Peel and core apples. Cut the apples into pieces and place them in a pot. Add water and sugar and add the optional ingredients if you choose to do so. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring until the apples are soft. Let cool to room temperature. (If you are in a pinch for time you can substitute with store bought applesauce.
In a pan, add breadcrumbs, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Stir constantly over medium heat until breadcrumbs are uniformly toasted and golden. Remove from heat and let cold.
In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff.
Layer applesauce, bread crumbs and cream in one glass bowl or individual bowls. It’s best to have at least two layers.
You can easily make your own nontraditional variations by altering the applesauce by adding raisins or cranberries. One can substitute pears for apples if preferred.