How To Fill Your McDonald's Deep Fried Apple Pie Void

When McDonald's first put pie on the menu in the 1940s, it was an actual slice, according to McDonald's History. Eventually, a franchisee came up with the idea of a hand pie, which could be held in one hand and easily eaten on the go. The McDonald's apple pie — the deep-fried hand pie version – first appeared on McDonald's menu in 1968, according to Eater, which describes the first iteration as a "turnover-style pie" that was "fried to crispiness with a light golden color and served hot in a folded cardboard carton."  

McDonald's deep-fried apple pie quickly achieved iconic status, according to CNET, eventually spawning more than 40 different flavors. Even so, McDonald's pulled the plug in 1992, not on pie, itself, but the deep-frying — capitulating to the new low-fat era, per Eater. Today, McDonald's offers baked apple hand pies that resemble the OG deep-fried version in the sense that gooey apple filling is still fully enclosed in a pastry shell that's crispy on the outside while offering a tender chewiness alongside the apple filling. Among the "positive changes" McDonald's has instituted over the years, today's pies are made with less sugar.

But to be clear, they haven't been deep-fried since the 90s, which makes a lot of people sad, if this Reddit nostalgia thread is any indication. That's not to say there aren't some excellent deep-fried alternatives available to fill your McDonald's deep-fried apple pie void.

Hardee's Apple Turnover

If you're looking to fill the void left by McDonald's beloved deep-fried apple pie, you might want to check out what Hardee's has to offer. Hardee's calls it a "turnover," which is interesting because that would tend to imply a baked good, whereas Hardee's Apple Turnover is deep-fried, per the chain's menu. However, the same cannot be said of all turnovers or even all apple turnovers. For example, the Arby's apple turnover is baked, according to Brand Eating.

As one reviewer of the Hardee's Apple Turnover, Old Nerd Reviews, noted a few months ago, "This puppy has a nice crunch on the outside" and, perhaps more importantly, is "absolutely un-categorically, undeniably fried" (via YouTube). The YouTuber also commented that the filling was "sweet, hot" and "really gooey," — although he did note that he would have liked there to have been more of it inside the crispy pastry.

Popeye's Cinnamon Apple Pie

Popeye's is another possible source for satisfying your McDonald's deep-fried apple pie jones (and since Popeye's is expanding rapidly, there may soon be a location near you, if not already). You'll find a Cinnamon Apple Pie on Popeye's menu, which is described as having a "crispy crust on the outside" and "hot cinnamon apple goodness on the inside." 

What isn't entirely clear is whether Popeye's Cinnamon Apple Pie is deep-fried, as opposed to baked. But it may be worth noting that Popeye's apple pie contains significantly more fat (15.5 grams) than McDonald's (11 grams), and, according to Foodsmart, deep frying adds fat to foods. 

In any event, we've seen quite a few rave reviews of Popeye's apple pie, including this recent one on YouTube that applauds the cinnamon sugar coating on the especially crispy crust. And this Instagram user specifically approves of the Popeye's Cinnamon Apple Pie as a worthy substitute for the erstwhile McDonald's deep-fried apple pie, comparing the crust's flavor and texture to a churro.

Jollibee Peach Mango Pie

If you're not completely wedded to the apple aspect of your long-lost McDonald's deep-fried apple pie, then Jollibee, a chain known for its fried chicken, may offer a delightful alternative in its Peach Mango Pie. Although we weren't able to discern from the Jollibee website whether these fruity hand pies are, in fact, deep-fried, from the photo above, it would appear that they very well could be. Apparently concurring with us is the recipe developer behind Kwokspots, who has figured out how to make their own copycat McDonald's deep-fried apple hand pies, and points out that the essential difference between Jollibee's and McDonald's pies is deep-frying versus baking, respectively.

The Jollibee Peach Mango Pie is well-liked by many, including one reviewer who makes it very clear that it's way better than anything you can get at McDonald's (via MyLondon). And according to Restaurant Clicks, "This yummy pie has a crispy crust and a soft filling with a blend of peaches and mangos. It's a popular Filipino dessert that will feel familiar to those with an American palate."

Amish apple fry pies

If you live in the vicinity of Holmes County, Ohio, then your perfect alternative to the McDonald's deep-fried apple pie could be an Amish apple fry pie. This fried hand-pie can be found in nearly every bakery in Ohio's Amish Country, not to mention numerous family roadside stands. According to, even though a fry pie may look like a turnover, the handheld dessert is made with pie crust, while turnovers are often made with puff pastry.

Amish fry pies come in more than a dozen flavors — ranging from peach-pineapple to elderberry — but apple has a permanent spot on the menu at places like Hershberger's Farm & Bakery in Holmes County, (via Amish America). If you don't live in the area and want to try this flaky handheld treat, they're available by mail order from Lehman's and Beyond Measure Market.

DIY deep-fried apple hand pies

You might be surprised to learn how easy it is to make your own apple hand pies at home. In fact, this Fried Apple Hand Pie recipe works really well with prepared pie crust, takes under an hour from start to finish, and requires the gathering of just a handful of ingredients, namely: oil for deep-frying, your pie dough of choice, fresh apples, sugar, apple cider, cinnamon, lemon juice, and salt. In addition, you'll need a little flour for dusting during your prep, and some confectioner's sugar to add a wow factor to the presentation. 

Be sure to read the helpful hints at the beginning of the recipe, including the tips on handling the dough to make sure that your hand pies remain sealed as you fry them. Once your golden crescents are cool enough to take a bite, you will feel an instant sense of accomplishment because you made something that is reminiscent of the golden days of McDonald's deep-fried apple pie.