Peel and core apples. Cut into eights (or quarters if apples are small). Set aside. Pour water and sugar into a wide-based cooking pot, bring to a boil and simmer until sugar dissolves. Insert cloves into some of the apple pieces. Add apples, rose water and food coloring (optional; it tints the apples a pinkish color). Bring to a boil and simmer covered (about 10 minutes). Shake the apples in the pan from time to time. Apples should be soft but retain their shape. Cook uncovered 2-5 minutes longer until liquid evaporates. Apples should not completely dissolve into applesauce. Remove from heat and cool. Remove cloves if desired. Double the recipe for more servings.