Savory Fried Apples with Onions and Sage, and Sweet Fried Apples with Maple Cream Caramel

To me, fried apples are a seductive herald of autumn. When I've got fried apples sizzling up in the pan, I know that I can look out my window and see the kids crunching through fallen leaves, and maybe even expect to see some flakes of snow.

It seems that there are two camps when it comes to fried apples - those who make them sweet and those that make them savory. But why have them just one way? I'll admit that I prefer the savory version, fried apples cooked up with onions and fresh sage and a heavy dose of black pepper. But sometimes, when I'm craving something decadent, fried apples with maple cream caramel fit the bill.

To make savory fried apples, start by melting a few spoonfuls of bacon grease in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Core and thickly slice your apples. You can peel them if you please, but I like the color in this dish. Once the grease has gotten hot, add the apples and toss them around to get coated. Turn the heat to low, cover, and let the apples cook through.

After the apples become fork tender, turn the heat back up to medium, add a sliced onion and a few tablespoons of chopped fresh sage (powdered works fine, too, but use much less), salt to taste, and a lots of freshly ground black pepper. Then fry up the mixture until the apples and onions start to take on a touch of brown. Finish the dish with crumbled bacon, if you happen to have some on hand. Pork and apples are a natural pairing, so this makes a nice accompaniment to pork chops or roast. But this tangy side also goes nicely with roasted chicken, or a rich roasted squash.

To make sweet fried apples with maple cream caramel, start by melting butter over low heat in a cast iron pan. Add peeled thickly sliced apples, and let them fry over medium-low heat until they become tender and golden brown. Flip the apple slices, give them a sprinkling of salt (and a hit of black pepper if you are cooking for grown-ups), and then drizzle the slices with a few spoonfuls of maple syrup. Let the syrup heat up and glaze the apples, and cook for a minute more.

Next, turn the flame down to low, and add enough cream to just coat the apples. Gently, over low heat, let the mixture bubble away for a few minutes until it turns into a luxurious caramel. Don't be tempted to use too high heat here because the cream may separate (which tastes fine, but looks kind of icky).

So, how do you prefer your fried apples?

I'm submitting this post to be a part of Pennywise Platter Thursday and Fight Back Friday, both amazing resources for budget-minded real food recipes. Please visit the links.


  1. These look perfect! I can't wait to try it out; I've actually never fried an apple before. Craziness, I know!

  2. Duuude. I love your recipes.

    I like mine covered in caramel and pastry. Does that count?

  3. That photo of the caramel apples is absolutely stunning. That is my favourite photo of yours, yet.

  4. Katie! Waaaa? Get that pan fired up, pronto!

    R- I wouldn't mind putting a little pastry on top and going all tarte tatin with it.

    Bella! Thank you :)

  5. These sound delicious, I do love the shot of the whole apples with all their color and personality, photos like that ring a bell of real food. Thanks.

  6. Please excuse me while I wipe the ocean of drool that just came out of my mouth OFF of my computer. that's attractive, right?

    Oh my lord do these sound amazing. Apples and caramel are a match made in heaven.

  7. I am making the sweet apples right now. For a snack. Because this just makes my stomach growl! And I cannot wait to make the savory - I love apples!!!

  8. So, I went and made this - I am in LOVE!!!! Never again will I eat popcorn for my snack - this is out of this world. I did dump in too much cream and it took like 20 minutes to caramel, but I didn't mind, I just kept testing!

  9. Glad I just picked up more apples at the farmers market today. Looks like we will be having some carmel apples with our waffles tomorrow morning. They look soooo good!

  10. Joanne - I'm surprised that my computer hasn't malfunctioned because I'm drooling on it all the time. Literally. Ah, the hazards of being a food blog junkie.

    Christy - Yay! I'm so glad you made it :)

    Penny - I bet the apples with caramel sauce were amazing over waffles. What a great idea. I never get as far as putting them onto anything. I usually burn my tongue because I try to snarf them right out of the pan.

  11. have never made fried apple looks lovely
    thank you for wanting to add the yogurt vadas among the best of the blog hop looking forward

  12. so delicious! i'm an instant fan of your blog! I can't wait to make this!
    cheers, Leila

  13. I want both versions...they've both made my mouth water. YUM!!!

  14. I'm all about the sweet. Sounds very yummy right about now!

  15. TV - You have to try frying apples. It just brings new heights to their aroma. Amazing!


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