If you’re looking to make baked apples (stuffed with brown sugar, nuts, or raisins—can you smell ‘em yet?), you’ll want to remove the core first. The easiest way to do this is to dig in and core the apples with a melon baller. Just be careful not to puncture the blossom end or the filling may leak out from the bottom of the apple.
Here’s a core move that’ll impress all your leaf-eating friends. Rap the bottom of the head of lettuce sharply on the counter to loosen the core. Turn the head of lettuce over and pull out the core in one piece. After that, fill the hole left by the extracted core with water to rinse soil from the lettuce. Separate the leaves, wash again if necessary, and dry.
Making a pear crisp or cake from fresh fruit? Core that curvaceous little number like a dream using a measuring spoon. We found that a sturdy rounded metal ½-teaspoon measuring spoon is just the right size and shape to carve out the core cleanly and easily.
Don’t let a pineapple’s barbs and spikes intimidate you. Start by trimming the ends of the fruit so it will sit flat on a work surface. Cut the pineapple through the ends into 4 quarters. On each quarter, slide a knife between the skin and flesh to remove the skin. Stand each peeled quarter on end and slice off the portion of tough, light-colored core attached to the inside of the piece. Smells like success (and the sweet, sweet tropics).
If your cake decorating set is gathering dust, here’s a good reason to bust it out anew: A large star tip (used with a pastry bag) can be used as a tomato corer in a pinch. Pierce the tomato at the stem scar with the pointed end of the tip, give it a twist, and use the tip to cut out and remove the core.