Vanilla Pan Fried Apples


Valentine’s day is literally right around the corner and if you are still looking for something special to make for your sweetheart I’ve got you covered! These Vanilla Scented Pan Fried Apples are inspired by a simple treat my grandmother used to make and they happen to be one of my husband’s all-time favorite desserts.

My grandmother was a simple woman. She was a grade school teacher and then the principal of an elementary school for most of her adult life. She lived to serve others and didn’t really make too much of a fuss about anything, especially when it came to food. Her meals and desserts didn’t come from the glossy pages of a magazine, they came from years and years of trial and error in her tiny little galley kitchen. They were simple, straightforward, and somehow decadent at the same time.

When the apple tree on their property was heavy with fruit she would make her pan fried apples with ice cream for us. No measuring spoons or cups for her, just a pinch of this and a splash of that. As a small girl I would often stand at the stove with her, watching her cook and trying to memorize exactly how she made my favorite recipes.

While the recipe below isn’t exactly how my grandmother made her Vanilla Scented Pan Fried Apples it is close enough that every time I start to cook them I am flooded with emotion and the aroma that fills my house takes me back to my grandmother’s warm and cozy kitchen.

While my grandmother would have probably used a tart apple, I use Stemilt’s Piñata® Apples because I love their balanced sweet/tart taste and the pineapple finish they are known for really shines through in each and every bite of the finished dish.

Fancy chocolates and snobby pastries wouldn’t get very far with my husband on Valentine’s, but these slightly updated, but still VERY old-school, Vanilla Scented Pan Fried Apples make him weak in the knees every single time! Which basically makes these pan fried apples the ultimate Valentine’s dessert.

Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think in the comments!


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 Stemilt, Piñata apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into equal size wedges
  • 2 packed tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of coarse kosher salt
  • 4 scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, optional

Ditch the fancy chocolates and snobby pastries and try these slightly updated, but still VERY old-school, Vanilla Pan Fried Apples. They are the ultimate Valentine’s dessert.

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  • Yield
    4 servings
  • Prep time
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  1. Melt the butter in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the apple wedges, brown sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean paste, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to coat the apple wedges completely.
  3. Cook for approximately 10 minutes until wedges are tender, but still have a little bit of a bite.
  4. To serve divide the apple wedges between 4 bowls and add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream to each bowl.
  5. Note: These apple wedges have lots of uses in the kitchen - they are great served over pancakes, perfect on top of oatmeal, and even hold their own as a southern inspired side dish.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving

  • Calories: 263