Maple Applesauce

8 lbs. tart cooking apples (about 24 medium)
2 c. water
10” stick cinnamon (opt)
3/4 – 1 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Core and quarter apples. In eight-10 quart heavy pot combine apples, water and stick cinnamon if used. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer 25-35 minutes or until apples are very tender, stirring often. Remove and discard cinnamon. Press apples through food mill or sieve. Return pulp to pot. Stir in enough of the maple syrup to sweeten as desired. If necessary stir in additional 1/2-1 cup water to make desired consistency. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Ladle hot applesauce into hot, sterilized pint or quart canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and fasten lids. Process filled jars in boiling-water canner for 15 minutes for pints or 20 minutes for quarts (start timing when water returns to boil). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks. Makes six pints or three quarts.