If you grew up eating McDonald’s fried apple pies, you might still remember the crispy, bubbly, slightly salty crust and the ooey gooey apple filling that made them so irresistible. But if you’ve tried to order one in the past three decades, you’ve probably been disappointed to find out that they’ve been replaced by a baked version that is “pale and doughy” compared to the original, according to Serious Eats.
So what happened to the fried apple pies? And more importantly, where can you still find them?
The answer to the first question is simple: health concerns. In 1992, amid public outcry over the fat and calorie content of fast food, McDonald’s decided to switch to a baked version of its apple pie, hoping to appeal to customer preferences and dining trends. The new recipe also featured a lattice crust, sliced (not diced) apples, and a more cinnamony filling.
But not everyone was happy with the change. Some fans still miss the old-school fried pies and lament the loss of their childhood favorite. As one Reddit user put it, “They were amazing. Nothing like them. I would burn my mouth every time.”
The answer to the second question is more complicated: it depends on where you live or where you’re willing to travel. While most of the American locations have stopped deep-frying their desserts, there are some exceptions. As recently as 2018, some franchises in Tampa, Florida, were still serving the fried pies, but they’ve since switched to the baked ones. The only U.S. state that still hangs on to the old recipe is Hawaii, where you can enjoy a taste of nostalgia along with the pleasant weather, stunning beaches, and awe-inspiring volcanoes.
But if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can also find the fried apple pies in other countries around the world. Step outside the United States and you’ll discover a world where McDonald’s still serves its pies fried. Not every international location offers apple pies (they’re pretty American, after all), but you can get your fix from Mexico, Brazil, Greece, Ireland, Egypt, and Hong Kong, just to name a few. You might even notice some differences in the recipes: for instance, the U.K. version is higher in calories, fat, and salt (though lower in sugar) than the U.S. one.
So if you’re craving a fried apple pie from McDonald’s, don’t despair: there are still ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Whether you hop on a plane or make a road trip to Hawaii, you can relive your childhood memories and enjoy a crispy, gooey treat that will make you forget about the baked ones.