How to Cut an Apple

How to Cut an Apple

Publish Date June 4, 2024 3 Minute Read

Great for snacking and baking, apples are a fantastic fruit to keep on-hand in any season. And while it’s easy to bite into a juicy apple, it’s not always so clear-cut when it comes to slicing and dicing. Keep reading for a fuss-free guide on cutting apples for any recipe or use.

How to Cut Apples

Learn how to cut an apple and which tools work best for different easy apple recipes.

Helpful Tools & Tips for Apple Cutting

No matter how you’re slicing up your favorite apples, you’ll need a few kitchen tools to get the job done. We recommend having a sharp chef’s knife or paring knife on hand, plus a vegetable peeler if you need to remove the peel. You’ll also need a clean, sturdy cutting board to work on.

Before starting, be sure to wash your apples thoroughly under running water. The FDA also recommends scrubbing firm produce items, including apples, with a produce brush before rinsing and drying thoroughly. And if your recipe calls for peeled apples, take the time to peel the apples using a paring knife or peeler before slicing.

How to Slice an Apple

To cut an apple into slices, you’ll need to make 4 cuts to separate the flesh from the core. To start, place the apple upright on the cutting board with the stem facing up. Place your knife about ¼” away from the core, right where the apple starts to curve, and make a vertical slice down through the apple. Turn the apple 180 degrees and repeat on the opposite side to create 2 halves. Finally, rotate the apple to slice the 2 smaller sides from the core.

Now that you’ve separated the apple quarters from the core, you can cut them into slices. Place each piece on the cutting board with the flat side down, then slice lengthwise. If you’re slicing up an apple for a snack, large pieces about ½” thick are probably ideal. But if you’re going to use the slices in a recipe or to decorate a charcuterie board, you may want to take the time to create thin, even slices for a better presentation.

Sliced apples are great for snacking, but many recipes call for apple slices as well. Classic apple pie is made with apple slices, and you can also use apple slices in galettes and other baked desserts. Cooked or baked apple slices are also great on their own with cinnamon, honey or your favorite sweet seasonings. For more ways to use sliced apples, check out our collection of Easy Apple Recipes.

How to Dice an Apple

To dice an apple, follow the instructions above to create apple slices. Then, stack 3-4 apple slices (or more if your slices are thin) and cut in half lengthwise to create matchsticks. Rotate 90 degrees, then dice into cubes.

Diced apples are ideal for topping salads and yogurt, and can be used in apple pies and apple crisps, too. Many applesauce recipes also call for peeled and diced apples.

How to Keep a Cut Apple from Turning Brown

Due to a reaction called enzymatic browning, apples tend to quickly turn brown once sliced and exposed to oxygen. And while this change in coloring does not affect the safety or taste of the apple slices, it can be visually unappealing.

To preserve the fresh look of sliced or diced apples, try treating the apples with lemon juice. Simply squeeze a sliced lemon over the apples, then let them sit for about 5-10 minutes. Rinse the lemon juice off with cold water to remove the sour taste, then enjoy without any browning.

If you don’t have any lemons on-hand, you can also use honey or salt to prevent browning. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of honey or ½ teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water. Soak the apples in your mixture of choice for about 5 minutes, then rinse in cold water. Apples can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container (which also helps slow down browning) for 3-5 days.

If you’re ready to shop for apples and get slicing, check out our handy Apple Sweetness Chart to learn more about which apples are best for certain recipes and uses. You’ll also find resources below with more shortcuts and tips for cutting apples, plus plenty of apple recipes and ideas on our Meal Planning page.

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Sliced Apple Recipes