Paring an apple, or removing its peel, is not difficult once you know what to do. However, the sharp knife or vegetable peeler required to perform this task can cause cuts if held incorrectly. Take your time while you are learning how to pare for the first time, and always stop and readjust if you feel your grip slipping.
[Edit]Paring an Apple with a Knife
- Hold the apple in one hand. Hold the apple in your non-dominant hand, keeping it stable against your palm and fingers.
- Learn how to hold a short, sharp knife. Select a sharp knife no longer than the width of the apple, typically between 2 and 4 inches (5–10 cm) long. Hold it in your dominant hand, wrapping your fingers around the handle and the dull, back edge of the knife. Keep your arm straight, with the knife extending outward as though it were part of your arm.
- This type of knife is often called a paring knife, because of their use in this task.
- Hold the knife firmly against the surface of the apple. Hold the blade steady against the fruit by pushing gently against the dull edge of the blade. Make sure your grip on the knife is steady, with no wiggling, but don't strain or press against it.
- Most people start by holding the knife within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the apple's top or bottom, at a point on the round portion of the apple's surface.
- Decide which way to point the knife. The best method for handling a paring knife depends on your level of comfort and control. If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with knife use, or using a larger knife than instructed above, point the knife away from you to minimize the chance of cutting yourself if the knife slips. Once you have had some practice using a paring knife, and you know your grip is firm, you may find you have more control over the knife if you point your knife at a slight inward angle.
- Puncture the apple peel with your knife. Press the apple gently against the knife, until the peel is cut and the knife is resting under the surface of the peel.
- Rotate the apple to remove most of the peel. Turn the apple slowly against the blade of the knife, holding the knife steady in the same position or using minimal pressure to push it against the apple. Keep rotating the apple as the knife removes the peel, turning it in a spiral pattern until all the peel is removed. Leave the flattened ends of the apple alone for now.
- If the knife slips through the peel again, simple place it back onto the apple at any position where peel remains.
- Remove the ends of the apple. The top and bottom of the apple are typically more difficult to peel, due to their uneven shape. Hold the apple down against a cutting board, rounding your fingers into a "claw" shape so your fingertips are pressed onto the apple, but your knuckles are the closest part of your finger to the knife. Slowly press the knife down against the apple end until it is stable inside the apple, then push down hard to cut off the apple end.
- Do not attempt to cut the apple ends if the apple is sliding against the cutting board. Stop and make sure the apple and cutting board are both dry, instead, or try a different cutting board.
[Edit]Paring an Apple with a Vegetable Peeler
- Cut off each end of the apple. This method of peeling is usually much quicker if you remove the uneven ends containing the stem, resulting in two parallel surfaces instead. In preparation for cutting, hold the apple firmly against a cutting board with your non-dominant hand, curling your fingers inward in a "claw" shape. This keeps the tougher skin on your knuckles closer to the blade, which reduces the chance of a painful or serious injury when the knife slips.
- Identify your type of peeler. There are two main types of vegetable peeler. Straight peelers, with the metal section extending straight out of the handle like a knife, is meant to be pushed away from you. Y-shaped peelers have two "arms" forking out from the handle, with the metal blade extended between them. These work with a pulling motion instead. Some people tend to cut themselves more with one type than another, so if you find one peeler difficult to control, try the other type.
- Try holding the peeler like a pencil. You may have a steadier grip on your peeler, especially a Y-shaped peeler, if you place your thumb and index finger on opposite sides of the handle. Curl your other fingers around the handle to make your grip firm.
- Grip the apple, keeping your fingers on the sides. Hold the apple firmly in your non-dominant hand, but keep your fingers on the sides of your apple, not on either end. Leave a wide strip of peel visible running between the two cut ends, with your fingers and knuckles nowhere near this path. Position your apple according to your type of peeler:
- If using a straight peeler, hold the apple so this strip is flat, angled so you can move the hand holding the peeler straight across it without bending your arm uncomfortably.
- If using a Y-shaped peeler, hold the apple so this strip is almost vertical, angled slightly away from you so you can pull the peeler down over this strip.
- Use the vegetable peeler to scrape off the first strip of peel. Double check that the apple and your fingers are in the position described above. Slowly draw the blade of the vegetable peeler from one of the cut surfaces to the other, removing the strip of peel. Remember, push a straight peeler away from you, but pull a Y-shaped peeler down toward you.
- Rotate the apple and repeat. Continue to remove short strips of peel until all of the peel has been removed. Consider holding the apple over a cutting board, bowl, sink, or trash can to catch the peel as you remove it.
- Practice moving slowly for at least three or four apples before you try to speed up. Even if you become comfortable cutting more quickly, switching to a different type or size of peeler may cause injury if you do not slow down and get used to it first.
[Edit]Using Apple Peels
- Turn the apple peels into snacks. Toss the peels with a small pinch of cinnamon and sugar, adding a few drops of water to help the spices stick. Spread out the peels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 120ºC (250ºF) for about 2 ½ hours, or until the apple peels are crisp and curled.
- Make the peels into potpourri. Dry the apple peels for several hours in a dehydrator, or in an oven on the minimum setting. Mix them with spices, perfume, or other scented ingredients to create potpourri mixes. Place these in bowls around your home to cover unpleasant odors or add your own scent to a room.
Add peels to homemade jam. Cut the peels into small pieces and add them to other fruit while making jam. If you have enough peels, apple cores, or other waste fruit, you may not need to add pectin, or reduce the amount of pectin you need to form jam.
- Start a compost. If your cooking creates a fair amount of waste ingredients, consider starting a compost. This can create high-quality soil for your garden, and reduce your impact on the environment. If you do not have a use for the compost yourself, ask your city government whether curbside compost pickup services are available.
- Sharpen your knife before paring to make the task go more smoothly and easily.
- If you cut yourself, wash the cut area immediately to reduce the chance of infection.
[Edit]Things You Need
- Sharp, short knife
- Vegetable peeler
- Any knife
- ↑ http://books.google.com/books?id=-volAgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover
- ↑ http://lifehacker.com/5953696/the-best-way-to-peel-an-apple-for-cooking-or-baking
- ↑ http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/05/video-how-to-use-a-y-shaped-vegetable-peeler-like-a-pencil.html
- ↑ http://www.marthastewart.com/925882/apple-peel-twigs/