It is a beautiful fall season in New England. We went apple picking by appointment and it yielded both tart and sweet apple varieties. The wafting smell of simmering apples made the process of peeling and coring the apples worthwhile. Serve your applesauce with yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast, as a snack with some toasted nuts or as a side dish with your main course. I kept it simple with just cinnamon sticks, a pinch of nutmeg and maple syrup as a sweetener. Yum!
Peel, core and quarter the apples. In a medium Dutch oven or large stainless steel saucepan, combine the apple chunks, water, maple syrup, cinnamon stick and nutmeg. Cover and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and falling apart, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat. For chunky applesauce, use a potato masher or a wooden spoon to break it up to your desired consistency. Stir in the freshly squeezed orange juice. Serve the applesauce warm or chilled. Leftover applesauce will keep well in the refrigerator for about 1 week, or for months in the freezer.