This applesauce tastes great spooned over toast or mixed with yogurt.
Peel, core, and cut apples (such as a combination of McIntosh and Golden Delicious) into 1/2-inch thick slices.
In a large saucepan, bring apples and 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add cinnamon stick; reduce heat. Cover; simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Stir in fresh lemon juice and sugar (if desired) until dissolved, about 1 minute. Discard cinnamon stick. Serve warm or chilled (refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week).