If you're a fan of Cracker Barrel fried apples, you might be wondering how to make them at home. Fortunately, you only need basic ingredients to make this delicious copycat treat!
Why This Recipe Works
- It's made with tart apples that hold their shape, like Granny Smith. This prevents them from getting mushy and falling apart when fried.
- The caramel "sauce" is made with real butter and seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg for extra flavor. It will taste even better than the Cracker Barrel version!
- It can be made on the stovetop or in the slow cooker. This means you can easily made fried apples anytime!
Curious what you need to make these Cracker Barrel copycat fried apples? Fortunately, you only need a few basic ingredients to make up a batch. Let's talk about the most important ones.
- Apples: Choose a good baking apple that won't turn mushy when cooked, such as Granny Smith. Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, and Jonagold are also good apples to try.
- Butter: Grab a whole stick of butter to make the delicious apple-flavored caramel sauce that makes this dish so special.
- Sugar: We like to use a combination of white and brown sugar to sweeten the dish.
- Spices: We like to use a mixture of salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to add flavor.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Want to thicken the juices more? Cook the fried apples in the sauce, then remove them with a slotted spoon. Pour 1 tablespoon of cornstarch stirred into a little cold water or apple cider into the sauce and simmer until it's thickened.
- Vegan/Dairy Free: Use your favorite vegan butter alternative.
- Sugar Substitute: Swap the brown sugar for date sugar and the white sugar for monkfruit to make a healthier, refined sugar free version.
- Crockpot: Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high for 1 ½ hours, or until the fried apples are tender. Check after 1 hour.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for these Cracker Barrel fried apples.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples and toss them with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. (For truly authentic Cracker Barrel-style fried apples, leave the peels on.)
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
3. Add the slices and toss them in the butter.
4. Cook until the juices are released and the slices begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
5. Add the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and cook until everything is fork tender. Taste and adjust spices as desired. Remove the fried apple slices from the skillet and let the sauce thicken up by cooking it a little longer. (Add a cornstarch slurry here if desired for extra thickening.)
6. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Yes, Cracker Barrel still serves fried apples in their restaurants, and sells cans of this treat in their Country Store.
Baking apples like Golden Delicious or Granny Smith are the best kinds because they hold their shape very well when cooked. Softer ones, like McIntosh, Fuji, Honeycrisp, or Gala, will break down much more quickly.
A ½-cup serving of canned Cracker Barrel fried apples contains 47g of sugars. This copycat version contains 41g of sugars per ½ cup serving, and it's easy to make it with less sugar if you prefer.
A lot of people enjoy these Cracker Barrel fried apples with a fried pork chop, but we enjoy eating them just by themselves. Try them with ice cream or whipped cream as dessert, or serve on top of oatmeal for a tasty breakfast.
Leftovers: Cover tightly or seal in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.
Freezing: Freeze the Cracker Barrel fried apples in an airtight container or a zip-top freezer bag and use within 3 months.
- Choose the apples wisely. Granny Smiths or Golden Delicious hold their shape when cooked, which makes them the best choice for this recipe.
- Peel them. The skins will affect the texture and will make them harder to eat, but you can leave them on if you want to do an exact Cracker Barrel copycat.
- Cut the apple slices the same thickness. This will ensure that the fried apple slices cook evenly.
- Use real butter for the best flavor. Oil or butter spreads won't have the beautiful flavor of real butter.
- Be careful not to overcook them. Otherwise, the apples will break down and turn mushy.
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Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples
- Rinse the apples, then peel, quarter, and core them with a sharp knife. Cut into thin slices, then toss with lemon juice so they don't turn brown.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until bubbly. Stir in the slices to coat with butter, and cook until the juices have thickened slightly and they are beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and stir well. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the slices are fork tender. Be careful not to overcook.
- If the juices haven't thickened to your liking, remove the fried apple slices with a slotted spoon and whisk the cornstarch with a little water. Add the slurry to the sauce and simmer until thickened. Gently stir the slices into the thickened sauce.
- Taste and adjust the spices as desired. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream for dessert, or with pork chops for a sweet and savory twist.
- Crock Pot Method: Combine all the ingredients, including the cornstarch, in a slow cooker and cook on high for 1 ½ hours, or until the apples are tender. Check after 1 hour.
- Tart baking apples, such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious, are the best choice. You can also try Cortland, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Jonathan apples.
- Peel the fruit to improve the texture and to make them easier to eat. For an exact Cracker Barrel copycat, leave the peels on.
- Slice them the same thickness to ensure the fruit cooks evenly.
- Measure the salt accurately. Otherwise, there will be too much liquid, and it won't thicken properly.
- Overcooking fried apples will make them turn to mush.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.