Loosely adapted from Elise
4 lbs cored, and quartered apples, like Ginger Gold, Macintosh, Cortland (you can peel them first, but I like fishing the peels out with tongs, later once cooked because I find it to be much faster than peeling – read on)
4 strips of lemon peel – use a vegetable peeler to strip 4 lengths
Juice of one lemon, about 3-4 Tbsp
1 cinnamon stick (or 2 short ones, in my case)
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
1 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Put all ingredients into a large pot, cover it, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat, and let the ingredients simmer for 30 minutes. The apples should be quite soft at this point and falling off the peels. You should be able to take your tongs and fish out the apple peels one by one – it should take you about 5 minutes, as opposed to however long it takes to peel the apples. I find that the “fishing out” is significantly less time consuming. Call me lazy.
Remove the apple sauce from heat and discard cinnamon sticks and lemon peels. Mash with potato masher until apples become pureed-looking with tiny little lumps. If you like your apple sauce to be silky smooth, you may puree it in a food processor, but I like mine slightly chunky.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
You can also freeze apple sauce and use as needed. Frozen it should last up to a year, but with apple sauce this good, you can hardly expect it to linger in your freezer that long.