When I mentioned making fried apples to my friend Terri, she said she’d never heard of them. That’s when I realized that I was wrong: For other people, these apples were not the ubiquitous side dish that my kids and I had loved for the past twenty-plus years.
I’m trying to recall when fried apples became a part of my cooking repertoire. I know I didn’t invent this dish, and I’d prefer to give credit. But as the link in my memory is missing, I’ll provide the recipe that I’ve come up with over the years, which leaves a lot of room for your own variation.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
5 Granny Smith apples (or other cooking apples), cored and sliced but not peeled
About 1/4 sugar
About 1 teaspoon cinnamon
In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over low heat. Add apples, sliced approximately into twelfths. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. (The quantities are variable, and part of the fun is that this dish never come out exactly the same, twice.) Cook over medium or medium-low heat, stirring often to prevent sticking or burning. Apples are done with they are fork-tender and start to resemble pie filling. (Note: If apples are not done but start to burn, you can “cheat” by covering the pan for about 5 minutes.)
My grandson loved being able to toss in the cinnamon and sugar. As we ate lunch, the apples warmed our insides. They also reminded me of dinners with my kids, picnicking on the living room floor, eating them with polish sausage sandwiches with Swiss cheese and mustard.
Start your own tradition by frying up a batch of apples tonight. Then share with a friend. These apples make a great dessert, too, warmed. Accompany with vanilla ice cream for an apple-pie-like treat.