I saw apple slices cut with a checkerboard pattern in a magazine when I was a kid and always wanted to make some myself. I finally decided to give it a try and was really impressed with the results. The checkerboard pattern looks pretty cool and would be impressive at a family picnic, a dinner with friends, or even in a child's lunchbox.
It may seem labor intensive and time consuming but making these really isn't that hard and doesn't take too long once you get the hang of it. You could even carve deeper into the apple when you remove squares so that the colored squares stand higher for a more dramatic look.
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What you need:
-small bowl of water with a few drops of lemon juice mixed in to stop the apple from browning
-a succulent and/or luscious apple
I like the way red apples look with the checkerboard pattern but you could use green as well. When choosing an apple be sure that there will be nice contrast between the skin and the flesh so that the pattern shows up well (those weird yellowish apples are not recommended).
Cut the apple in half and then cut each of those halves in half. Dunk each slice into the lemon-water, shaking off the excess water before setting aside.
Of course you could try using a half of an apple instead of a quarter slice but I like to work in quarters so if I mess up I only mess up a quarter wedge.
Next you want to score the pattern into the apple. I like to go the long way first, then across the shorter way. Since the surface of the apple is curved it can be a little hard to make straight lines but try your best to keep them straight and evenly spaced. Make sure that your knife is actually cutting through the skin as you mark the pattern but not cutting it too deep either.
After all the lines are scored into the apple, give another dunk in the lemon-water.
Choose a starting square and begin removal. Work the knife under the square to be removed and coax that skin out of there. I like to carve down a little so that the colored square will stand out a bit more but it is still a pretty shallow cut. No matter how deep you want to carve, try to keep the depth consistent on each square.
Leave the square touching your starting square alone and go to the next one over. Remove the skin from that square just like you did the first one. I sometimes find it easier to go around all the edges of the square first and then to cut through.
Leave the skin on the next square but remove the skin from the one next to that. You'll now have a row of red and white squares that you can build the pattern off of. Give the apple a swim in the lemon-water.
Continue removing every other square of skin, being careful to follow the pattern. Also remember to give your apple a plunge in the lemon-water after every few squares are removed to keep it from browning.
Now show off your awesome checkerboard apple and really impress the eating parties. How you like them apples?!
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