Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
While the oven is warming, place a bounty of fresh Hewes apples in a baking dish, piled high to keep them from drying out during the cooking process (tenting the apples with foil is a helpful option).
Slow roast the apples for at least 2–4 hours—the longer the better—turning them gently every 30-45 minutes. Soon, the kitchen will be filled with warmth and the fragrance of autumn.
When ready to serve, increase the oven to 375 and roast them for 20–30 minutes longer. The skins will split and the flesh brown — bring them to the edge of burnt, without burning them. Remove the apples from the oven and pass them through a food mill to separate the sweet, roasted flesh from the stems, seeds, and skins.
The flavor of this applesauce is exceptional on its own, paired with a savory dish, or as a perfect finish to a fall meal. A topping of Walpole Sweet Cream Ice Cream or Strafford Sweet Guernsey Cream will send it over the top for a simple and rustic seasonal dessert.
Serve warm, or place the finished applesauce in glass jars to be canned and preserved.
The Hewes Crab Apple has a storied history in America as a cider apple, but a long, slow roast will caramelize its sugars, yielding a complex flavor that is perfect for applesauce.