28, 2011 at 10:23 am

Thanks, Alison.


16 Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) April 27, 2011 at 4:30 pm

These look amazing! Can you believe I’d never even heard of fried pies before this?


17 Lana April 28, 2011 at 10:23 am

Really? They’re definitely an old classic southern recipe!


18 Barbara | VinoLuciStyle April 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I do like your thinking Lana…ie the ice cream justification! They look fabulous and you know…most pies are oven baked without complaints; why not these cute little things??!!


19 Lana April 28, 2011 at 10:22 am

Hey – anything to justify ice cream :-)


20 Sara April 28, 2011 at 10:00 am

They look delicious. I make fried apple pies using Butter-Me-Not biscuits if you have them in your stores.


21 Lana April 28, 2011 at 10:22 am

I’ve heard of that, too, Sara. Sounds like a good shortcut method.


22 Maria April 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I love that these are baked!


23 The Duo Dishes April 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Haven’t stopped in for a while, but whenever it’s time to check in, you always have a recipe that harkens to all things one loves about the South. A hand pie so good it’ll make you slap yo mama!


24 Lana April 28, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Nice to see your smiling faces around here again! Stop by any time and I promise to have something good cooking up for you.


25 Nell Jean Campbell April 29, 2011 at 10:00 am

I see you’ve already addressed lard. I was thinking as I read that Miss Bernice probably made her pie crust using lard and then fried in lard. Lard made the best flaky crust.

Somewhere in a box here we still have the remnants of the watch Mr. Clayton gave my MIL Miss Alberta for Christmas back in the days before he married Miss Bernice and Alberta married Mr. Idus.


26 Lana April 29, 2011 at 10:10 am

You’re right, of course. I’m quite sure she would have used lard but I didn’t think of it while I was writing the post. I remember Miss Alberta and Mr. Idus so well. When I was a child we attended Pine Grove Baptist Church where she played piano and he always assisted with the offering. Such sweet, sweet people.


27 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen April 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm

These look so good! My grandmother always made fried pies using dried apricots. I will have to give these a try soon.


28 sharon April 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Mother always made hers with dried apples. My favorite is made with fresh pears in the fall. We’ve always used canned biscuits, the cheaper ones do best and always fried them. But I will try baking them next time.


29 Mellisa July 19, 2011 at 9:58 pm

YUMMY! These look great and so much healthier than the fried version. Thanks for sharing


30 Annie July 21, 2011 at 10:21 am

My Mom always baked hers, and you can bet we kids kept count to make sure we got our share. All-time favorite!


31 Margo February 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm

These are gorgeous! I absolutely love this version of apple pie.


32 Katylib November 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm

My aunt in Atlanta used to make these for me years and years ago. She always used the canned bisquits and fried them. I like your baking method and am going to try it.


33 Lesa May 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm

My mom still makes these and uses her canned apples she “puts up” every year. She just has to add some cinnamon. She uses a saucer size plate to make hers. And bakes hers too. Wonderful treat!!


34 Lana Stuart May 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

They’re fantastic, aren’t they Lesa? Such a treat!


35 Stella August 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Ahhh – fried pies – memories of my mom and aunt, in the kitchen, working their magic with pie dough, dried peaches and apricots. We would all sit around watching and eagerly waiting for those pies the size of a salad plate to be taken from the skillet and placed in front of us. Making a facsimile of these has been on my bucket list for a number of years and finally I got around to making them for the seniors’ potluck. Of course, they weren’t warm but still had some of that wonderful flavor.


36 Dewey October 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

Do you have to do the egg wash on both sides? And do you need to turn the pies half way thru baking?


37 Lana Stuart October 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Dewey, I only washed one side and did not turn them while cooking. But you can if you want to.


38 Sarah October 25, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I tried these with frozen apples and they turned out really good. I was wondering though about freezing them. Do I freeze before or after baking?


39 Lana Stuart October 26, 2013 at 9:04 am

Hi Sarah – I haven’t frozen these so I can’t say for sure. However, I’d think you could do either.


40 sanjee April 5, 2014 at 6:26 am

i want pie crust dough pleas


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