In a large saucepan, bring the apples, lemon juice and zest, sugar, sparkling cider and cranberries to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the apples soften, 20 minutes; stir to break up the apples slightly. Transfer to a bowl; discard the lemon zest. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Make Ahead: The applesauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.