Tools such as this hand-cranked apple peeler and heavy-duty apple corer make prep work for apple baking a cinch.

When I decided to start trying the recipes for Tehachapi apples published in the 1979 edition of The Original Tehachapi Apple Book, I knew I was going to need some help. Prepping apples for baking can be a tedious chore. Coring, peeling, slicing, dicing and grating the apples needed for twenty-some recipes was going to be a big job.

The small coring tool on the left wasn’t up to the volume of apples I need to process, so I upgraded.

I started out with what I had on hand — a simple push-down coring tool. It worked, but it wasn’t easy. I soon upgraded to a heavy-duty version of the same concept (I chose this one from Mueller) and it made a big difference.

The corer worked great, but I still needed to peel the apples. For this, I employed an old-fashioned hand-cranked peeler. It took me a while to get the hang of it. Depending upon how you position the knife the peeler will remove the peel or also spiral-cut the apple.

My hand-cranked apple peeler will also core and spiral-cut an apple.

A third tool I tried was a hand-cranked grater that I sometimes use for cheese. You’ll see in this photo that I put a spiral-cut and peeled apple into the grater. That worked but was a little messy. I decided to try just quickly cutting my peeled and spiral-cut apple into smaller pieces.

I tried using this hand-cranked grater but found it easier to just finish dicing my peeled and spiral-cut apples by hand.

After the apple is peeled and spiral-cut, it’s quick and easy to make additional cuts to get pieces to the desired size.

I’ll admit that I was a little intimated by the prospect of prepping so many apples, but after a few tries I’ve got it down.

Another tip: As you may know, apples start to brown after they’re peeled. In another article, I’ll write about ways you can prevent this, but I’ve found that the best way is to have all of my other ingredients ready so I can use my peeled and sliced, diced, or grated apples as quickly as possible.