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Is it OK to leave the skin on the apples when making an apple pie? With most of the nutrition in the skin this seems like a good idea. I wonder if there will be chewy strings of peel or if they will cook tender.

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A rather subjective question, its down to peoples preference, although i have never bought an apple pie that had skin on. –  dnolan Jul 17 '10 at 21:20
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Cooked peel tends to stick in the teeth in my experience; I always peel. –  Iuls Jul 17 '10 at 21:25
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@dnolan I've also never bought a good apple pie... –  Adam Shiemke Jul 17 '10 at 23:05
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I don't tend to make apple pies for the nutrition. ;-) –  ceejayoz Jul 18 '10 at 1:13

6 Answers 6

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Depends on the apple. Apples with softer skins will bake to a more even consistancy, but apples with tough skin (the 'shiny' kinds like mackintosh or red delicious) tend to get caught in your teeth and throat, and are generally a pain to eat.

If you do make a pie with the skins on, use smaller pieces of apple or slice around the apples to create shorter pieces of peel. These are easier to eat and don't get caught in your mouth as much.

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You can peel the apple and then process the peel like herbs into a fine cut using whatever tool you normally use for herbs, and then re-add it to the mix. Adds flavour, but no funky stringy things –  TFD Jun 13 '11 at 21:29

I always leave on the peel I love how it tastes I also don't remove the skin when I eat a fresh apple. I really don't like any apple pies from the market so I tend to just bake them myself as they are so easy to make and taste totally different from manufactured pies.

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I leave the skins on, slice the apples, and soak them in cinnamon, sugar, and a little salt for a day or two. Then I drain and layer the pie with apples, cinnamon, and sugar several times and bake. I've never had complaints. The skins basically turn to mush but the pie is great, not a sloppy mess. Very nice on a plate, holds well while cutting and serving, and saves a lot of time not peeling apples. That's my .02.

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When making fruit pies your goal is essentially to make a loose jam inside the crust, something that will remain firm and cohesive without resisting fork or tooth. Apple skins are detrimental to this process as they aren't hygroscopic and will prevent the apple pieces from melding with the other pieces on the skinned side.

I'm not saying it's impossible to make a nice, firm apple pie with skins on, but it's far more likely for that slice of deliciousness to collapse on your plate than if you peel them beforehand.

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many popular pies having filling that does need to be so cohesive; steak pie, fish pie, fresh berry pie. It more like a casserole than a jam –  TFD Jun 13 '11 at 21:19

You should peel your apples. If you don't it gets hard and rough and isn't pleasant. The nutritional value is pretty much lost because it gets cooked. Just eat the peel you've got left :)

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While there will be some vitamin loss due to heat decomposition (conversion to indigestible components), most nutrients are useful whether cooked or not. The vitamin C goes down about 60% during boiling/baking –  TFD Jun 13 '11 at 21:27

In my experience cookbooks always tell you to peel the apples, and professional apple pies will always have the peels removed. Cooking at home, though, I often leave them on, especially if I know the apples are organic. I think the peels add flavor and texture, and as you mention, nutrition.

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