Fall meals are incomplete without apples. If you happen to host a fall dinner, make sure you serve those sweet-tart goods in savoury spices, wrapped up in a blanket of crispy, buttery crust. This will keep the scrumptious apple pie together when you slice it for your guests.
Also, if it’s your first time making a delicious apple pie, you would want to learn how to cut an apple first. Cutting apples for pies is a culinary art that you will have to master. If you don’t get it right, your apple pie will end up having an uneven texture, where some bites taste crunchy and others, mushy.
How to cut an apple for apple pie:
- Peel the apple.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the apple close to the core.
- Slice remaining sides of the apple.
- Remove the core and seeds.
- Dice or slice the apple quarters ¼ inches each or as desired for your pie.
Doesn’t sound that hard, right? A few simple tricks and pictures later in the article will ease up things for you and you will be cutting apples for pies like a pro in no time!
Prepare apples for pies
While preparing apple pies, most of us seem to fret over getting the perfect buttered, flaky crust that we remember our grandmas making. What we forget about in the process is the apple filling itself. Apple pie fillings must be cooked to perfection in order to get the pie just right.
Preparing the best apple pie filling begins with choosing the right apples. Without any further ado, let’s discuss how to select an apple for apple pie.
How to select an apple
- Pick an apple that is firm to hold, with no nicks or bruises.
- Select apples that are crispy and firm, which indicates their ripeness.
- Smell the apple. The apple is likely to be fresh and ripe if it has a gentle aroma.
- Learn the varieties: The yummiest of apple pies are a mixture of sweet apples and tart apples. Combining the varieties will land you with the perfect apple pie.
Now that you’ve gotten a hold of those sweet and tart apple goodies, let’s discuss the tools we need to learn how to cut an apple for apple pies:
- Produce brush- for washing the apples
- Vegetable peeler- for peeling the apples
- Apple corer- to remove the core
- A sharp knife such as paring knife- for slicing the apples
- A cutting board- for easy slicing of apples
- Bowl of water- to prevent apple browning
How to cut an apple for apple pie
Now that you’ve finally mustered up the courage to make an apple pie from scratch, you must know that the best apple pies begin with the best (cut) apples. Those perfect apple slices are key to a successful apple pie bake.
Here are the step by step instructions for cutting an apple for apple pie:
Step 1. Wash and Peel
You would want to wash your apples thoroughly to avoid any dirt or germs getting in the way of your pie. Moreover, peeling right is just as important. If your apple peels are stringy, the apple slices won't mix to the desired consistency that you would want for your pie.
Use a produce brush to rinse the apples and scrub away the dirt. Next, use a paring knife to cut off the top to allow easy peeling. You can use a vegetable peeler or a knife to start at the top of the apple all the way to its blossom.
Step 2. Cut into quarters
Now that you’ve washed and peeled your apples, the next thing you have to do is cut your apples into quarters. Begin by cutting the apple from the part where the stem was, right through to the blossom, close to the apple core.
Repeat on the remaining three sides of the apple. You will now have quarters for each of the apples that you have cut.
Step 3. Remove the apple core
Next, remove the apple core, blossom ends, as well as the seeds from the apple quarters. There are a number of ways you can do this.
You can use an apple corer or a melon baller if you wish to keep the apple intact whilst removing the core. Or, simply cut each side off from the apple.
Step 4. Slice the apple quarters
After you have removed the core, seeds, and blossom ends, you are now left with four pieces of apple quarters of each apple. Position the apple quarters, cut-side down onto the cutting board. Slice your quarters evenly as desired.
If you’re slicing for the first time and can’t figure out how thick or thin to slice, you can slice them evenly, about ¼ inches thick each.
Or, you can dice the apple quarters cross-wise if you want bigger apple chunks.
For thinner slices, simply slice the quarters lengthwise evenly.
Tips and tricks for cutting apples for pie
- Use a melon baller to remove the apple core from the apple quarters, in case you’ve cut too close to the core.
- Slice the apples as evenly as possible to allow them to cook at the same pace.
- Place the cut apples in a bowl of water to prevent them from oxidizing (browning).
Which type of apple is best for apple pie
The perfect apples are those that provide great flavour and texture to an apple pie. Since apples come in a load of varieties, one can have a hard time choosing in order to get that perfect flavour and texture. Also, each variety has a distinct biological makeup that ends up making a pie sweet or tart, crunchy or mushy.
Ideally, the secret lies in mixing and matching the varieties. Here are some of the best varieties that you can mix and match for your apple pies:
The reason we’ve chosen Granny Smith as one of the best apple varieties is because of its signature strong tart flavour, it’s all year round availability, as well as its ability to hold the best shape in an apple pie.
When combined with sweeter varieties, these green goodies give out the best flavour and texture that you can concoct any time of the year!
This fan favourite apple variety is a bit pricey for most, and deserves to be so, too. Not only are they sweet and delicious to eat, but also tend to hold shape well when they are baked.
When baking an apple pie that involves honey crisps, you are bound to get that ultimate flavour and texture which is neither too juicy nor too dry. To top it all, you get to make perfectly cut, nice and clean pie slices when serving.
When talking about the best apple varieties for making apple pies, one cannot forget the Golden Delicious variety. These all year round yellowish goods have a mild flavour that makes them perfect candidates for extra sweet or spiced up pies.
You might want to mix them with firmer apple varieties, however. This is because Golden Delicious tends to get a little mushy when baked.
Last but not the least, the gala apple variety is a beautiful ingredient for an apple pie owing to its floral aroma and the vanilla hints it tends to give out. They neither get mushy in the oven, nor disappoint you in availability since they are there all year round. Talking about flavour, they can be mellow and sweet.
Season the cut apple
Let’s get down to making some delicious apple pie filling. Almost all apple pie fillings call for macerating the apples first before making the pie filling. You can macerate your apples for about fifteen minutes in order to get them nice and firm, as well as bring out their natural juice.
The internet is filled with thousands of apple pie filling recipes. The one we have picked out for you is seasoned with lemon juice, sugar, and other warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg that are not only rich and flavoursome but also the perfect filling for any desert:
Here is a link to the apple pie filling and pie recipe.
What determines a good apple pie?
Now that your apple pie is ready, here is the checklist for determining that your apple pie has been cooked to perfection:
- You’ve got an evenly browned, flaky, buttery crust.
- Your apple pie filling is firm, adequately cooked, as well as smooth.
- You’ve got that perfect, well-blended apple flavour in your pie.
- The shape holds well.
- You get perfectly clean apple slices when you cut your pie.
FAQs on apple pie
How many apples do I use in an apple pie?
Different recipes require different varieties and amounts of apples. As a general rule of thumb, 3 cups of apples means you should buy a pound, which is equal to 4 small or 3 medium sized apples.
How thinly should I cut my apple slices?
You should cut your apple slices evenly, as desired. Most people slice ¼ inches each, which allows even cooking whilst retaining crunch.
How many slices can I cut my pie into?
You should generally aim to cut 6-8 slices of your pie in a conventional 9 inch pie pan.
How long can I store my apple pie filling?
You can store your homemade apple pie filling in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
It’s safe to say, you’ve mastered the art of cutting an apple for apple pie, learned about the different apple varieties and everything in between.So, what are you waiting for? Grab your knife and start cutting those apples just in time for your pie prep. If you’re still looking for a good knife, you can explore our range of hand-forged knives here. Happy baking!