9 apples (use a mix – maybe Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Granny Smiths), peeled, cored, and chopped into 1-inch cubes
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise pods
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 strips lemon peel
Put all the ingredients in a large, heavy pot with a lid. Turn the heat to medium-low and partially cover. Cook for an hour or so, stirring occasionally. Once the apples are soft, turn the heat off, cover the pot, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Stir the apples with a wooden spoon to break them up. Leave the sauce chunky, or mash it with a potato masher or the back of a fork.