As a sophomore in college, I moved into the first home in which I had complete creative control of my own kitchen. I reveled in my newfound cuisine freedom by teaching myself how to cook from a series of cookbooks that I either borrowed or bought. The easiest thing to learn to do was bake--baking was like solving a math problem (a blessing for an engineering student), and I was able to turn my new hobby into gifts by giving away batches of cookies and cakes to friends.
By the end of college, I was preparing four-course meals inspired by all types of cuisines, but my greatest love in the kitchen is still baking. Some friends have ventured to suggest that I invest in starting a small business baking pies, but with two other jobs, making the time to bake pies on the side would be impossible.
So maybe they're not meant to be, but if I were to ever seriously consider my pie-baking business dreams, I'd have to make some correspondingly serious time-saving investments.
What's the easiest way to cut corners in pie baking? Peeling. Whether it's apples, peaches, or pears, a pie is no place for a peel (tongue twisted yet?) and if there's any way to make peeling happen a little bit faster, then I'll take it.
But why stop there? What if you had a contraption that peeled, cored, and sliced the apples into the necessarily equal-sized chunks that you only find in professional pies? Meet a contraption that's a dream for any budding baking pro: the Kali Apple Peeler/Corer. It looks like a medieval torture device, but what it lacks in aesthetic tameness, it certainly make up for in efficiency.
In 15 seconds, this gadget peels, cores, and slices your fruit into 1/8-inch slices. It can also be adapted for just peeling. At that rate, you could peel enough apples for a pie in less than two minutes.
The downside is that the price tag runs anywhere between $450 and $550. This puts it out of my price range, along with anyone else's who still cooks only for recreational chefs. But, if my baking business plan ever does go into action, this may just be my first purchase.