6 lbs. apples (Jonagold, Jonathan, Pink Lady recommended)
1½ cups water
6 tbsp. sugar
Pinch of salt
3 cinnamon sticks
Peel, core, and roughly chop the apples into large chunks (about 1½-inch pieces). Add the apple pieces to a Dutch oven with the water, sugar, salt, and cinnamon sticks. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-heat. Cover the pot and continue to cook at a simmer until the apples begin to break down, about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, mashing the apples. Remove the cinnamon sticks. If desired, transfer to a food processor and puree until a smooth consistency is reached, adding water if necessary to thin it out. Alternatively, simply mash with the wooden spoon for a coarser texture, adding water as needed.