My new (apple) best friend

My new best friend? Not my daughter, although she is wonderful, but at almost seven I can’t call her brand new. No, its the apple peeler that is my new kitchen buddy. After Debbie’s comment (Thank you, Debbie!) about apple peelers, I took another look at the apple peeler contraptions. After some reading around, I took the plunge and ordered one. Within 24 hours (and I didn’t even pay for fast delivery!), it arrived and was on my kitchen counter, devouring a basket of apples.

The children are very keen to help, all of a sudden, and make friends with this gadget . They queue up and complain if one sibling has a longer go. My windfall apples are disappearing, at an amazing rate. The only bottle neck, in the processing line now, is available pots to cook them in. Not a complaint, I assure you!

When I looked at these a few years ago, I hadn’t appreciated that they not only peel, but they core and slice. So, so quick. Where before I would use the hand peeler, then the kitchen knife and board to core and slice, this amazing, no battery, hand-cranked engineering marvel does it all. Do you get the feeling that I like it? Also, the apples have less time to turn brown as they are sliced and ready in no time, compared to the old system. I know that I could sit them in salt water while they waited, but I seldom did, as I quite often did this on my lap.

Each apple is taking about half, maybe a third, of the time to process, using the apple peeler. After some quick calculation, I reckon that if I costed my time at the UK minimum wage rate, then I have more than paid for this little device in the first two evenings of use.

To celebrate, I made apple and cinnamon muffins from the Muffin Magic book. It called for cinnamon butter to be served with it, but as I had no icing sugar, I went for plain old muffins. Glad I did, as they didn’t really need it.

Turns out that the book’s food stylist, used the same muffin cases as we had.

The tray of muffins disappeared, almost as fast as my windfall apples were prepared. Apparently, it’s not just my apple peeler that is popular. Even dh complimented the muffins. “Best yet” coming from him is pretty good. Usually I get a “better than shop bought” or “fine”. Not sure which is the better of the latter two, but “best yet” has got to be among the medals.

I still have one tree of cooking apples groaning under a colossal weight of apples and one tree with eaters ready to be packed. The other trees are harvested already. I think another tray of muffins my just entice the family to join the final leg of the apple harvest. Who knows.

Maybe this year I’ll even pick some of the crab apples behind the garden for jelly making. And then there are rosehips…..oh and the blackberries… still some of them in our hedge…..I’ve got late raspberries. Hmm. That’s a whole lot more trays of muffins I’ll need to make, if I’m after help from the family.

24 thoughts on “My new (apple) best friend

    • Monday 24 October, 2011 at 8:55 am
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      AJ can certainly vouch that they are tasty! I’m not sure that she didn’t have more than everyone else!

  • Sunday 23 October, 2011 at 5:06 pm
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    We like making Dorset Apple cake with apples we pick from some fields near us because …umm… we’re from Dorset!!!!

    • Monday 24 October, 2011 at 8:59 am
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      I love making apple cakes. I have recipes for Somerset and Dorset, which we use. So good to use local, fresh produce. 🙂

  • Sunday 23 October, 2011 at 5:24 pm
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    That apple peeler looks like a serious peice of kit and lots of fun to use. I’ve never seen one before, not a mechanical one anyway, it sounds like you still have a fair bit of fruit to harvest, I used to love helping at the farm with the apple picking, pity I don’t live a little nearer.
    lily x

    • Monday 24 October, 2011 at 9:04 am
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      Complete convert. With the number of apples we grow each year, it really does make sense for me to have one of these in the kitchen. I’m wondering why I left it so long. We tend to make an afternoon of picking the apples from this last tree. Many hands make light work, but more are always welcome. 😀

  • Sunday 23 October, 2011 at 5:27 pm
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    That’s AMAZING! I think we have similar taste in friends 😉

    • Monday 24 October, 2011 at 9:06 am
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      Some kitchen gadgets become permanent fixtures, even if its just once a year. I think that this is one of them. I love it as it is so simple, but ingenious. Like a spinning wheel!

