Stewed apples are a fantastic treat in the fall, particularly when you’ve got a bag or two of freshly picked apples just begging to be cooked with!
They’re really quick and super easy to prepare; they’ll take just 15 minutes out of your day but leave you with a big batch of cinnamon and sugar-coated apples that are simply delectable.
Stewed apples are perfect for topping homemade pancakes, they are great when smothered over pork chops, or they make a fantastic dessert with a few scoops of ice cream. Keep reading, and discover the delights of our recipe for stewed apples!
How to stew apples
By definition, a ‘stew’ is simply a mixture of ingredients cooked in a liquid. Our stewed apples, or apple stew, are really just diced apples stewed in apple juice or apple cider. But add in a few subtle spices, some sugar and sweeteners, and a few secret ingredients, and you’ve got yourself a surprisingly complex yet still easy-to-make apple dish!
Easy stewed apples take as little as 15 minutes to prepare, and you’ll need at least 2 large apples for the recipe below. If you’ve got more apples than this, though, then it’s easy to scale up the recipe and prepare this dish in bulk.
Stewed apples recipe
Ingredients for stewed apples
- 2 large apples
- 2 tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ c of apple cider or apple juice
- 1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup
- 1 tbsp of brown sugar
- ¾ tsp of cinnamon powder
- A dash of ground nutmeg
- A dash of salt
- 3 tsp of cornstarch to thicken
Directions for stewed apples
- You want to start the process of stewing apples by dicing your apples into small, bite-sized chunks. Use an apple peeler to first peel your apples, then use a sharp knife to chop them into cubes!
- Next, place a large pan onto the stove top and add your apples, ⅓ c of apple cider or apple juice, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Turn the heat to medium, then stir in vanilla extract, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Finally, add your cinnamon and nutmeg spices before finishing with a dash of salt.
- Keep the ingredients simmering lightly while stirring occasionally for around 5 minutes. The apples start to soften up, and you’ll need to poke them with a fork to check for thickness.
- At the same time as your apples are stewing, mix the rest of your apple cider or apple juice with 3 tsp of cornstarch in a separate bowl. When you’re happy with how soft your apples are, you need to add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and bring it back to the simmer. Keep stirring, and allow the sauce to thicken up for a minute. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little more apple cider or apple juice.
- Have a taste, and if you’re happy with the taste and texture of your stewed apples, it’s time to serve!
Stewed apples recipe FAQ
What are stewed apples used for?
Stewed apples are seriously versatile. They don’t take long to cook, and they can be prepared as a side dish, a dessert, for breakfast, as a sweet treat, and much more. They are perfect for kids and adults alike, as you really can make these as sugary and soft or as savory and thick as you like.
Stewed apples are fantastic as a pancake topper, or you can mix them with oats or cereal for a hearty but healthy breakfast. You can prepare stewed apples at your summer barbecue as a side dish for all that barbecued pork, or if you have lots leftover, it’s easy to turn stewed apples into a sweet apple pie filling.
It’s a fantastic dish, and we encourage you to get creative!
Are stewed apples healthy?
Stewed apples are quite healthy, but this really does depend on how sweet you prepare them. Our recipe uses both sugar and maple syrup, but don’t forget, apples also have many naturally occurring sugars, too. If you’re counting the calories, then avoid too much sugar, or just stick to natural sweeteners like maple syrup.
Apples have many health benefits, too, though. Apples are packed full of fiber, they are heavy in Vitamin A, and the cinnamon in the recipe also works as an anti-inflammatory!
What are the best apples for stewing?
It doesn’t really matter which varieties of apples you choose to use for this recipe; the results are still going to be fantastic. However, some people do have their preferences.
Different apples have different qualities, after all. Some are sweet, while others are more bitter. If you prefer the natural sweetness of apples, choose a sweet apple such as a Fuji. If you are preparing a savory apple stew, then the best option is a larger cooking apple, such as a Granny Smith. The best apples for baking are tart, but they also hold their shape better under heat than other apples, so you’ll have a thicker (but less sweet) apple stew.
Of course, you can always try a combination of sweet and tart apples. Try half Granny Smith and half Honey crisp, for example!
Do apples need to be peeled before stewing?
We suggest peeling the apples in this recipe simply because it makes the apples easier to dice and stew. However, that’s down to you. The apple peel holds a number of useful nutrients and vitamins and can add an extra dimension to the texture of the stew. Kids (and adults) are often picky about the peel, though!
How long do stewed apples last?
Stewed apples can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days after being stewed. Make sure you store stewed apples in a ziplock bag or an airtight container.
Stewed apples can be frozen, too, for up to 6 months. Again, store the stewed apples in a ziplock bag or resealable, airtight container. If you have a large batch of apples, then stewing and freezing is a great way to avoid waste.
Stewed apples: the last word
Our easy stewed apples are a deliciously addictive sweet treat that will go down well with the whole family. This wonderful dish takes just 15 minutes to prepare, and it’s packed with sweet, cinnamon flavors!
Use up all those apples, prepare a freezer batch to see you through the winter, and enjoy delicious stewed apples dessert, as a side dish, or for breakfast. If you’ve got lots of spare apples going to waste, then why not try turning them into stewed apples?