2 1/2 lbs. apples (see The Story for ideas)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick or 1/2-2 tsp cinnamon
Peel, core, and chop apples. In non-reactive saucepan, mix the juice of the lemon (about 2 Tbsp) and the sugar with the apples; let sit until they exude at least 1/2 cup of juice, about 20 minutes. Add the cinnamon stick or your desired amount of cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick and let cool. Keeps in the fridge for at least a week.
In conversation recently, a friend commented that she didn't know how to make apple sauce. It's the easiest thing; everyone should know how to do it- especially this time of year, when Terhune and Battleview are loaded with fresh local apples.
This is based on Rose Levy Berenbaum's recipe in her book Rose's Celebrations. She likes hers very smooth and does not peel or core the apples first; instead, she uses fewer apples, cooks them longer and then puts the whole thing through a strainer. Not my favorite way, but if it is yours it's certainly easy to do.
Apple choice is pretty wide here. Any good eating or baking apple will do. I often combine types, getting some that do and some that don't hold their shape to create a variety of textures. Also, the more you cook and the smaller the chopped apples are, the softer the sauce will be, so if you like chunky sauce go short in time and big in chopped size. Macoun, Stayman Winesap and Ginger Gold all make a good sauce, especially when mixed together.
Start with less cinnamon than you think you'll want. You can always add more later. Oh, and that stick that you took out? If you'll be making some hot cider in the next day or two, just hang on to it and add it to the mug. (Of course you bought some cider when you went to the farm for the apples!)
A beautiful addition to this is about 1/2 cup dried cranberries, added when the sauce comes up to a boil. They add some color and a little textural interest too.