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Apple Grande

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I’ve been wanting to make an Apple Grande for a long time. I used to make them over 25 years ago at the Mexican fast food chain that I worked for– Taco John’s. But before I could attempt to recreate this unique apple dessert (not unlike an apple pie) to share with you, I needed to find Red Hot candies. After searching a few stores, I finally found them at the Dollar General (not to be confused with the Dollar Tree).


ingredients needed to make apple grande including flour tortillas, vegetable oil, shredded cheese, red hot candies, cinnamon sugar, and a can of apple pie filling

The Base

You need 6-8 inch soft flour tortillas. (Full recipe is at the end of this post). There are two ways to prepare the tortillas. You can either fry them in vegetable or canola oil, or you can brush them with oil or butter and bake them to get them crispy. If you fry them, be sure your pan is large enough.

pot on stove with flour tortilla in it, and oil to the side in a bottle

Fry until golden brown. The problem I had with frying them was keeping the tortillas flat so they wouldn’t bubble up. Of course, years ago we had a special frying basket that kept the tortillas flat and fried several at a time.

one side of fried flour tortilla
the other side of the fried flour tortilla

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So I tried a second method and I prefer this way when making these at home and not at a restaurant. I brushed oil onto both sides of the flour tortilla. Then I sandwiched two tortillas (that’s all that would fit in a single layer) between two jelly roll pans. You could also use cookie sheets. This kept the tortillas flat while they baked.

two flour tortillas on a cookie sheet with another cookie sheet partially covering them

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    One side browned faster than the other, so I turned the tortillas partway through baking.

    two cookie sheets on top of each other in the oven

    Immediately after frying or baking the tortilla shell, sprinkle cinnamon sugar onto both sides. If you do this over parchment paper, you can fold the paper to pour the unused cinnamon sugar back into the dispenser, wasting none!

    sprinkling cinnamon sugar on a fried flour tortilla
    cinnamon sugar on a fried flour tortilla

    The Filling

    The next thing you need is diced apple pie filling. I looked all over my local grocery stores, and could not find diced apple pie filling! All I could find was regular sliced apple pie filling.

    apple pie filling in a can

    So I did the next best thing— I diced it myself with a huge chef’s knife!

    a knife cutting apple pie filling slices

    It needs to be diced pretty small.

    apple pie filling on white cutting board with large knife

    Heat the filling up in the microwave so that it is very hot. Spread half a cup or more onto the cinnamon sugar fried tortilla.

    two large spoonfulls of apple pie filling on cinnamon sugar tortilla

    Spread it in a very thin layer, covering the tortilla completely.

    apple pie filling spread on a cinnamon sugar flour tortilla

    The Toppings

    For the toppings, first sprinkle on some grated cheddar cheese while the apple pie filling is still hot. The cheese should melt a bit.

    apple grande with cheese sprinkled on top

    The last topping should actually be the first thing that you prepared. Hopefully, you have read the recipe completely through, and realized this before you began! This last topping is what makes this Apple Grande dessert so special. Remember those cinnamon red hots that I finally found? They need to be ground into powder. They grind up very quickly. Here is a video showing me grinding mine:

    After I ground my cinnamon red hots into powder, I needed a shaker, but I didn’t have an extra one. So I made one! You can make one, too! To improvise and make a homemade shaker, you can use regular aluminum foil. I had a foil cupcake liner, so I cut it to size. Then I used a bread twisty tie to secure the foil to the top of my little glass jar (it’s a baby food jar!). Lastly, I used a toothpick to poke holes into the hole. And voila! A shaker!

    If you make the red hot cinnamon candy powder ahead of time, it can get clumpy from humidity. Just stick a fork into it and stir it around to loosen it up again.

    You can see all of my released videos about Century Farms here.

    Sprinkle the red hot cinnamon powder (that you prepared ahead of time) on top of the shredded cheese. Sprinkle a little or a lot. I sprinkled a lot.

    sprinkling red hot candy powder on the apple grande

    I just love the color of the pink powder with the orange cheese!! What color is that??!!


    whole apple grande before cutting
    bright pink with orange cheese on apple filling on a cinnamon sugar tortilla
    closeup of bright orange, hot pink color of red hots mixed with cheese on apple pie filling

    Use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut four slices.

    apple grande cut into four triangle slices

    The tortilla should be crispy and crunchy. The filling and topping should be warm and gooey. And your mouth should be happy!

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    apple grande with red hot candies in background

    This would make a very unique apple dessert to serve to friends or special guests. Enjoy!

    one slice apple grande with red hots on a white plate
    Red hot candies in a bag at the top, text, and a quarter slice of apple grande on a white plate with red hot candies nearby

    Apple Grande Recipe

    • two 6 or 8 inch flour tortillas
    • oil for frying or basting
    • cinnamon sugar
    • 16 oz diced apple pie filling
    • 4 oz finely grated cheddar cheese
    • red hot cinnamon candy powder

    Prepare red hot cinnamon candy powder by grinding red hot candies into powder with a blender. Put powder into a shaker and set aside. Fry or bake tortillas until golden brown and crispy. If baking, baste oil onto both sides of tortillas and sandwich between cookie sheets to keep flat. Immediately after cooking tortillas, sprinkle cinnamon sugar onto both sides. After heating in the microwave, spread hot apple pie filling on top of tortillas. Sprinkle with grated cheese, then sprinkle with red hot candy powder. Cut into quarters and Enjoy!

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    1. I am so excited to make these! I haven’t had one in so many years. I was so bummed when Taco John’s quit making them. Thank you for the recipe!!

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