We all love baked apples filled to the brim with goodies, but getting the core out is always frustrating — and using those sharp, serrated coring tools can be dangerous if a slip occurs.
So, here’s a little kitchen tip that really works: Instead of trying to cut and dig the cores out with one of the usual sharp utensils, why not simply push a short length of PVC pipe down through the center of the apple?
Apple season is upon us, and so is the season for entertaining and feasting, but preparing baked apples for a crowd (or even a small family) is an intimidating culinary process — until you try my way of turning this challenging task into a pleasant, easy and quick dessert masterpiece.
This simple tool is cut from standard 3/4″ thin-wall (SDR series) PVC water pipe, so there is nothing to taint the delicate flavor of crisp, ripe apples. The trick is to get the inside cutting edge honed to a 25 degree angle; an easy process if one has the power tools. There is no need for the angled inside cut to form a sharp edge. Leaving a very thin flat shoulder removes the chance of anyone getting cut, yet will go through any apple with a little pressure. Cutting the tapered edge on the inside of the tube prevents the apple from splitting.
To insure each apple sits flat on your cutting board and sits flat inside your bake ware, simply trim the bottoms slightly to remove irregularities. Now that the apple is sitting upright, place the PVC tube over the stem and center it, keeping the tube vertical to insure removal of the entire core and all the seeds. To begin, you must first break the tough skin. Give the top of the tube a whack with the palm of your hand or tap with a clean hammer, mallet or block of wood. Once penetrating the flesh, simple apply enough pressure to push (or pound) the tube all the way through, making sure the tube remains vertical.
When the tube has penetrated the bottom of the apple, simply pull it back out or push it all the way through. To remove the apple core from the tube, all you need is the butt end of a sturdy wooden or plastic spoon and give it a push. Now you’re ready for the next apple. When the coring is all done, simply clean the tube with warm, soapy water, rinse and air dry.
For the recipe showing how to get the delicious filling in the middle to rise, Click here
After a good meal, there is nothing better than a sweet ending, especially if the preparation was uneventful. Using one of the sharp or toothed tools can lead to cuts if the cook isn’t careful — to say nothing about having the little ones help. And digging out the core with a melon baller isn’t much fun. Not a problem with my coring tube.
If you are looking for a dessert that is comparatively light and healthy; apples easily fit that bill. But apples come in all sorts of sizes and types. I prefer sweet Roma apples for baking but they tend to run a bit large for a modest dessert. On the other end of the spectrum are the sour apples. As a compromise, I buy smaller sweet apples (about 2.5″ diameter). They are usually sold bulk in bags and they easily fit inside an 8 ounce ramekin, plus they are affordable. When filled to the brim with nuts or raisins, brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon, the only thing needed to elevate this natural delight to kingly heights is a small scoop of premium vanilla ice cream or a splash of sweetened cream. For my Baked Apple Recipe, My Best Baked Apples
Once you try this nifty kitchen trick you can see why a restaurant might regularly offer succulent baked apples as an affordable yet elegant dessert — especially a restaurant specializing in traditional comfort foods from around the world. Venturing into challenging “homestyle” foods was just one more reason why my restaurant, Cozy Cafe, was critically acclaimed and quickly became one of the most popular restaurants in Whatcom County, WA.
If baked apples are something you enjoy but hesitate to tackle the tricky coring job, I offer the PVC tubes on my Products Page. They make great gifts, and even better “gag” gifts, especially when the recipient has no idea what the simple tool can do to make coring apples a pleasant experience. Imagine giving everyone on your list this unique and simple tool. At first, the questioning look on their faces will be worth the effort, but soon they will be glad they have one in their kitchen.