Apple Dippers and Baked Apple Pie

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Apple Dippers and Baked Apple Pie
Gimme That Old-School Apple Pie

Apple-pie purists have long mourned the day that McDonald's switched from frying to baking, saying that the fried version simply tasted better. If you're one of those purists, there's still hope. According to this Fried Apple Pie Locator, the McDonald's fried apple pie is still available in restaurants located in Wal-Mart stores, airports and shopping malls.

Benjamin Franklin once said, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." If that's true, then McDonald's has done its share over the years to keep its customers away from physicians. First came the deep-fried apple pie, which was meant to take customers back to the days of a homemade pie cooling on the windowsill. In 1992, after extensive consumer testing, the company phased out the fried apple pie and replaced it with a baked version.

Of course, the ingredients of a McDonald's apple pie include more than apples. You'll also find high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, shortening and caramel color. To appeal to consumers looking for a healthier alternative, the company launched its Apple Dippers product in 2004. Apple Dippers are just sliced apples -- either cameo or pink lady varieties, sealed within a plastic bag and bathed with calcium ascorbate to maintain freshness and color. Low-fat caramel dip comes on the side.

Apple Dippers were a key component of a "Lifestyles Platform" McDonald's introduced in 2004. As such, the dessert became a new Happy Meal option, along with new beverage choices including 100 percent pure apple juice, as well as white and chocolate 1 percent milk. McDonald's sells more than 35 million pounds (nearly 16 million kilograms) of apples annually just through Apple Dippers [source: QSR Magazine]. Throw in apple juice and baked apple pies, and it's easy to see why the company buys more apples than any restaurant chain in the United States [source: Younge].

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