Makes about 4 cups
3 pounds apples
½ cup apple juice (optional)
Pinch of salt
Honey or sugar to taste, starting with a few tablespoons only
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground clove (optional)
Fresh lemon juice, if needed
1. Rinse the apples and cut into quarters or big chunks, leaving skins and seeds intact. Put them in a pressure cooker and add the apple juice (1/2 cup water may be substituted). Lock the lid in place, bring the pressure to high, and then reduce the heat to maintain an even pressure for 15 minutes. Release the pressure or let it fall by itself.
2. Pass the apples through a food mill into a clean saucepan. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pressure cooker—the apples may have stuck and caramelized, which adds flavor. For a plain sauce that tastes just of apples, you can skip the final step and go straight to eating!)
3. Add the salt. Stir in the honey, sugar, or other sweetener (such as agave syrup) to taste as well as the cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and clove. If the sauce is too thin, cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Taste again. If it seems a little too sweet and on the dull side, add a few drops of fresh lemon juice to sharpen the flavor.