Applesauce will vary in texture and flavor depending on the variety of apple used. All-purpose apples such as Granny Smith, Rome Beauty, Fuji and Jonagold (as well as many others) produce good results.
8 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into thick slices
1/2 cup water
2 lemon slices
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine apples, water and lemon slices in a large saucepan. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes or until apples are part sauce and with some chunks of apple left. Watch closely and stir often to prevent burning. Applesauce should be thick; add more water if necessary. Leave sauce chunky or put apples and lemons through a food mill or coarse sieve. Stir in sugar to desired sweetness. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve warm or chilled. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to one week. Yield 5 to 6 cups.
To make unsweetened applesauce: omit added sugar and select a naturally sweet variety such as Golden Delicious, Red Delicious or Gala.
To Freeze: Increase spices to twice the indicated amount, as they lose flavor during freezing. Refrigerate until chilled. Pack cool applesauce into rigid freezer containers to within 1/2-inch from the top and seal. Use a container size suitable for your family's needs. To use: thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in cold water for 3 hours. Can be frozen for up to one year at 0°F.
To Can: Pack hot applesauce into clean standard canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal with 2 piece canning lid and screw band. Process jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Remove jars, cool, check seals, label and date. Store sealed jars away from sunlight in a cool, dry place for up to one year.