Peel and core apples and cut each into ¼-inch slices. Place in a large saucepan. Stir in all remaining ingredients except butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until apples soften, about 20 min. Stir in butter (if using) and continue to cook until melted, about 5 min. Remove from heat and serve.
Serve with oatmeal for breakfast, grilled pork for dinner, or crepes and whipped cream for dessert. Use for apple pie filling or puree apples while they’re still warm to make an applesauce. Try them on top of our Grilled Chai Pork Chops & Gravy.