How many kilos in a peck of apples? Or pecks of apples in a kilo?
December 2, 2007 10:02 AM   Subscribe

What is the mass, in kilos, of 1/4 peck of apples?

I'm making the apple crisp/crumble recipe on this page soon (not today, though). I can convert all the other measurements over to metric pretty easily, but one is tricky: the recipe calls for "1/4 peck of your favorite apples to bake with, or whatever the lady is selling that day."

I live in Latvia, where everything is measured using the metric system, and while I've got a superfluity of ladies selling apples, I don't know how much to ask for.

The internet isn't helping much, as pecks measure volume and grams measure mass; also, as this is Latvia, our domestic/neighborhood (Lithuania and Poland, basically) apples are rather small, between the size of a tennis ball or a fist, so a definition of "about 20 apples" might not really be helpful. (Apples from Germany, even, are often almost twice the size of what we've got here.)

Also, I'm from Los Angeles originally, which in my case unfortunately means that I've never seen apples anywhere other than in a big pile at a supermarket or farmer's market, so I can't just "eyeball it."

Finally: any tips on what sorts of apple to choose (again, I'm in Europe, so keep that in mind), would be much appreciated!

Thanks! (And extra helpings of crisp/crumble for extra helpful answers!)
posted by mdonley to Food & Drink (11 answers total)
I would say it's about five baseball-sized apples. A peck is 7.87 liters, so they're talking about a couple of liters worth of volume.

There isn't going to be any easy way to give you a number in kilos.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:08 AM on December 2, 2007

1.2 kilos.

1 peck = 10.5 lbs
posted by cosmac at 10:10 AM on December 2, 2007

1/4 peck is approximately 2.2 L. Do you have a liter jug or something like that? Fill it up with apples twice and then add a few more.

Anyway, the recipe says you are supposed to fill up the dish with chopped apple, even if that isn't exactly 0.25 peck. Do you know how big your pie dish is? Don't beanplate your apple pie.
posted by grouse at 10:11 AM on December 2, 2007

Both Wikipedia and the UNIX units command claim a peck is 8.81 L, not 7.87, for what it's worth.
posted by grouse at 10:13 AM on December 2, 2007

A peck is usually considered to be 32 medium sized apples. So you're looking for 8 medium sized apples.

From this handy chart we find that a medium sized apple is 3 inches wide and weighs 162 grams.

So, you're looking for 1.296 (call it 1.3) kilograms of apples.

If it helps any, the smallest apples on the list are 2 1/8 inches and weigh 85 grams a peice. So assuming your apples are roughly that size (which is about 5 centimeters) then you'll need 15 apples.
posted by tkolar at 10:15 AM on December 2, 2007

According to Google, a peck is 8.81 litres, or 0.00881 cubic metres.

We could assume that the density of apples is similar to the density of water, i.e. 1000kg per cubic metre. This seems reasonable, given that apples generally float slightly submerged in water. You could check how well your particular apples float. If we consider them to be irregularly packed spheres, the apples will fill around 64% of the volume of the peck.

Thus, a peck of irregularly packed, spherical apples weighs around 0.00881*1000*0.64 = 5.6kg.

A quarter of a peck is thus about 1.4kg.
posted by beniamino at 10:25 AM on December 2, 2007

There are some great answers here, but I think grouse has the main point - this entirely depends on the size of your dish, doesn't it?

"I find that the quarter-peck fills a deep dish pie mold nicely; you might need more or less depending on your dish."

Enough apples that will fill your dish when chopped is much easier to eyeball than trying to transliterate weight/mass and all that and proclaim it accurate on such a subjective recipe - the author seems to have been very arbitrary with quantities after all. If you obsess about the weights too much you'll only get lost, I feel.

Also, they're only apples, buy more than you think you need and fill the bowl and feed the birds with the rest or something.

As for the type, the author suggests it isn't all that important. Maybe ask your locals what baking apples they recommend?
posted by Brockles at 10:41 AM on December 2, 2007

(Actually, the number I quoted came from Encarta Dictionary, but I quoted it wrong. They said 7.57 liters per peck. It's anyone's guess where they got that number. And anyway I quoted it wrong.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:06 PM on December 2, 2007

Ultimately I have to agree with grouse and Brockles- I make a lot of apple crumbles in various apparatus and ratios of fruit/topping. Whatever the recipe says, you are going to want to tailor it to fit your baking pan/dish. I chop and fill and chop again, if necessary. As far as choice of apples, I prefer crisp green or yellow apples because I like them to stay firmer while baking and I like them to be a bit more tart, to balance the carmelized sugars. I also usually add a few squeezes of lemon or some cranberries for this reason.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:30 PM on December 2, 2007

Pecks are a unit of volume, so anything that defines it by weight depends on the items being measured. For instance, 4 pecks in a bushel. A bushel of wheat or soybeans weighs 60 pounds, a bushel of corn or milo weighs 56 pounds, and a bushel of sunflowers weighs 25 pounds. (source).

The apple basket available for sale here has ten apples in a half-peck basket.
posted by Pants! at 12:33 PM on December 2, 2007

'Enough to fit your plate' is really the guiding rule here. Buy more than you think you need, and if you've got some left over, you have more apples, which is hardly a problem. If the apples you're buying are smaller in size -- generally, smaller can mean sourer, and that's good for baking -- you're going to lose some of that volume in cores.

The most important conversions you need with this recipe are for the pie crust.
posted by holgate at 1:20 PM on December 2, 2007

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