Techniques

Peeling and Chopping Apples

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This basic skill is all too often done in a wasteful and inefficient manner, which I find highly annoying. It is such a tedious job that I want to get the most yield for the least amount of effort.

Peeling is best done with a peeler. Do not try to impress me by peeling off the skin in one long strip, like your granny taught you. That method takes too long, and removes too much of the useable fruit.

Coring an apple is not necessary, unless the recipe is meant to keep the apple intact, as in baked apples. Apple cores are rarely perfectly symmetrical, so the coring tool usually ends up taking more apple out of the center than necessary. It’s better to slice the apple core out as needed.

For apple wedges, peel, then quarter the apple. Lay each quarter on its side and slice the core out at an angle.

Dicing an apple can be a little weird, because its round. Slice one side off as close to the core as possible. Lay the apple flat so that it doesn’t roll, slice off remaining sides close to the core, then dice to the size you need.

Apples will begin to oxidize once cut. To prevent the apple from browning, you can submerge it in acidulated water (water with a bit of acid added, usually lemon juice). This process is good for apples that are going to be used raw. But apples that will be cooked do not need to be acidulated. Cooking will turn them brown anyway, and soaking in water will cause them to absorb unwanted water, which can muck up some recipes.

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