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

Most of an entire generation of Americans has grown up without the sweet thermonuclear-hot treat that was the McDonald's fried apple pie. Putting fried apple pies on the McDonald's menu was the 1960s brainchild of Knoxville McDonald's franchisee Litton Cochran (via Today). They remained part of McDonald's fare until 1992 when fried pies were replaced by baked ones. The reasons now appear lost to time, but one possible explanation is that the switch may have come because Americans were becoming more interested in low-fat and diet foods and McDonald's wanted to follow that trend. Alternatively, Los Angeles Magazine says people suggested the super-hot filling created the potential for burn-related lawsuits.

Whatever the reason, McDonald's fried apple pies are sorely missed fast food fare. Facebook and Twitter are filled with longing for the treat. "I do miss those delicious apple lava pies," one Facebook user commented. And Rin Tin Tim tweeted, "What I wouldn't give for a FRIED McDonald's apple pie." A few years ago, American chef and food writer J. Kenji Lopez-Alt went as far as trying to recreate the much-loved pie, writing about his experience for Serious Eats. He bought a McDonald's baked apple pie, and on a second attempt at frying it at home, was able to produce a reasonable substitute. But what if you don't want to fry a pie yourself? There are places where you can still get a real McDonald's fried apple pie, but as you'll find out, it isn't easy.

Filling the apple pie void

A Business Insider review of the pies available at fast-food establishments was not particularly kind to the current apple pie at McDonald's, ranking it second-worst among five choices, ahead of only Burger King's apple pie and behind Arby's apple turnover, Popeyes' cinnamon apple pie, and Checkers' cinnamon apple pie. However, there are still some McDonald's restaurants where you can get the fired version.

According to burgerbeast.com, a location in Downey, California, still has them. It opened in 1953 and as a very early McDonald's franchise has some leeway with its menu. Outside the continental United States, McDonald's fried apple pies are served in Hawaii, according to Honolulu Magazine, because they generate big sales. Across the globe, according to Reader's Digest, McDonald's restaurants in "Mexico, Brazil, Greece, Ireland, Egypt, and Hong Kong," among other countries, also still served fried apple pies as of 2021.

But are there more readily accessible substitutes for the McDonald's fried apple pie? One option that may come close is the peach mango pie at Jollibee, a Philippines-based fast-food chain with a handful of U.S. locations from Pennsylvania to Arizona. A review of Jollibee's menu by restaurantclicks.com includes a photo of the pie that harks back to the McDonald's pie, with bubbly fried crust and cardboard sleeve. The reviewer praised the peach mango pie as "a tasty blend of fruity and savory flavor ... that will feel familiar to those with an American palate."