My sister and her husband go to an apple orchard every Fall. They go to a U-Pick so that they can pick a variety of apples. She told me that the nice thing about going to pick their own apples is that you can pick the type and size you want, and the best thing is that the apples are tree-ripened.
When they go to the orchard, they wait for the wagon to arrive and get a ride to the aisles and aisles of trees -- which is a great afternoon trip for kids! By the time it's time for them to go back, they will have picked three bags of apples that they will use to make pie and sauce, and just in general to eat. She never remembers which apples to pick, but her husband does. It's important to pick the right type of apple especially for baking because you want the right consistency for what it is that you are making. Her husband is the baker, and so he makes apple pie using cortland or gala apples. He doesn't pre-cook them, he just peels them and slices them thinly.
As they recently had a baby, this Fall the baby will be starting on solids. They intend to put the baby in his carrier (since a stroller wouldn't be able to go on the wagon ride), pick some apples, take lots of pictures, and make some apple sauce using their Vitamix. Traditionally they would make the apple sauce on the stove, but since they have a Vitamix and a lot less time on their hands now a days they are going to try that this year.
Applesauce in general is very easy to make, and you can use whichever apple you like best. It just depends on whether you like something sweet or tart. If you choose a sweeter apple then you can avoid using sugar. I personally use whichever apple I have, which is usually red delicous.
TO make Applesauce, I keep it nice and simple. I peel and core the apples and cut them into quarters. Then I put them in a pot and add water until it covers up to 1/3 of the apples. I bring it to a boil and then turn the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid until the apples are tender. (about 10 minutes) Next, I blend it all up with a hand blender and add a pinch of cinnamon. You can make as much or as little as you would like!