prepare the turkey by fastening the neck skin to the back of the turkey with pins or a skewer. fold the wings to the turkey so the tips are touching.
mix all ingredients in a bowl except for the water, fresh sage, and apples.
on a rack in the roasting pan, place turkey (breast side up). brush with butter mixture. Insert oven proof meat thermometer so tip is in the thickest part of inside thigh and does not touch the bone. Add water to the pan.
cover turkey loosely with foil or the roaster top. Roast for three hours. Uncover; roast 45 minutes to an hour. Turkey is finished when thermometer in thickest part of the bird reads 180°F.