I love apple season because apple season means apple cider, fresh apple sauce, apple curry, and apple desserts. An apple peeling gadget can be a wonderful thing to have in your kitchen during apple season. It makes apple sauce and apple pie making a much quicker process.
Recently, I received an e-mail from STARFRIT USA about one of their companies products, the Starfrit Apple Pro-peeler. I was curious to compare the Starfrit peeler to the Norpro Apple Master which I've been using for years, so I asked Starfrit if they would be willing to send me one to review and then also give one away to one of you and they kindly agreed! (Giveaway details come later in the post after my review and an apple recipe!!)
I grew up watching my mom use the same a Norpro Apple Master. Then when I got married, she gave me my own.
I love this gadget because it does a beautiful job of peeling the apples and cores and slices them at the same time. I used to love to eat the peel when my mom was done peeling an apple. I'm not normally a peel fanatic, but there's something about eating a thin ribbon of peel that turns the peel into something special and delicious.
I also love how it slices the apple into a long thin spiral. The Norpro can (1) peel, core and slice; (2) peel only; or (3) slice and core only. It's made of a rust-free, tool-grade cast alumininum frame. The blade is made of stainless steel and can be replaced.
The downsides to the Norpro are that it can be a pain to clean because of all its little nooks and crannies and handwashing it is recommended. It also currently retails on Amazon.com for $27.99, which is a bit steep for something you may not end up using very often.
The Starfrit is slightly smaller and is made mostly of plastic, so it is much lighter than the metal Norpro.
The blade on the Starfrit peeler is also stainless steel, and the peeler comes with 2 spare blades as well as plastic protectors for the blades and for the spike holder (that you push the apple onto). The Starfrit was easy to use and made quick work of peeling apples.
It was very easy to clean (the directions say to clean it with a wet soapy cloth) because it didn't have as many nooks and crannies.
The downsides to the Starfrit are that I wished that it also cored the apples, as well as peeling them, though the peeler also comes with a combination apple slicer/corer.
I also wonder how well it will hold up in the long run compared to my sturdy Norpro which could easily last for years if well taken care of. One huge selling point (in my book) of the Starfrit is the price. It currently retails on Amazon.com for $15.20, almost half the cost of the Norpro.
In the end, the best peeler for you depends on how much you are willing to spend and what you are going to use it for. As soon as someone designs a gadget that also has the option to peel and core, without slicing, then that will be the best peeler in my book.
So now that I've got all these peeled apples, what to make with them? I was in the mood for something simple, so I whipped up some fried apples and spooned them over some vanilla bean ice cream. Pure heaven!
There are lots of recipes out there for fried apples, but the way I do it is by melting a bit of butter in a 10-inch non-stick skillet,
and then sprinkling a layer of brown sugar over the butter,
followed by the apple, which I slice into thin wedges,
and then stirring the apples so that they get coated in all that buttery sugary goodness until it forms a syrup.
Then I sprinkle some cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt over everything,
and keep stirring until the apples get fork tender and the syrup is thick and yummy.
You could just eat these apples by themselves after they've cooled a bit,
Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 medium apples
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1. Peel and core the apples and then slice them into 1/4-inch wedges.
2. Melt the butter in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the butter has fully melted, sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter and then quickly place the apple slices in a single layer on top of the brown sugar. With a wooden spoon, stir the apples to coat them in the butter and brown sugar. Continue to stir the apples. When the butter and brown sugar have formed a syrup, sprinkle the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt over the ingredients in the pan and stir to incorporate.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir the apples until they are fork tender and the syrup has reduced and thickened slightly. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the apples cool for several minutes. Serve alone, or as a topping for ice cream.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS!! *Contest now closed*
Starfrit wants one of you to be able to try out the Apple Pro-peeler too!
In order to enter this giveaway, leave a comment below telling me what your favorite apple dish is. This contest is only open to those with a US address (but I still love my international readers!). Make sure you leave a way for me to contact you, otherwise I'll have to choose a new winner! I will keep the comments open until Thursday, October 29th, 2009, 10 pm PST. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator (random.org) and will be announced on Friday, October 30th, 2009!
** Starfrit is on Facebook! Become a fan here. If you scroll down their Facebook page, there is a link to a video of Chef Curtis Stone cooking with Starfrit products . . . I have a total foodie crush on him (gotta love that accent!).