Recipes @ Apple Corers, Peelers and Cutters

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Apple Corers, Peelers and Cutters

With a few essential tools at your fingertips, you can easily prepare apples for use in a variety of recipes.

Several doors down from my home, I have a neighbor who planted her apple trees more than 23 years ago. And this year, I must say, she has the best crop she's ever had. The apples are so plentiful probably because of the really dry summer that we had—no rain, no mildew resulting in beautiful apples.

At this time of year, thank goodness for the apple corer. The corer I use has a very simple design. To core an apple, place the corer with its "teeth" positioned around the stem of the apple and push it straight through the center of the apple, being careful not to puncture the blossom end. With a twist of the wrist, pull out the core and the seeds. You can easily core all your apples with this tool if you're making pie or brown betty. Save all the cores and peels; they're great for the compost.

If you really want to simplify your task of peeling an apple, first cut off a slice from the top and the bottom. Then, using an apple or potato peeler, peel the apple; it will then be ready to cut into wedges by hand or into very thin fine slices for the top of an apple tart.

Another apple gadget you can use (which I find slightly amusing) is an apple cutter. It's useful only if the apple has already been peeled. To use it, place the tool over the apple and push it down through the apple; the tool will cut the apple into perfect pie wedges. It will also remove the core, but I find that if you peel the apple first, it will slice through the flesh of the apple really well.

Once you've cut into an apple, it will quickly turn brown when it's exposed to the air. To discourage browning, drop the apple pieces into a mixture of acidulated water, water mixed with 1/4 cup of lemon juice. This lemon-water mixture will help keep your apples from turning brown until you're ready to use them in your recipe.

Our tools of the week—an old-fashioned but ever useful apple corer, a potato peeler which really works well for peeling apples, and an apple cutter—will help you prepare apples easily for a variety of dishes.

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