Caramel Stewed Apples

"This recipe comes from the Manga book Kinou Nani Tabeta? or What Did You Eat Yesterday? by Fumi Yoshinaga. One of the main characters, Shiro, is a hardheaded (though hiding a soft heart within) lawyer by day, who comes home and cooks their meals every night. Use eating apples, not tart cooking apples, for this dish, since not much sugar in proportion to the apples is used. Gala, Fuji and Gravenstein work well. If you plan to use unpeeled apples, select a rosy-skinned one for the best color."
photo by Baby Kato photo by Baby Kato
photo by Baby Kato
Ready In:
4-5 cups


  • 2 lbs crisp sweet apples (1kg)
  • 5 -7 ounces sugar (150-200g, The more tart your apples are, the more sugar you you will need, and vice versa)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (optional)


  • Wash the apples (peel them if you prefer), cut into half and core them, then cut into wedges or slices. Do this as you cook the caramel, if you're brave. Otherwise deal with the apples in advance so that you can pay full attention to the caramel.
  • Put the sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. Heat the pan until the sugar starts to melt. Stir if you see clumps. The sugar will start to caramelize quickly at some point. If it looks like it's going to turn black, take the pan off the heat for a while to cool it down. Continue melting the sugar until a thick caramel is formed.
  • Tip all the sliced apples into the pan at once - be careful, the pot might spit at you when the moisture of the apples hits the caramel, and spitting caramel is very painful. Stir to combine the apple and caramel as well as you can - the caramel will stick to the bottom of the pan and your stirring spatula quite a lot, but don't worry about it. If your spatula gets too caramel-clogged, scrape it off gently with the back of a knife and plop the caramel lump back into the pot. It will melt as the apple cooks down and exudes more moisture.
  • Lower the heat to low, just high enough so that the pan is barely simmering. Put a lid on, and let it cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the apple slices are permeated with caramel color, as in the photo above. At this point add the optional butter and stir it in, though it's fine to leave it out if you wish.
  • Let cool thoroughly before packing into jars or plastic containers. Since this doesn't have the large amount of sugar that jams or preserves do, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator, where it will keep for a couple of weeks, or the freezer, where it should keep for a month or more.
  • Eat hot or cold. It's really nice on pancakes, with or without butter, as well as on oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream, or on its own. In the manga they lightly toast some bread, pile the apple on top with a pat of butter, and toast it again in a toaster oven.

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  1. Baby Kato
    I really enjoyed this sweet dish. The caramel was tasty the apple slices were wonderful, soft, tender and sweet. I didn't make the whole recipe, just enough for pancakes because I knew that I would like it too much, and I was right. I served them as a filling for Swiss Pancakes, it made a wonderful breakfast. Thank you so much for sharing.



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