Place the cabbage and hot water in a pot. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the onions. Cook for about 7 minutes or until onions are tender. Add the apples and cook for 3 minutes more stirring often.
Add the cabbage, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir well and cover the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes more.