Easy to prepare and superior to the commercial kind, freshly made applesauce will keep for weeks in the refrigerator. Use spicy, slightly sweet apples that are on the crisp side, like Northern Spy, Empire, or Idared. This spiced applesauce is a must with roast pork loin or chops, sausages, and schnitzel, and it's perfect with potato pancakes, too.
1Combine the apples, water, cinnamon stick, cloves, nutmeg, pepper, and salt in a medium-size, heavy, nonreactive saucepan. Cover and set over medium heat. When the water begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low and cook the apples until they begin to break down, about 30 minutes; uncover occasionally to stir and prevent sticking. Remove the cover and continue cooking until the apples are chunky but soft, about another 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.
2Put the apples through a food mill for a smooth sauce or mash them with a fork for a chunkier texture. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving hot or cold.