There are a number of time-consuming kitchen tasks that are not fun (or at least I do not think they are fun)—washing dishes, cleaning gritty greens, planning meals.
Peeling apples, on the other hand, is time-consuming yet enjoyable. It's meditative, almost.
I like taking each apple and slowing twisting a paring knife around its curves, resulting in one, long, tangle of a peel. And for unhitched folk, I imagine flinging the curly scraps over one's shoulder in order to discern the first initial of their future partner would be fun, too.
(If you’re in a rush, it is possible to peel an apple in 3 seconds using a power drill, however, I make no claims about your mental state—or the state of your countertop—when using this method.)
Of course whichever way you get your apples prepped for apples pies or applesauce, you’ll be left with a lot of these peels, and cores as well—don’t pitch either of them! Junior Software Engineer Micki Balder has the perfect use for apple scraps: Apple Peel Tea.
Think of it as less of a precise recipe and more of a jumping off point for you to create your own versions of this tea. As she notes in the description, it’s highly adaptable (use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar; add the cinnamon stick at the beginning; leave out the cloves; and so on) and she admits that she makes it differently every time.
I enjoyed it exactly as written, but do plan to play around with the next batch and add a chunk of ginger.
Makes 3 cups
The peels and cores of 5 apples
4 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
Know of a great recipe in the Food52 archives that uses an overlooked kitchen scrap (anything from commonly discarded produce parts to stale bread to bones and more)? Tell me about it in the comments: I want to know how you're turning what would otherwise be trash into a dish to treasure!
Photos by James Ransom