2 1/4 pounds large McIntosh apples peeled, quartered and cored
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Three 1-by-3-inch strips of lemon zest
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sparkling apple cider
1/2 cup dried cranberries
In a large saucepan, bring the apples, lemon juice and zest, sugar, sparkling cider and cranberries to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the apples soften, 20 minutes; stir to break up the apples slightly. Transfer to a bowl; discard the lemon zest. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The applesauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.