Fried Arkansas Black Apples


Arkansas Black apples are prized for their distinctive dark, almost purple, skins. If you can find them in your area, this simple recipe for caramelized skillet apples is a great way to let them shine. And if not, you can use any firm apple you prefer. Serve these apples alongside any roasted meat, from turkey to ham to chicken, for an easy and delicious side dish.

Fried Arkansas Black Apples
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
6 serves


  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, cloves, or allspice

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 5 cups unpeeled red apple slices (from 3 [1 3/4 lb. total] apples)

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider


  1. Stir together brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl, and set aside.

  2. Melt butter in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium. Add half of the apple slices in a single layer. (Don't overcrowd the pan.) Cook, turning once, until slightly softened but still quite firm, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. Repeat process with remaining apples.

  3. Return cooked apple slices to hot skillet, and add cider and reserved brown sugar mixture. Cook over medium, gently turning occasionally, until apples are glazed, browned, and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer fried apples to a serving bowl or plate. Serve warm.

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