To make applesauce: Peel and core apples and cut into 1 inch. In a large saucepan bring water, apples, and sugar to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft and starting to fall apart, about 25 minutes. Don't cook or mash the sauce until smooth. Applesauce may be made 3 days in advance and kept chilled until you are ready to make the pudding.
In a large heavy skillet melt butter over moderate heat. Once melted, stir in apple juice and bread crumbs. Stir bread crumbs continuously until they are well toasted and golden in color, about 5 minutes.
Lightly spritz a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Place 1 cup of bread crumbs in the bottom, top with 2 cups of applesauce, followed by 1/2 cup of preserves. Repeat layers, finishing with the remaining 1/2 cup of crumbs. Bake pudding 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
Serve pudding warm with optional garnish of whipped cream and additional preserves.