How to Peel Apples for Cooking and Baking
I love cooking with fresh apples in the fall. The smell of apples baking in warm spices and bubbling in a sugary syrup is almost—I said almost—as satisfying as digging into a slice of Fresh Apple Cake or a serving of homemade apple pie. When I plan to make an apple dessert, however, my hands automatically cramp up when I think about peeling the 4 to 5 pounds of apples necessary for the recipe. It’s well worth the effort, but knowing the easiest way to peel and core an apple can save you a lot of pain.
What You Need
Have you heard about using a power drill to peel apples? It looks simple enough, but you may not like getting apple pulp all over the drill and drill bits. Instead of power tools, you can get the job done with three simple tools: a Y-shaped peeler, a chef’s knife, and a cutting board (to protect your countertops).
How to Peel
Using a vegetable peeler is the easiest and most efficient way to quickly get rid of the skin, but a paring knife can also do the trick.
- Using a Y-shaped peeler, start by peeling off the top and bottom of your apple. This gives you a good start and end point for the rest of your peeling process and helps stabilize the apple by creating a flat bottom.
- Make your way around the apple, peeling away from your body for safety, until the entire apple is peeled.
- Discard the skin of the apple (or reserve the peelings to make Apple Peel and Core Jelly.) You now have a perfectly peeled apple that is ready to be cut.
How to Core
Hollowing out the center of an apple—or coring—can be done a variety of ways, depending on what tools you have on hand. Here are three easy ways to core an apple.
- Use an apple corer: The single purpose of this tool is to core an apple. Just push it through, twist and lift it back out to easily remove the center of your apple.
- Use a melon baller: Cut the apple in half first, then use the melon baller to take out the seeds and create a perfectly round, hollow center.
- Use a paring knife: Take a sharp paring knife and either hollow out a whole apple, cut the apple in half or into quarters, and use the knife to scoop out the centers.