How To Fill The Hole In Your Heart Left By McDonald's Fried Apple Pie

Lifelong McDonald's fans will no doubt remember the fast food chain's fried apple pie, a much-loved McDonald's staple that has since gone by the wayside. Even though the pastry is still available in many international McDonald's locations, fried apple pies were discontinued in American McDonald's restaurants back in 1992. 

While McDonald's isn't exactly known for selling healthy food, the eatery cited 'health concerns' when it removed the beloved apple pies from its American menus. Baked apple pies took the place of the chain's fried pie varieties, but for some enthusiasts, the baked apple pies just don't cut it. 

Thankfully, there are still a few options to satisfy your craving for old-fashioned fried apple pies that don't involve traveling to an international locale. Several U.S.-based fast food chains have similar offerings as the apple pies made famous by McDonald's. While nothing could truly replicate the original, these options come pretty close. 

Chicken Express Apple Pie

Even though Chicken Express might not be the first place you think of for a nostalgic dessert, the Southern fast food chain may hold the key to fulfilling your fried apple pie fantasies. Sold as a side dish, the Chicken Express apple pie is a dupe of McDonald's fried apple pie. 

At just over $2 per pie, this McDonald's alternative is also a great way to treat yourself without breaking the bank. The pie's crust is said to be remarkably close to the crust on the original McDonald's pies, with the apple filling striking an excellent balance between ooey-gooey and soggy. Besides apple, the chain also offers fried cherry pies if you find yourself in the mood for a different spin on the classic fast-food pastry.  

According to Chicken Express' website, the chain is only available in certain regions of the South, so this McDonald's dupe may be hard to get if you aren't in the area. If you happen to be driving through the area, Chicken Express' fried apple and cherry pies are definitely worth making a stop for. 

Jollibee's Peach Mango Pie

In recent years, Filipino fast food brand Jollibee's U.S. locations have been gaining traction online, thanks in part to its large international fan base. The chain is known for its iconic menu items like Jolly Style Spaghetti and ChickenJoy fried chicken, but the restaurant's pastries have fried apple pie fans flocking to Jollibee. 

Among the chain's dessert options is its Peach Mango Pie, Jollibee's answer to McDonald's apple pie. The pie looks similar to other fast food pies, but the key difference is the ingredients Jollibee uses to create it. According to the company, the pie is made with real mangos from the Philippines, adding to the pastry's tropical flavor. MyLondon states that the pie has just the right amount of sweetness, so you can indulge in the fried pie even if you don't want to be overpowered by a mango-induced sugar rush. Jollibee also offers a Coconut Pineapple version of the pie, the perfect option if you're looking for a fast food treat that is truly unique to the Jollibee menu. 

Arby's Apple Turnover

Arby's doesn't seem to get as much love as other fast-food chains, but the restaurant's apple turnovers are reason enough for you to give your local Arby's a chance. Fans of the classic McDonald's dessert will appreciate Arby's commitment to offering a flakey apple turnover that stands out from some of the more cake-like apple pies included on this list. In addition to their flakey consistency, the pies are served heated and topped with a delicate drizzle of frosting reminiscent of a hot Little Debbie-inspired pastry. 

Arby's apple turnovers even received a well-deserved 15 minutes of fame when they were given a mention in author Hank Green's debut novel, "An Absolutely Remarkable Thing" (via The Hungry Bookwork). While the characters in Green's book may enjoy Arby's apple turnovers, you'll have to head out to your own Arby's to see just how remarkable the pastries really are. 

Popeye's Cinnamon Apple Pie

If you're a fan of cinnamon, this next fried apple pie is for you. While the pie leaves much to be desired in terms of presentation, the pastry packs a considerable punch in the flavor department. 

The dessert features a crispy fried exterior that you can hear crunch when YouTuber Noyjeetut takes a bite for his video review of the apple pie. Noyjeetut calls the pastry "pure deliciousness" and describes how buttery the pies are. The YouTuber also states that, in his option, Popeye's cinnamon-filled version of the iconic pastry tastes better than McDonald's current baked apple pies. That's high praise for a dessert that some may consider an imitation. 

Popeye's Cinnamon Apple Pies look the most similar to the classic McDonald's fried pies but differ somewhat in taste. While Popeye's pies rely heavily on cinnamon, the original McDonald's version had a more apple-based flavor.

Homemade Mini Fried Apple Pie

While heading out to eat at your favorite fast food joint is a great way to treat yourself, sometimes you just want to stay in. You can get your fried apple pie fix without ever having to leave your house by making your own version at home. 

Numerous recipes for miniature apple pies are available online, many of which are perfect for replicating the pastries that McDonald's is famous for. The pies can be made using cupcake or muffin pans for bite-sized delights or by placing a spoonful of apple pie filling into a pre-cut round of dough, similar to the method used when preparing pierogi. Alternatively, you can opt to bake a regular-sized apple pie or apple crumble and cut the confection into individual-sized bites. 

Even though baking your own fried apple dupes may be more work than picking them up from a restaurant, baking the pastries at home means you have the freedom to alter the recipe as you see fit, making it easy to modify the pies for a variety of dietary requirements.