Is it okay to leave the skin on the apples when making an apple pie? I'd like to leave them on, but I wonder if there will be chewy strings of peel or if they will cook tender.
Depends on the apple. Apples with softer skins will bake to a more even consistency, but apples with tough skin (the 'shiny' kinds like McIntosh 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.
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.
Try it with the peel pureed.
I've made a few pies this way and it works well - also adds a bit of color!
- Really thoroughly wash the apples
- Cut-out any bad-spots
- Peel 'em!
- Throw some of the apple-slices in with the peel and blend. Use a stick-blender for best results
- Toss the puree in with the rest of the apple-mix and bake!
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.
There are going to be varying opinions on this, but in general do you like to bake apple desserts with the peels on already? If you already know that you like peels on when baking then you should be totally safe to end up loving the resulting pie!
Do pick an apple variety with softer skin, one that is not super glossy. And you may want to lightly peel or partially peel your apples with your first test pie.
Better Homes and Gardens offers an Unpeeled Apple Pie recipe that looks exactly like a regular apple pie recipe, except that you don't peel the apples. Guess their test kitchen found it edible! I'm about to try unpeeled apple turnovers myself, using my regular recipe. Here's the BH&G link: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/pies/no-peel-apple-pie/
I don't see where it makes that much difference if you peel or not, I've done it both ways and as someone else posted, it saves a lot of time if you aren't standing there tediously peeling an apple. I like to think it saves money too as there is less waste. This idea goes for potatoes and eggplant too, neither of which I peel. I have even made mashed potates with skins on. It's not only more nutritious, it also provides more fiber.
Just ate the worst apple pie ever!
Taste was good, wasn't too sweet, just enough cinnamon and nutmeg, but one bite in and I started to choke... WHAT? An apple pie with the peels on?? Sorry, folks but I don't care if the apples are organic or not - apples should be peeled. If you are so worried about what to do with the peels, cooks them up, cores and all, to make apple sauce - when soft, put the cooked apples through a food mill and enjoy fresh apple sauce!