My favorite applesauce apples are Gravensteins, which is heavily influenced by my grandmother who is an avid apple conneiseur. This is a quarter batch of a larger recipe, because my largest pan is 6 quarts, and can only hold 4 lbs of apples at one time!
I realized after the fact that the silky thick texture was due to using the apple peels. Since the apple peels were blended instead of removed, they add their pectin, which gave the resulting applesauce body that normal applesauce lacks. Happy accident!!
Sterilize 4 pint jars.
Core and quarter 4 lbs of apples.
Add cut apples and 1.5 C water to large pan (6 quarts) and simmer with lid on for about 20 minutes, smooshing apples and stirring occasionally, until apples are soft and falling apart.
Process the cooked apple mixture and 1 vanilla bean (whole) in blender (in two batches) until smooth.
Return mixture to the pan, add 1.5 TB lemon juice and bring up to a small boil. Optional add cinnamon or peeled ginger.
Pour applesauce into sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal with lids, and boil the filled pint jars in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.