For years, I’ve been making apple pie with Second Thanksgiving. I make it the day before, it’s an easy recipe, it’s good. Very straightforward.

But I’m always left with apple peels, because I peel the apples. And I like apple peel, but not that much of it, so I’ve experimented a bunch of times with the leftover peels, trying to see what I could make. And it’s never been worth mentioning. I’ve tried toasting them, I’ve tried sautéing them in brown sugar, I’ve tried a lot of stuff.

This year I finally pulled it off.

Peelings Managed

Apple-peel tarts. One eaten; other four in the fridge for the morning. Surprisingly tart with softened peels. Recipe:

  • Flatten leftover crust dough on parchment paper, very thin. Cut into strips and lay a couple into each tart cup.
  • Get a long spiral of apple peel, and lay across bottom of cup. Add a few leftover apple pieces from the pie filling, and wind in the rest of the spiral.
  • Add pieces of leftover apple, again from the pie filling. It’s important that the apple and peel mingle, I think.
  • Put in oven with pie, after the initial higher-temperature 10 minutes are over. For me, this means as reducing the oven from 450F to 350F.
  • After 10 minutes, move to a second oven (or toaster oven) at 300F.
  • After 20 more minutes, add about 2 tablespoons apple cider. (New and critical!)
  • Allow to bake for 10-15 more minutes; judge it by eye, you want the cider to boil down a bit in the oven.

The peel came out soft and tart and delicious. The apple chunks (about half of it) retained their shape and were sweet and yummy. The crust strips add a third texture and also absorb candied cider flavour.

I’m really hoping it holds up in the morning. Fingers crossed.

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