  • Sunday 23 October, 2011 at 5:28 pm
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    Those muffins look seriously good. Mmm, now you have got me thinking about muffins…
    And aren’t the metal apple machines fab. Both the girls playgroups had them, and naturally this meant most of the kids would choose to bring an apple for snack, just so they could use the peeler!

    • Monday 24 October, 2011 at 9:10 am
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      My children struggled with the original hand peeler. The skin of our cooking apples are tough. With this gadget, they can do it very easily. Not many people who will turn down real help in the kitchen. Especially when its coupled with training teaching the children. 😀

  • Sunday 23 October, 2011 at 6:14 pm
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    Well, that’s it then! I was reading the post, thinking ‘Can I justify buying one of these for my playgroup?’ and Fiona has answered my question.
    Lovely photos, too. The muffins look delicious.

    • Monday 24 October, 2011 at 9:26 am
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      It feels quite sturdy. From the comments on Amazon, I wasn’t sure how long it would last. Like everything, if its treated properly, I think it should survive may Autumns. I use it on my granite kitchen surface (not in photo) and it sticks like a limpet. I can imagine this being very popular at a playgroup, judging by my 4, 6 and 9 year olds reaction.

  • Sunday 23 October, 2011 at 10:43 pm
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    Wow, I am in total awe of that peeler/slicer/corer, what a piece of kit, where did it come from and was it expensive? I definitely need one in my life! Loving the look of those muffins too, the book looks fab, I must get a copy, any chance of posting the recipe in the meantime, those cakes look too good to wait for! I must also look to see if any blackberries remain, I always think I have ages to collect them and then the season is over all too fast.

    • Monday 24 October, 2011 at 9:48 am
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      I got it from Amazon. They have a number of different ones on there. Quite reasonable price, especially if you are like me and hoping not to spend every evening for the next few weeks peeling. For me, definitely a good investment! I love this muffin book. The recipes are do-able and some of the profits go to Battery Hen Welfare Trust. It is a british book, so the ingredients are probably in the kitchen cupboard already, and it uses cups and grams for measuring. I would love to share the recipe, but as its not my recipe and the book is in print, I don’t have permission. 🙁 There are plenty of wonderful recipes – sweet, savoury and adult (!), so I can recommend the book.

  • Monday 24 October, 2011 at 2:14 am
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    Oh I love peelers like that! My in-laws have one and my son uses it as often as he can when he visits. I should really order one myself.

    And those muffins look so good!

    • Monday 24 October, 2011 at 9:48 am
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      I love the simplicity of this gadget. It definetely has child-appeal!

  • Monday 24 October, 2011 at 3:51 am
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    Catching up on all the lovely here. Acorns, apples, etc. That peeler looks like fun. And I swear those muffins look so delicious I could almost smell them.

    • Monday 24 October, 2011 at 9:51 am
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      Oh, they do smell gorgeous. Apple and cinnamon are my Autumn smell. Best warm from the Aga!

    • Tuesday 25 October, 2011 at 7:20 am
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      Beats the washing up! I’m no longer putting off doing the apples. 🙂

  • Monday 24 October, 2011 at 8:24 pm
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    I have looked at those apple peelers before and wondered if they were as good as the brochure said they were – I think it might be just the thing we need as we have a whole orchard of Bramleys!

    Pomona x

    • Tuesday 25 October, 2011 at 7:32 am
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      Oh my. An orchard. You might need something more industrial. Our cooking apples are Bramleys. This gadget breezes through them, but it will probably take a month of Sundays to go through a whole orchard using it. 😀

  • Tuesday 25 October, 2011 at 11:39 pm
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    I’m so glad you bought an apple peeler. I did think how useful one of those would be when you were talking about all the apples you had to peel. They are fabulous and I’d buy one in a flash if I had a surplus of apples too. The muffins look delicious, and isn’t it nice to receive a compliment from DH. 🙂
    Have a great day,
    Anne xx

    • Wednesday 26 October, 2011 at 1:58 pm
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      The peeler is wonderful. It really is making light work of the apples. My original hand peeler is becoming a distant memory. The muffins are good. I’ve made another tray already. And they too are gone. 🙂

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