If you’ve ever been to Cracker Barrel, you’ll already know that they have a really great menu. One of the things that makes it such a joy is the delicious range of sides. One of our absolute favorites is the Cracker Barrel fried apples. They are great with both sweet and savory dishes, and they are full of juicy goodness. Today, we will show you how to make them and give you plenty of handy hints, so they are as good as the original recipe. Let’s get the pan on.
How to Make Cracker Barrel Fried Apples
We always want to be upfront with you. So we are going to put our stake in the ground now and share our thoughts. This recipe does use a lot of ingredients, considering it is a Cracker Barrel side dish.
Really, like what?
Well, you want your Cracker Barrel fried apples to taste authentic, right? For that reason, we fry them in bacon fat. Ok, so it isn’t the healthiest choice, but we have found this to give them the most authentic taste. If you can’t get hold of any bacon fat, butter works well too!
We also add a few little ‘secret’ extras’. We use lemon juice which really brings out the tartness of the crispy apples. We also add brown sugar. As the apples fry, this caramelizes and gives the apples a slightly smoky burnt toffee taste.
We are all about the seasonings and spices. We add a little salt. This isn’t just for flavor. When you add salt to fried fruit or veg, it breaks down the tiny cell walls within the food. This allows it to release moisture, ensuring that your fried apples are all soft and juicy.
We also add apples’ best friends, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Both of these autumnal spices work really well to make this cracker barrel recipe authentic.
When it comes to equipment, you aren’t going to need a lot. A sharp knife, a few measuring spoons, and a large skillet are about all it takes. We like to make ours in a cast-iron skillet. We swear they taste better than any other frying pan.
Oh, and before we forget, here’s something that you simply must do.
Make sure to peel your apples before frying them. You can leave them on if you prefer, but this isn’t how cracker barrel does it. And besides, who wants to get apple skin stuck in their teeth. Not us!
4 servings per container
Serving Size1 servings
- Amount Per ServingCalories80
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 5g 8%
- Saturated Fat 3g 15%
- Cholesterol 14mg 5%
- Sodium 87mg 4%
- Potassium 9mg 1%
- Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
- Sugars 6g
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Tips and Tricks
- Your choice of apples is entirely up to you. We find that large green cooking apples give the most authentic taste. We tend to steer clear of red or pink varieties as they tend to be a little too sweet, but that is our personal preference. Try different types and see what works for you.
- If you want to add another twist to this dish, try adding a few slices of chopped pear. This transforms the dish to a whole new level.
- If you can’t buy bacon fat, plan ahead or use this as a side dish for another main course involving bacon. Just be sure to leave the pan dirty after you have fried your bacon. This is also a super side to serve with pork chops.
- You can use butter to fry your apples if you don’t want to use bacon fat. If you haven’t got butter, you can use a little oil at a push, but it won’t taste quite as rich.
- Don’t chop and peel your apples until you are ready to cook with them. Apples oxidize really quickly in the fresh air. Essentially, this is a posh way of saying they turn brown. We want our apples to be brown because we’ve fried them, not because they have been left out to go all soft!
- While we do fry these apples, you have to do it over low heat. Remember, this recipe contains sugar. If you go too hot, you will burn the sugar, leading to an acrid, burned taste. Oh, and it makes the frying pan an absolute nightmare to clean too!
- Start the cooking process with the lid on and remove it as soon as the apples turn slightly soft. That way, you get a nice mix of juiciness and browning.
Feel free to store these. They will stay good in a covered dish in the fridge for up to 4 days. We like to serve ours for dinner and have the rest with pancakes the next morning.
Enjoy Cracker Barrel? Try these copycat restaurant recipes!
This is a pretty simple recipe. Every time we make it, we are reminded of what we love about cracker barrel’s recipes. It’s really homely food. Cracker Barrel fried apples go so well with grilled meats, but they can be served elsewhere too. How are you serving yours? Let us know in the comments!