Quarter apples. Put them in a large, non-reactive pot. Add liquid and star anise (if using), put on lid and bring to a simmer. Let fruit cook for approximately 15-20 minutes, until the fruit has broken down. Use tongs to fish out apple skins.
Remove star anise. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, break down the fruit until it has reached your desired consistency. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Taste and add sugar if you feel it is necessary.
Pour applesauce into your prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and screw on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes for half pints and pints, 20 minutes for quarts.
When time has elapsed, remove jars from canner and let them cool on a towel-lined countertop.
To store, remove rings and keep in a cool, dark place. Applesauce will keep in storage up to one year.