Leaving stems intact, pierce the apples all over with a thin skewer and place in a pot. Cover with boiling water and put a plate on top to keep the apples submerged. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a heavy saucepan combine the sugar and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Transfer the apples to the boiling syrup and stir for