Select nice tart apples; wash, drain, cut out the blossom end of each so that the little black particles will not get on to the fruit. Pare as thin as possible. When all are pared, cut into quarters, and core by cutting from both stem and blossom end downward to the center, just below the core. After coring, throw enough quarters into the kettle (granite, porcelain or aluminum) to about cover the bottom, and turn the quarters core side down. Then arrange another layer in the same way and continue until all are in. Pour boiling water over to half cover the apples (more or less according to the juiciness of the apples), cover kettle and set over hot fire. Cook without removing cover until apples are perfectly tender; remove from fire at once, stir in a little sugar if desired and a trifle of salt. This method gives a nice white well cooked sauce with a fresh apple taste. Placing the apples as directed causes them to cook tender quickly and evenly. The salt improves the flavor unless too much is used.
When apples are small or knotty, cook without paring, rub through colander and add a little sugar.
Place quartered apples in pudding dish as for apple sauce. Sprinkle delicately with sugar between the layers and over the top. Pour water in at the side of the dish so as to leave the sugar on the top. Cover and bake for several hours until the apples assume a rich red color.