After a nice trip to the orchard, you’re probably worried you’ve got too much on your plate. While apples don’t stay fresh for too long, there’s a simple solution to prolong their shelf life.
Lucky for you, apples can be frozen. In this article, we’ll show you how to do that properly.
How Can I Freeze Apples?
Pies, muffins, pancakes… If you like using apples for making cakes and pastries (see also Can You Freeze Applesauce?), then you know how valuable it would be to have them in a stash. But because they oxidize rather fast, the only way to keep them fresh for longer is to freeze them. Here’s a step by step guide on how to do that.
Freezing Whole Apples
If there’s enough room in your freezer, you can definitely freeze whole apples, or even apple juice (see also How To Freeze Apple Juice). The process is super quick and easy. After you wash them thoroughly, cover them with plastic wrap or put in a releasable freezer bag.
Freezing Apples In Slices
Start by peeling the apples. Then, you should slice them. It’s up to you to decide how large you want the slices to be. You can cut them into eights so that they take up less storage. Or, if you’re making pies and muffins, you might want to do much smaller slices.
Once you’ve sliced the apples, you need to soak them in a mixture of water and lemon juice. Into a bowl filled with 4 cups of water, add about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Leave the slices in the mixture for around 5 minutes.
Once time’s up, take them out and let them dry. The best way to do that is to place the slices onto the pan covered with parchment paper. Make sure no slices are touching, so that they can dry out properly from each side.
Now it’s time for flash-freezing. The reason you should do this is that you can put all slices into the same bag for storing in the freezer. But if you do it right away, you risk turning the content of the bag into a mushy uniform substance. So to avoid this, you want to flash-freeze them. To do that, put the pan in the freezer for up to 4 hours. This process will freeze the apples rather fast, so the ice crystals that form will be smaller. Plus, the apples will retain more of their nutritional benefits.
After that time, take out the pan and put all the slices into the same bag. Then, use the straw to suck all the air out before completely sealing. Make sure to add the label and storage date, so that you can know what’s inside the bag once frozen and for how long it has been there. Fresh apples (see also Can You Freeze Grapes) in your freezer are best used before six months. While you might keep them in for longer, there’s a good chance they’ll lose in flavor and texture after that amount of time.
Freezing Apple Filling
If you already know you’ll be using apples for making a pie, why not make the filling and then freeze it? To do that, line the pie plate with plastic wrap and scoop the pie into it. Then, place the filling into the freezer until it becomes frozen. Once it’s solid, take it out of the pie plate and put it in the releasable bag before putting it back into the freezer.
One thing to keep in mind is that some spices might lose strength once frozen (see also Can You Freeze Ginger), so it might be better to add them after thawing the filling.
Freezing apples (see also How To Freeze Pears) allows you to have your favorite fruit available at any time you feel like baking an apple pie or similar pastries.