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Stewed apple in a clear bowl, on the table.

Stewed Stuffed Apples in Syrup (Tufahije)

Tufahije: poached walnut stuffed apples with simple syrup and whipped cream. YUM!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, Serbian
Servings 6



  • 6 apples granny smith*
  • ½ lemon juice only


  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ½ lemon juice only
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 1 apple peel only


  • 2 ounces milk hot
  • 5 ounces walnuts ground
  • 1.5 ounces butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • whipped cream in a can, container, or homemade
  • a few walnut halves or sour cherries


  • Apples: Peel all the apples first. As soon as each is peeled, coat it with lemon juice to prevent browning. Set peel from one apple aside.
  • Hollow (core) the apples out next. Take an apple and using a tool of choice make a circle around the stem. Then dig in, and discard the insides in small digging motions, layer by layer. (To prevent apples from falling apart, dig in several small motions instead of one or two big scoops!) Get all the seeds (pips) and seed pockets out leaving most of the apple meat intact. If you can, don’t drill all the way through. The apples should still be thick and juicy after you core them. Flip the apple around and remove the calyx (bottom most part with seeds), making a tiny hole in the process. Finally, coat apple insides with lemon juice also.* 
  • Repeat until all the apples are hollowed out. 
  • Syrup: In a medium sized pot combine sugar syrup ingredients. Stir often and bring to a boil on high.
  • Lower temperature to low (or medium, depending on how hot your stove top is running) and add apples. They’ll be about halfway submerged in syrup. Slightly push each one to the bottom until their insides fill up with syrup through the small hole you created when you removed the calyx.  Cook them for 5-7 minutes on one side. Then flip them around and cook another 2-3 minutes. Finished apples will turn a deeper yellow, and are easily piereced through with a fork. (If you see signs of apples falling apart, pull them out earlier.)*
  • Transfer apples to a deep pan (or bowl), and cool. Keep the syrup. 
  • Filling: (Done parallel to making syrup) In a medium bowl add walnuts and cover them with milk. Set aside for about 10 minutes, or until walnuts absorb the milk. 
  • Meanwhile, in a small pan melt butter on low. Add sugar and stir until they incorporate as much as they can. Remove off heat and pour over milk and walnuts. Stir continously until the mixture integrates.  
  • Assembly: Fill each apple generously with the filling. Return to the deep pan and pour some of the remaining syrup over them (until they’re about ⅓  submerged in it). Keep tufahije in the fridge ready to serve.  Transfer remaining syrup in a jar or a container with a lid, and also keep in the fridge. When ready to eat, serve each apple in a dessert bowl, and pour some syrup over it. Finally, top with whipped cream and a walnut half. 
  • Stewed apples can be kept in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Do not freeze. 



Step 2: This part will require some practice. Go slowly, and don't try to core the entire apple at once. Tools good for hollowing out are: a knife, a corer, a grapefruit spoon, or a combination of them. If you're using a corer you’ll probably dig all the way through. That's fine. However, be careful that the filling doesn’t escape during the assembly and serving. In this case, it's best to fill them while they're sitting inside a bowl.  
Step 5: Cooking time is an approximation only based on my stovetop. It will depend on the type of apples you’re using and your stove. Softer apples will take even less time. This is another step that takes practice. Apples need to not fall apart, and not be raw either. Look for a deeper yellow color, that there are no cracks or breaks, but that a fork can pierce them easily. 
Also, while it may seem that this isn't enough syrup, there is plenty with this volume. The syrup should only come up about halfway compared to the apple. You'll flip the apples around later so they'll cook on all ends. Be careful not to burn your fingers when handling them. Also, they may start turning around on their own. Make sure they stay put on each side. 
Apples: Granny Smith apples are best. Sub with Mutsu (Crispin), Pippin, or if you must Golden Delicious. Avoid: Gala, Fuji, or Red Delicious. Look for: smaller, younger, harder apples preferably on the sour spectrum. Apples with a lot of water content will fall apart. If you must use these, cook them for a shorter time. 
Amount: Always get a couple more apples than you’ll need as sometimes they can fall apart even if all the other factors are taken into account.  
Milk: Sub with soy, almond milk, or syrup to mix the stuffing.
Walnuts: Sub with almonds or hazelnuts. 
Sugar: Sub with honey or brown sugar, but only if you must.
Toppings: Top whipped cream with walnut halves (or another nut), or sour cherries.
Cooling: Always cool stuffed apples before adding the whipped cream.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!