You start with apples. If you are lucky enough to have an apple tree, or a neighbor with an apple tree, or are lucky enough to find one growing in the wild, all the better because then your apples are FREE. This time, I bought my apples at a farmers' market for 6.50 a half bushel. Always check farmers' markets for deals on produce. You often get a much better deal than you get in the grocery store. Plus, you get to meet the people who grew your food.
It doesn't matter what variety of apples you use. I like to mix a few different varieties together if I can. I honestly don't even remember what the two varieties I got were called.
Your recipe depends on your method. One way you can do it is peel and core your apples, put them in a pot with a little water or apple juice, add sugar and cinnamon to taste, cook about half an hour until soft (stirring often), and run through a food processer until smooth.
It's really that easy!
I rave often about my Vitamix, another tool I have that makes my DIY life so much easier. It's another one of those tools you can pay for in advance and in the long run, it more than pays for itself. Same concept as buying cloth diapers instead of disposables.
To do Vitamix applesauce, all I do is peel the apples (Although you can leave the peels on, too, if you want, and the Vitamix is strong enough to puree them too. My family doesn't like the taste as much if they're unpeeled, though.)
Then I put the raw apples into the Vitamix, use the tamper a bit to push the apples down into the blades, turn it up to speed 10 and high until it's done. That's it. Applesauce complete.
And I haven't had to stand over the hot stove stirring or worrying that when I walked away and forgot to keep stirring, if the burned stuff on the bottom will make it taste bad. (Am I the only one who does that?)