Combine the apples, 3/4 cup water, and the lemon juice in a large nonstick pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high hear. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain.
Push the apples through a food mill or strainer to puree and remove skin. Return the applesauce to the pot of water; add the cinnamon,cloves,mace, and brown sugar. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat until the mixture thickens, about 45 to 60 minutes, stirring often.
Cover and refrigerate. Apple butter keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week. Freeze for longer storage.