Labor Day Recipe: McDonald's-Style Fried Apple Pie

For a portable picnic dessert, try the original Apple Egg Roll.


What's more American than a McDonald's apple pie? Well, that's kind of a trick question. Ronald sells millions of these things around the globe—but, of course, they're not apple pies at all. In the original formulation, they were more like Apple Egg Rolls—a wonderful deep-fried concoction, oozing fruity warmth out of its crunchy skin. The Company later decided to switch cooking methods on us, and today the "pie" is baked, which brings it closer to being a real apple pie but, strangely, doesn't taste as good as the old one. With the day of cookouts and picnics(and hence the need for tasty, portable foods) approaching, here's a home-made version of the old one that I think you'll love.

4 Golden Delicious apples
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch salt
6 egg roll wrappers, preferably Golden Dragon brand
oil for frying
cinnamon sugar for coating (2 tablespoons sugar mixed with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon)

1. Peel and core apples, and cut into ¼" cubes.

2. Combine apple cubes with water, butter, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir to combine.

3. Cover saucepan and cook over low heat until apples are soft and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Cool.

4. Cut each wrapper in half, then trim each half to 2¾" by 5½".

5. Place about ½ cup filling on one sheet of egg roll wrapper taking it to within ¼" of each edge. Moisten edge with water then lay another egg roll sheet on top. Seal edges. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

6. Pour oil to a height of 3" into a 3-quart saucepan. When it reaches 350 degrees cook pies, one at a time. Cook one side until golden, about 30 seconds, then turn and cook the other side. Remove and drain on paper towels.

7. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar while still warm.

Makes 6 "apple pies", good for 6 servings.

David Rosengarten is a travel writer, cookbook author and TV journalist who has hosted or co-hosted approximately 2,500 shows on the Food Network. A frequent guest on NBC's Today show, David has written about food and wine for a wide array of publications and travels frequently throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia, writing and lecturing on various culinary subjects Currently, David is the editor-in-chief of The Rosengarten Report, which received the James Beard Award in 2003 for the best food and wine newsletter in the country.

Recipes by Rosengarten is a recurring bi-weekly feature on

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