Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Apple slicer of the Gods

Do you just wash a whole apple and eat it down to the core?

Me too. But for sharing or tasting parties, or for any cooking where it would be handy to have wedges, an apple slicer and corer is quick, elegant, and indispensable.

Sharp blades slice and core.
I started off with a sort of entry-level apple slicer, thin bits of metal soldered together. First thing, I tried it out on a doughty Blue Pearmain. Guess how that turned out.

There are plenty of sturdy slicers available, with nice thick grips and a pleasing ergonomic look. Here's why my slicer of choice, a gift from my sister, mops the floor with all of them.

These gizmos, however buff and sharp, all suffer from the Problem of the Last Quarter Centimeter.

Bearing down only gets you so far.
The blades will not cut through the final bit of peel however hard you lean against your plate or cutting board. They leave the whole ungainly thing still well attached at the bottom.

You can get it eventually but it isn't pretty: those blades are sharp and blood has been known to flow.

My apple slicer solves this neatly with a hinged cutting surface articulated with indentations that push the apple completely past the cutting blades.

Start each apple in the usual way, then swing the hinge almost shut and bear down. The blades finish their work with a satisfying pop.

Articulated bumps on the hinged part finish the job.

The hinge doubles as a protective sheath.

My slicer, a Progressive Wedge and Pop, makes 8 substantial wedges.

If you are feeling less generous, or are making a pie, Progressive makes a 16-slice thin model, also hinged.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review; I have always found those slicers to provide me with a substandard experience, but the Progressive looks like it has solved some of the issues.

    I must point out that if you are making a pie, you would certainly want to peel the apples first. With the peel off, the final few mm is not as big a problem since the slices can come apart more easily.

    Another problem I had with slicers was that they cut the wedges too big for pie (the spiral slicers cut too thin in my opinion). The 16 wedge slicer looks promising for that application, if used after a peeler.

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    1. Certainly not an all-purpose appliance, though I think the 16-slicer might be acceptable for pie. When I cook with apples, which is not that often, I usually want fairly thin slices, not wedges.

      The slicer is first-rate for tastings and sharings.

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    2. You might certainly want to peel apples for a pie, Holly. But I usually like to leave them on. Of course it depends on the type of apple and recipe. One of our recipes calls for pre-roasting the apples, which also softens the peel a little.

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    3. I often leave the peel on particularly for crumbles. If I've used that apple in baking and it has worked well with peel on I have not qualms using it peel on in pie. It often lends a nice pink tint if the apple is red.

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  2. Replies
    1. Indeed! It is the envy of my apple-loving friends and colleagues, I find.

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  3. I've owned various apple slicers in life and had completely given up on them. Simply due to the fact that they would get dull over time, rust, and mold in places that was hard to wash and keep clean. apple corer

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  4. That looks like a good slicer/corer. I have also found most of these devices to be lacking, so I use a paring knife if I want wedges. I especially like a bird's beak knife for this.

    Another similar tool that I have come to prefer is an apple corer (no slicer). We use one we got from Lee Valley, which is sturdy enough for hard apples and has a hinge to eject the core (http://www.leevalley.com/us/garden/page.aspx?p=73345&cat=2,40733,40734)

    Of course my antique White Mountain corer/spiral slicer is hard to beat.

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    Replies
    1. @Steve,

      Do you mean this one?

      What won't they think of next!

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