tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
medium-size Granny Smith or other firm, tart apples
cup granulated sugar
cup good French Sauternes
tablespoons red currant jelly
ground zest of 2 lemons
cup raisins (optional)
Mix half of the water and half of the lemon juice together in a bowl. Peel and core the apples and cut them into 1 1/2-inch irregular chunks. As you cut each apple, drop the pieces into the water to prevent discoloration. In a medium-size saucepan with a heavy bottom, combine remaining water and lemon juice, the sugar and the Sauternes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and add the apple chunks. Partially cover and cook gently until apples are just tender; apple chunks should remain whole. With a slotted spoon, transfer apples to a bowl. Add the currant jelly and cinnamon sticks to the syrup remaining in the pan. Set over medium heat, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until syrup is reduced by one third. Stir in the lemon zest. Pour the syrup over the apples. Stir in the raisins, if using. Serve warm or cool, cover and refrigerate.