Make these with an apple variety that will hold its shape when cooked. I like to use Golden Delicious, Jonagold or Pippin. As the slices cook, they start to caramelize a bit, adding a richness to their flavor.
They are very versatile and can be used for sweet or savory dishes. Add sugar to taste and according to the way you will use them. Sugar lightly if accompanying meat such as pork or chicken. Add a bit more if they will be dessert. Add a bit of rum to the pan at the end of cooking and spoon while still warm over vanilla ice cream, pound cake or as a filling for crêpes.
Plan on one medium apple per person. Quarter, core and peel the apples. Cut into wedges about 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick. Place a sauté pan, preferably non-stick, over medium heat and add 1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter to the pan for each apple. When the butter starts to foam, add the apple slices and toss from time to time as they cook.
After about 5 minutes, sprinkle with sugar—from a teaspoon to a Tablespoon per apple should do it, and toss until the sugar melts. Start checking for doneness. The point of a paring knife should go into the slices with little resistance. Continue to cook until done.
Remove the pan from the heat and place apples on a plate or serving dish. Add a little water (or rum!) to the pan and return to the heat for a moment, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze. Pour the pan juices over the apples and serve. These may be made earlier in the day and reheated just before serving.