Tortes Are Us
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This is a recipe based on one by Maida Heatter

12-15 apples, choose a good cooking apple
juice of one lemon
2 cups water
1/4-1/3 cup sugar
1 each cinnamon stick and vanilla bean
optional pinch nutmeg or mace

Peel, core and cut the apples into quarters. Place them in a heavy pot with the juice of one. Then slit the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add it along with its pod to the pot. Next, add the cinnamon stick and the water. Stir.
Cook the apples covered over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the apples begin to soften. Uncover, and with a potato masher or heavy wooden spoon stir and break up the apples but be sure to leavev some chunks. Continue to cook and mash until the apples are tender but not mushy. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar, stir it in well and taste. Adjust the sugar and add nutmeg, mace or cinnamon if desired, again, to taste.