The process for stewing apples includes heating them with water and sugar until the juices run together into a syrup. When done perfectly, stewed apples will be soft but not mushy. They can be done in pieces, although traditionally stewed apples are made from whole apples. Here’s how to stew apples:
Ingredients and supplies:
- 1 3/4 pounds apples
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- Apple peeler
- 1 vanilla bean, or vanilla extract
- Seasonings including cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg (optional, to taste)
- Large pot
- Cold cream or ice cream
- Prepare the apples. Peel and core the apples, but leave them otherwise whole. Do not slice the apples.
- Boil the water. Choose a large pan, deep enough to hold the apples in a single layer along with the water and sugar, which will cover the tops of the apples. Mix the water and sugar together in this pan, and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Then add the vanilla bean or extract, as well as any other seasonings you wish to use. Now lower the heat to medium.
- Add the apples. Now, place the apples in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. The sugar/water mixture should completely cover the apples.
- Cook the apples. Simmer the apples over medium or medium-low heat. The sugar, water, and natural apple juices should run together and cook down. Make sure that the mixture does not boil over too-high heat; when you stew apples, it should be done over low heat for a longer period of time. In about 50 minutes this mixture should be golden and syrupy, but not very sticky. The apples are should be fork tender, but they should not turn into applesauce.
- Enjoy. Once the apples are done stewing, serve them along with the sauce in the bottom of the pan. If the sauce is too runny for your liking, you can add just a little cornstarch to help it thicken. Stewed apples are a popular dish for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. They are usually served with cold cream or ice cream, although there are many other uses for stewed apples, including with poundcake or warm biscuits. Stewed apples can also be sprinkled with sugar or cinnamon, or topped with whip cream or a pat of butter. Excess sauce after the apples are gone makes a delicious ice cream topping by itself.
Stewed apples are a delicious and easy warm dessert. Although they are especially popular in the fall, this simple dessert is perfect any time of the year.