We like to use a combination of McIntosh apples and deep-red varieties, such as Empire or Cortland. The former bring classic flavor and the latter a beautiful color.
Combine apples, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 cups water in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are completely soft, about 40 minutes.
Pass apples through a medium-mesh sieve or a food mill fitted with the fine disk to remove skins. Applesauce can be stored in refrigerator up to 1 week, or in freezer up to 3 months. To can applesauce, follow these instructions.
White Applesauce: Peel apples before cooking.
Sweet Applesauce: Add 1/4 cup sugar to apple mixture in step 1 before cooking.