My colleague Laura Helmuth wrote late last year, “The smartest gadget in my kitchen uses 19th-century, Amish-approved technology.” She was talking about her apple peeler-slicer-corer, a bulky tabletop contraption that looks like it belongs in a woodworking shop. Helmuth praised the tool’s ability to make quick work of a dozen apples, which is indeed a boon if you’re in the habit of making large batches of applesauce, industrial-sized crisps, or 19 pies at a time.
But what if you make apple pie only occasionally—like, say, for the Fourth of July? (Note that I do not personally endorse this practice—I think of apple pie as strictly an autumnal dessert—but I am aware that many people observe it.) We all have to make difficult decisions about what to devote our cabinet space to, and in my book, citrus juicers trump apple disembowelers. So here’s how I peel and core apples, sans fancy equipment, when I’m in the mood to make edible Americana.