I don't eat the stuff that comes in a jar - no offense if you do, but I grew up on homemade applesauce. My grandparents made and froze TONS of it, and kept us well-supplied. I've been making it every fall myself now, and my kids love it, too.
Again, it's hard to call this a recipe, because it's really easy - it just requires some time. There are lots of ways to make it, and lots of things you can do to it, but I keep it pretty simple. Here's my method below, and here's a link from the local paper with pictures and more details.
- APPLES - use whatever kind you like, but I used a mix of Empires, Cortlands, Gala and Macs, I think - it was a mix from an afternoon at an orchard and what we had in the fruit bowl
- a little bit of water
Yep, that's it. That's why it's so good!
Lately, I've thoroughly washed my apples, then cut them into chunks, and removed the cores, and tossed them in (yes, with the skin) my slow cooker with a little water, and let them cook until they were mushy. The nice thing about this is that the house smells awesome, and you don't have to babysit the apples. You can also steam them on the stove, or cook them in a big pot with a little water until they're soft. Just pay attention so you don't run out of water and burn the apples.
Then I use a food mill, and run all the good stuff through, the skin is left behind, and a nice, smooth sauce results. I stir in a little shake of cinnamon, and usually grab a spoon and eat some warm right out of the bowl. You can also peel the apples, cook them, and then use a potato masher, food mill or whatever you like to mash it up. Some people like a chunkier sauce, some like a more smooth consistency. I know some are concerned about the chemicals with the skin, but since it's what I've always known, and since I know how the apples were treated where we got them AND I washed and dried them well, I feel ok with it. Everyone's different, so do what makes you happy.
One trick from my childhood (the family secret!) - my grands used a sprinkle of those red hot cinnamon candies in the sauce, and it turned it a rosy pink color and added to the cinnamon flavor.