Coring can be therapeutic

Over the past few weeks we have been working with pears, apples and quince to make dried fruits, sauces and jams. First, we collect and wash the fruit. We used 18 pounds of apples for this session.

My favorite part of the process is coring. I find it very therapeutic! The core, also known as the endocarp, is the central part of the fruit which contains the pips. For the dried fruit, the core has to be removed. There are a few options for coring. At the Orchard we have a tube-shaped corer. The fruit is placed on a cutting board with the stem facing up. The corer is placed over the stem and pushed through the fruit. The corer is pulled out and the fruit core is emptied in a container for composting. Why was it therapeutic? I found it to be a stress reliever as my mind was one-pointed and I had to be present in each action. The goal is to remove the core in one motion. How to do that?

  • Focus on the fruit. As it lays on the cutting board with stem up, is the bottom at a 180 degree angle?
  • Do I need to make an adjustment and angle the corer to ensure the whole core is removed?
  • Patience is required, along with accurate precision and the right amount of pressure to the tool. Then twist into the apple around the core.
  • Last, pull out the corer and remove the core, then inspect the apple to make sure the entire core has been removed.

If the fruit has to be peeled, such as pears for the sauce, you can put your thumb in the hole where the core was and spin the fruit as you peel.

Next, the cored apples are sliced. The setting on the slicer is 4 for apple dried fruit. The sliced apples are placed on the dehydrator trays. At the Orchard there are 6 dehydrators, varying in size from 9-12 trays.

The trays are placed in the dehydrators. Temperature is set to 135 degrees F, and left for 18-20 hours. Good things happen while you wait! The dried fruits are available for purchase at the Farm Store and online.