So much better than store-bought, this applesauce is delicious on it's own as a snack, but can be used as a sauce or ingredient in any recipe—sweet or savory.
Combine apples, apple cider, cinnamon, vanilla bean, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, sugar, and lemon juice in a large, wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Place the saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching, until apples are broken down and saucy, about 50 to 60 minutes. Mash any large pieces of apple with a large wooden spoon to help them break down. Adjust seasoning to taste with more sugar and spices. Remove the apple mixture from the heat, and let stand to cool completely before serving, discarding cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod.