Peeling apples has never been a problem for me but cutting the apple into even slices... well, that's another story. I'll just say that I have always had a rustic look to my pie filling! Nothing commercial looking comes out of this kitchen, and that's okay with me. :) But for pies in the jar, I needed a uniform even cut to assure better cooking time. So, I went on the hunt for an apple peeler, slicer, and corer. After a few days of reading different reviews on blogs, store sites, and cooking forums, I decided to purchase a new Pampered Chef slicer.
I was aware that there may be a problem with my apples being to soft to peel, since they were from the McIntosh variety. The apples were in the refrigerator when the unit arrived. I think the chill made them a little tougher, and they peeled, cut, and sliced beautifully. Although the instructions could have been a little clearer (for someone who had no idea what she was doing), it was an easy device to figure out and to clean. No more fingers turning brown from apple juice! Yay!!
You will notice that this apple was not peeled by the machine. I turned the peeling apparatus back and locked it to the left side (nice feature). This apple was done a few weeks after the machine arrived and was very soft. The peel would have gotten stuck in the knife, because the flesh was not firm. Most of the reviewers warned about this potential problem in regards to all the different peelers. The harder the variety- the easier the knife can cut over the outer edge and not gouge into the apple.
**See in the measuring cup to the right... I could cut my slices into little stacks! It went so quick. I flew through the filling preparation. :0)
Here is a friendly tip when using the corer... When skewering the apple with the tines of the machine, think of an imaginary line from the top of the stem to the bottom core. Then, line the center of the tines up to be a part of that line and push the apple on. You may not get perfectly symmetrical slices (remember we love rustic anyways!) , but you won't get any of the seeds or casing. I didn't have one apple that would have worked if it had been put straight on by lining up the outside of the apple.
I remember seeing one of these simple machines back when my son was a baby. All I could think was, "Who would need a gadget like that?" Well, now I have my answer...Me. If you are a person that does a lot of pies in an afternoon, this machine is truly magic. It cuts preparation time down dramatically. It even cuts down on waste by not leaving much left on the core. (I am sure our chickens were disappointed!) I recommend the Pampered Chef brand that I purchased and am sure some of the others would have done wonderfully as well. This little gem is a fabulous find for me and will be indispensable for saving me time in the harvest season.