I have a question about the recipe "Deep-Fried Apple Pies" from Tieghan Gerard. How would these hold up if made a few hours ahead of eating?
Looking at the recipe and photo, it looks like they would still be tasty a couple hours after frying. At least to me...
That said, I've never come across a single deep fried item that was as good several hours after it had been fried as it is when it comes straight from the fryer.
It's really up to you to decide if the pre-fried items are acceptable in quality vis-a-vis the ones that come straight out of the fryer.
If it were fried chicken, I would say "maybe." If it were Japanese vegetable tempura, I'd say "no freakin' way."
This is basically the question each person has to ask for any dish that sits around much longer than the intended serving timeframe. Each single person has a different idea of what is acceptable product deterioration.
Some people are happy eating sushi from a plastic box sitting in a grocer's refrigerator; others will not eat sushi unless they are sitting at the sushi bar and looking at the people who makes it.
It's entirely your call.