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The History of McDonald’s Apple Pies

The recipe for McDonald’s apple pie came from a Knoxville franchisee named Litton Cochran. It became the chain’s first dessert when it was added to the McDonald’s menu in 1968 (interestingly, the iconic Big Mac was introduced that same year). The original recipe was for a turnover-style apple pie that was fried to crispiness with a light golden, bubbly crust and served in a folded cardboard carton. In 1992, McDonald’s discontinued their fried apple pies and replaced them with baked apple pies. In 2011, McDonald’s introduced several new pie flavors, including peach, strawberry, pumpkin, and sweet potato. In 2012, the chain introduced a line of Signature pies in flavors like strawberry and crème pie. More flavors were added in 2013. In fact, since McDonald’s apple pies were introduced in the 1960s, the chain has gone on to release over 40 different variants of its original offering. McDonald’s also offers specially flavored pies outside of the U.S. that cater to local tastes, including taro (available in China), sweet corn (available in Thailand), and berries and currant (available in the UK). In 2016, McDonald’s introduced a new lattice-top crust and made some minor changes to the recipe. In 2018, the recipe was reworked again to contain fewer ingredients, less sugar, and more cinnamon. Today’s McDonald’s apple pies are filled with six varieties of apples — Fuji, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Rome, Gala, and Ida Red — and remain one of McDonald’s most beloved and iconic desserts.

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