Recreating McDonald’s Iconic Apple Pie at Home

There’s a certain magic in McDonald’s fried apple pie that has captivated taste buds since its debut in 1968. Though McDonald’s switched to a baked version in 1992 for health reasons, the nostalgic, crispy fried version remains etched in our memories. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to Hawaii or California to enjoy these delectable treats. With this recipe, you can recreate McDonald’s fried apple pies right in your own kitchen.

The Classic Fried Apple Pie

The original McDonald’s apple pie featured a golden, crispy crust with a warm, gooey apple filling. Achieving this at home involves a few key steps: creating a perfect apple filling, using the right pastry, and choosing between frying or baking for that authentic texture.

To start, the filling is crucial. McDonald’s filling is known for its balance of sweetness and spice, primarily from fresh apples, sugar, and cinnamon. For this, you’ll need Granny Smith apples for their tartness, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a splash of lemon juice to enhance the flavor.

Peel and chop the apples, then sauté them with butter in a pan. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice, cooking until the apples are tender and the mixture thickens. This mixture can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, making the assembly process easier.

Tip: For an extra hint of flavor, consider adding a dash of nutmeg or a teaspoon of vanilla extract to your filling.

The next step is the pastry. McDonald’s uses a flaky, buttery puff pastry. You can opt for store-bought puff pastry sheets, which save time and deliver excellent results. Roll out the pastry and cut it into rectangles.

Place a spoonful of the apple filling on half of the rectangles, leaving a border around the edges. Top with another rectangle of pastry, pressing the edges together to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edges, ensuring a tight seal to prevent the filling from leaking during cooking.

Choosing Your Cooking Method

Now, it’s time to decide how you’ll cook your apple pies. Frying is the traditional method that gives the pies their signature crunch, but baking is a healthier alternative that can still yield delicious results.

For frying, heat vegetable oil in a deep pan to 350°F (175°C). Carefully add the pies to the oil, frying until they are golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. For added sweetness, dust the hot pies with cinnamon sugar.

Baking is straightforward and less messy. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the assembled pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with an egg wash (a beaten egg with a tablespoon of water) and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pies are puffed and golden brown.

Tip: If you prefer a lighter version, try using an air fryer. Cook the pies at 375°F (190°C) for about 10 minutes or until golden and crispy.

Perfecting Your Homemade Apple Pies

To make sure your homemade McDonald’s apple pies are as close to the original as possible, there are a few extra tips to keep in mind. First, ensure both the filling and pastry are cold when you assemble the pies. This helps prevent the pastry from becoming soggy and ensures a flaky, crisp texture.

Second, don’t overfill the pies. Too much filling can cause the pies to burst open during cooking. Stick to a heaping tablespoon of filling per pie, and be sure to seal the edges well.

Finally, let the pies cool slightly before serving. The filling will be very hot right out of the oil or oven, and giving them a few minutes to rest will make them easier to handle and more enjoyable to eat.

Tip: Serve your apple pies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for an extra treat.

Storing and Reheating

If you have leftovers (though we doubt you will), storing and reheating your apple pies is easy. Allow the pies to cool completely, then place them in an airtight container. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to a month.

To reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the pies on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes if refrigerated, or 20 minutes if frozen, until heated through and crispy again. You can also reheat them in an air fryer or a toaster oven for a quick and easy option.

For the best texture, avoid using the microwave to reheat the pies, as it can make the pastry soggy. A little extra time in the oven is worth it for that perfect crispiness.

Tip: If reheating from frozen, let the pies thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.

Making McDonald’s apple pies at home is a fun and rewarding experience. Not only do you get to enjoy the nostalgic flavors of this classic dessert, but you also have the flexibility to tweak the recipe to your liking. Whether you choose to fry or bake, the result will be a delicious treat that’s sure to impress. So, gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to recreate the magic of McDonald’s apple pies right in your kitchen.

Homemade McDonald’s Apple Pie

Course: DessertCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





Recreate McDonald’s legendary fried apple pies at home with this easy and delicious recipe.


  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed

  • Vegetable oil for frying

  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (for dusting)


  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cook until the apples are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and cornstarch, cooking for another 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let the filling cool completely.
  • Roll out the puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Cut each sheet into 8 rectangles, making a total of 16 pieces.
  • Place a spoonful of the apple filling onto the center of half of the pastry rectangles. Brush the edges with the beaten egg, then top with the remaining pastry rectangles.
  • Press the edges together with a fork to seal. Use a knife to cut a small slit on the top of each pie to allow steam to escape.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 350°F (175°C). Fry the pies in batches until golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Remove the pies from the oil and drain on paper towels. While still warm, dust with granulated sugar.
  • Serve the pies warm, optionally with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.


  • For best results, ensure the filling and pastry are cold before assembly.
  • Store leftover pies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes to regain crispiness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use a different type of apple?
A: Yes, you can use other tart apples like Honeycrisp or Braeburn, but Granny Smith apples are preferred for their firm texture and tart flavor.

Q: Can I bake these instead of frying?
A: Absolutely! Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake the pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Q: How can I store and reheat leftover pies?
A: Store leftover pies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes to restore crispiness.

Q: Can I freeze the pies?
A: Yes, you can freeze the uncooked pies. Freeze them on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag. Fry or bake directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

David Wright
David Wright
David Wright is a seasoned food critic, passionate chef, and the visionary behind GrubFeed, a unique food blog that combines insightful culinary storytelling with mouth-watering recipes. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, David's fascination with food began in his grandmother's kitchen, where he learned the art of traditional cooking and the secrets behind every family recipe.

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