How to make a decorative, and completely edible, apple swan! I made a few modifications to the original idea, to get the effect you see here.
There may be risks associated with these projects that require adult supervision.
Step 1: Choose Your Apple
All you really need for this little trick is an apple and a knife. Two additional butter knives are helpful, but optional. Try cutting your apple at a slight diagonal so that it cuts right through the center of the apple core. This is important because it will give you access to the seeds inside, and we need two. You’ll see why later on.
Step 2: Making Apple Wedges
Take the half of the apple that still has the bottom attached and place it face down on a cutting board.
We’re going to be making careful cuts into the apple, and I found it was very helpful to use two butter knives placed perpendicular to the top and bottom.
Now use your knife to carefully cut down into the apple from the top, and just to the right side of the apple core. You should be able to press down until the knife bottoms out on the other two butter knives, and then use the butter knives as makeshift spacers to line your knife up, and cut in from the side.
When the two cuts meet, you may feel a little “pop” as the wedge is released. If not, it means the cuts haven’t fully met yet, so just gently wiggle the blade from both directions until the cuts align.
Repeat the process on the other side of the apple so that you’re left with two apple wedges similar to those seen in the pictures.
Step 3: Give it Wings!
The goal is to cut each of these new wedges into three smaller wedges, then layer them together to give the effect of feathers and wings.
The process is very similar to how you cut them before, but this time, rather than slicing in from the side, try turning the wedge over to the left, and slicing down. This should give you more control and save you a few potential cuts to your fingers.
When both wedges have been cut, layer the pieces back together to form a teardrop shape, and replace them back into the apple “body.” The effect should be two beautiful swan wings.
We still need to make a place for the head to sit, so make a couple of precision cuts near the front of the body and remove the pieces to leave a clean and fairly deep groove, as seen in the picture.
Step 4: Making the Head
To form the head, we can use the other half of the apple and place it in-between our butterknife spacers as we did the other one, except this time we’re not going to cut out any wedges.
Carefully cut sideways along the butter knives to create an apple slice about ¼” thick. If you repeat this three or four times, you’ll end up with different cross sections that sport a variety of shapes and sizes.
Pick a piece that looks like a heart that’s been flattened at the top. I’ve found these shapes work the best.
All we need to form the head are three strategic cuts into the apple slice. I made one cut at the top at about a 45-degree angle, then a second cut horizontal and to the right. The last
cut near the bottom was sloped at about 30 degrees down and to the left. You should be able to see that the top cut was started just on the other side of the apple center, and this is done on purpose to give the sloped face, and the effect of a swan’s beak.
Holding the piece up now should leave you with something similar to the picture.
Step 5: Putting It All Together
To finish up, just take your apple seeds and place them where you’d like the eyes to go, then press them into place with the side of one of the butter knives.
When both eyes are in place, simply drop the neck down into place, and your apple swan is finished!
I tried spritzing mine with a little lemon juice to help prevent it from turning brown, then we set it out for entertaining guests we have over for dinner that evening.
Step 6: Variations
If you try this with different apples, you get different looking birds. No two birds will look exactly the same. In fact, I think some of mine look more like ducks.