How to Peel an Apple

Get fall ready by learning how to peel an apple the right way.

By Sasha Weilbaker
Aug 22, 2022
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Throughout the United States and beyond, apples are a favorite as both a snack, and in a dish. To many, however, the best way to consume apples is to bake with them.

Whether you’re baking an apple pie, putting together an apple cobbler, or taking a leap to make apple cider donuts, peeling the apple is an important part of the baking process. Leaving the skin on in baked goods can provide unwanted taste and texture, which prevents the apple flavor from shining through.

Here, we’ll go into choosing the best apples for baking, as well as how to peel an apple the right way.

How to Choose the Right Apples

With about 100 different varieties of apples grown commercially in the United States each year, it can be difficult to know which apple to choose for baking, and which to save  for eating. It’s generally understood that firm apples are better  for baking, as they don’t immediately dissolve during the baking process and maintain their shape and flavor. Examples of firm apples that are well-suited for baking include Cortland, Honey Gold, Fuji, and Gala. If you’re using a recipe, it’s likely that it will specify which apples to use.

On the other hand, the best apples for eating depend on your preference. For those that prefer tart apples, you may want to choose Braeburn, McIntosh, or Jonathan. If you prefer sweet apples, choose Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp.

How to Peel Apples With a Paring Knife

Peeling an apple is crucial for baking with them, as apple peels get in the way of enjoying the delicious fruit in your baked goods. Here we will discuss how to peel an apple with a Paring Knife.  To get started, make sure that you have a sharp Paring Knife on hand, as well as the apples you’re planning to bake with.

Step 1: Peel the Apple

Holding the apple in your non-dominant hand, press the Paring Knife into the skin, near the bottom of the apple. Keep the apple steady in your non-dominant hand while you peel the skin off the apple in one strip.

Step 2: Remove Any Missed Skin

Once you’ve peeled a majority of the skin off of the apple, you may have to go back to peel off any smaller bits of skin you missed with the Paring Knife.

Step 3: Core the Apple

Finally, core the apple by slicing the peeled apple into quarters around the core. To get more of the fruit off the core and avoid seeds, you can make crescent-like cuts around it.

How to Peel Apples With a Peeler

Similarly to using  a Paring Knife, peeling an apple with  a vegetable peeler removes the skin that is unwanted when baking. To get started, gather your apples and the same vegetable peeler that you’d use for vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and potatoes to peel your apples.

Step 1: Peel the Apple

Hold the apple in your non-dominant hand, while holding the vegetable peeler in your dominant hand. Use the vegetable peeler in downward strokes to peel the apple. Peel away from you, rotating the apple until you have peeled the whole thing.

Step 2: Core the Apple

Just as you would core the apple after peeling it with a Paring Knife, cut the apple into quarters around the core and use crescent-like cuts to get the rest of the usable fruit off of the core, taking care to remove any seeds.

How to Use Peeled Apples

Peeled apples can be used in a variety of dishes, from sweet desserts like apple pies and apple tartes to savory main dishes like pork chops with apples and radishes.

Ready to Cook?

Now that you know how to peel and core apples, it’s time to get started! Be sure to try Claire Saffitz’s Classic Apple Crumble Pie, an easy-to-make dessert that’s perfect for fall. The oat-flecked crumble avoids the intricacies of making and shaping the doughy crust of an apple pie, while still serving fall delight with a cinnamon-y filling.

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